Earlier today, Epic Games has an epic announcement. They will launch their own digital game store, to compete with Steam. The further details will be revealed later at The Game Awards 2018. However, we've already got some necessary information about the store, and how Epic Games plans to differentiate themselves from other platforms.
According to Epic, one way to get players to use their store is by "throwing free stuff at them." Starting from launch, the store will feature one free game every fortnight throughout 2019. They also want to use the store to bring game developers and marketers together, and reward influencers for making things related to developers’ games.
“Epic's Support-A-Creator program is key to helping developers reach gamers. Content creators, such as YouTube video makers, Twitch streamers, cosplayers, community builders, and bloggers have become key influencers in gaming." - Sweeney said.
“Previously, most creators were not compensated by game developers for their work and instead had to rely on donations. By matchmaking creators with developers, the Epic Games Store makes it easier for players to discover games, and rewards content creators for their efforts.”
In Epic Games Store, developers will have access to their customers through a news feed. Meanwhile, players can have tools that allow them to get in touch with developers, like a ticketing system and bug reports. User reviews are planned, too. However, Epic wants to avoid things that can lead to toxic behavior.
“Users have generally migrated to Reddit, Discord, Twitter, Facebook groups, and other social media,” he said. "Developers are free to run their own forums and social media and link to them from their Epic Games Store pages.”
“We don't plan to curate based on developers' creative or artistic expression,” Sweeney added when being asked about the criteria of Epic when selecting games to feature on their store.
Epic's plan to compete with Steam is leaning hard on the revenue split disparity. CEO Tim Sweeney tells in an interview that “In our analysis, stores charging 30 percent are marking up their costs by 300 to 400 percent." The announcement also came with a graph to push the point.
More details about the store will be announced at The Games Award 2018, and I guess this is the "grand announcement, not Fortnite-related" that Epic Games teased a few days ago.