A 222-page confidential doc, filed as a part of the Epic v. Apple trial, reveals a broad effort to compete with Steam throughout 2020 with free games, Fortnite promotions, and extra. The doc was initially created in September 2020 and was revealed after which rapidly deleted final week.
The documents additionally show that Epic supplied Sony $200 million for at the least 4 first-party PlayStation games final yr, forward of a much bigger push by Sony to . PC Gamer on components of this doc final week, after a detailed one of many slides. We’ve got confirmed the doc is actual, and it comprises a number of particulars round Epic’s efforts to enhance its sport retailer and compete with Steam.
It’s not clear if the Sony deal fell by for exclusivity, as Horizon Zero Daybreak appeared on each Epic Sport Retailer and Steam final yr, with Days Gone arriving subsequent week on each platforms. Epic Games has additionally been making an attempt to persuade Microsoft to deliver its first-party games to the Epic Games Retailer. “Their PC Sport Move chief is towards what we’re doing,” notes the doc, and Microsoft is “successfully bidding towards us for content material.”
Microsoft first began distributing extra of its , however this Epic doc seems to counsel that the Xbox maker has been speaking to Valve about Xbox Sport Move on Steam. Valve is eager to get Sport Move on Steam, however nothing has been introduced thus far. Epic’s doc notes that Xbox chief Phil Spencer “is assembly with Gabe at Valve often,” in the identical part that discusses Microsoft’s Xbox Sport Move efforts.
Epic has additionally been assembly with Riot Games, Activision / Blizzard, and EA in a bid to get extra PC sport content material for its retailer. “League of Legends is a longshot,” admits Epic within the doc, whereas additionally noting the deal to launch Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 1 + 2 on the Epic Games Retailer could lead on to extra sooner or later.
Elsewhere within the doc, it’s additionally revealed that Microsoft has apparently been requiring indie devs to agree to xCloud sport streaming assist to publish on Xbox. “Microsoft is utilizing harsh language across the requirement,” claims Epic, noting that it’s “signal or be faraway from Xbox.” We’ve reached out to Microsoft to touch upon these claims. Different documents within the Epic v. Apple trial additionally detailed that Microsoft was proposing to scale back the reduce it takes on PC sport gross sales . That reduce to 12 p.c has , however Microsoft has not revealed whether or not builders have to agree to grant streaming rights to the corporate.
The doc reveals how keen Epic was to entice top-selling games from Steam into the Epic Games Retailer. Epic recognized an approximate $500 million income alternative if all titles from competing platforms had been obtainable on its retailer. However out of the highest 100 promoting games on Steam in 2019, solely 20 had been obtainable on the Epic Games Retailer.
“These current Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze titles not being on Epic Games Retailer is a evident gap in our PC catalog,” admits Epic within the doc. “Will probably be exhausting to transfer market share as long as they aren’t additionally at Epic Games Retailer.”
Epic clearly faces the problem of convincing publishers and builders to deliver games to its PC retailer, however free games have been the largest draw. Different documents in Epic v. Apple revealed earlier this month that Epic spent at the least $11.6 million on free games, and in return.
Epic has additionally been leveraging the recognition of Fortnite to deliver extra individuals to its retailer, with free cosmetics and campaigns to launch free games and lift consciousness of the Epic Games Retailer. Rocket League additionally boosted the Epic Games Retailer numbers when it went free-to-play in September, with Epic workers celebrating larger numbers by itself retailer than by Steam for launch day.
Whereas Epic revealed in January 2020 that it has , its inside documents spotlight how its month-to-month lively consumer rely adjustments when there are free games. In September 2019, the month-to-month lively consumer rely (excluding Fortnite) jumped to 10.2 million after which dropped to round 8 million till February 2020, when it jumped again up to 10.14 million when Farming Simulator 19 and Murderer’s Creed Syndicate had been each free within the retailer. Epic made Grand Theft Auto V free in Could 2020, and this brought about the lively consumer rely to soar to an enormous 45.4 million earlier than dropping again down to 29.3 million the next month.