Archive for the ‘epic games store’ Category

Epic Games’ biggest PC game sale yet is a coupon frenzy, lasts until June 11

May 15th, 2020
Epic Games’ biggest PC game sale yet is a coupon frenzy, lasts until June 11

Enlarge (credit: Epic Games)

As longtime users of every PC gaming storefront imaginable, we have opinions about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Epic Games Store. High on our list of "good" is its frequent offers of free and heavily discounted games, and this week's new Mega Sale, going until June 11, is its biggest yet. (It's been met by a giveaway of Grand Theft Auto V, valid until May 21.)

Epic also announced plans this week to roll out a comprehensive, platform-agnostic toolset for game makers, complete with useful developer resources like cross-platform matchmaking tools and achievement systems—which will even work on PC ecosystems like Steam. While we're still waiting to see that whole system bear fruit—particularly in terms of achievements and friend lists, which still lag behind Steam's comparable services—we're hopeful that EGS might finally stand toe-to-toe with Steam in the near future, in terms of average features offered in a given game.

With that in mind, I've taken a moment to pluck out the most interesting discounts in this week's aggressive Mega Sale, along with notes about whether the EGS difference is worth the savings. Each entry includes a guess about if/when each game might eventually land on Steam, which is never guaranteed. EGS exclusivity agreements with game publishers typically expire after a year.

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Unreal Engine is now royalty-free until a game makes a whopping $1 mill

May 13th, 2020
Unreal Engine is now royalty-free until a game makes a whopping $1 mill

Enlarge (credit: Epic Games / Getty Images / Aurich Lawson)

Since the rise of Fortnite as a popular game and Unreal Engine 4 as a popular game-making toolkit, Epic Games, the studio behind both, has been keen to capitalize on this momentum. That has included an aggressive push to lock down game makers in its ecosystem, and Tuesday saw Epic announce its most generous developer-specific offer yet: a massive increase to its "royalty-free" grace period.

As of today, any game or software maker who uses Unreal Engine for commercial purposes doesn't owe Epic Games a penny until a single piece of software exceeds one meeeeeeellion dollars ($1,000,000) in gross revenue. This is on top of the company's existing policy to not charge Unreal Engine users a monthly fee, whether they're using the software suite for commercial or educational purposes.

Previously, Epic offered a royalty-free grace period for a game or app's first $50,000 of revenue, then began requiring payment of 5 percent of the software's "worldwide gross revenue" from that point on, including DLC, crowd-sourced fundraising related to the software, and other related revenue streams. That 5-percent fee still applies, but it now leaves game makers unaffected until a $1 million threshold is hit.

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Want free games on Epic Games Store? Now, that will require 2FA

April 28th, 2020
Epic Games logo next to a lock.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Since December 2018, the Epic Games Store has maintained an aggressive weekly campaign of free game giveaways. That campaign changes this week, though not with any plans to stop offering freebies.

Instead, Epic has updated the promotion with its first security-minded rule: if you want to claim EGS giveaways going forward, you'll have to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).

The news appeared on Tuesday at both the EGS official site and as an automatic alert for EGS users on Windows and Mac. It explained that EGS will "periodically" confirm account credentials with a 2FA notice when a user attempts to claim free games between now and May 21. The company's only explanation for the change came as follows: "We understand that this is a minor inconvenience for some, but we want to provide the best possible solutions to protect your Epic account."

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Epic Games is now a third-party multi-plat publisher, secures three big studios

March 26th, 2020
The first three studios with Epic Games Publishing deals are as follows: Playdead (Limbo, Inside), Remedy (Max Payne, Alan Wake, Control), and gen DESIGN (whose staff was responsible for Sony exclusives like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian).

Enlarge / The first three studios with Epic Games Publishing deals are as follows: Playdead (Limbo, Inside), Remedy (Max Payne, Alan Wake, Control), and gen DESIGN (whose staff was responsible for Sony exclusives like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian). (credit: Collage by Aurich Lawson)

Epic Games: The engine maker, the game maker, the storefront handler... and now the games publisher.

Epic Games Publishing came into formal existence on Wednesday by announcing plans to fund, launch, and promote new multi-platform video games. The announcement hinged on two key points: which studios had already signed to EGP and what financial terms EGP games developers can expect.

While most game publishing deals aren't typically laid bare for the public, Epic has already chosen to confirm some of EGP's financial nitty-gritty. In addition to letting studios retain "100%" control of their intellectual property (an increasingly popular term for game-publishing contracts), EGP also promises to fund "up to 100%" of all game development costs. "Once costs are recouped," Epic says, developers will earn "at least 50% of profits." (That mix of "up to" and "at least" in the last two points may imply that those figures vary as a pair—meaning, if a developer pays for more of its dev costs, it might stand to claim more profit-sharing in the long term. Epic has not clarified that point.)

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RIP Stadia? Nvidia’s newly launched cloud-gaming service is (mostly) a stunner

February 4th, 2020
RIP Stadia? Nvidia’s newly launched cloud-gaming service is (mostly) a stunner

Enlarge

Imagine it: a video game streaming service that lets you log on to the cloud, access games you already own on multiple storefronts (including free-to-play fare), and play them on any Windows, Mac, or Android device. You'd need nothing more than a broadband connection. You'd get snappy, low-latency performance, including tolerable stats on your router's 5Ghz wireless band. And you could access all of this for free.

All of this was what we had hoped to get out of Google Stadia, which arrived in November with promises of a tantalizing "Netflix for games" model. But that streaming service's launch was immediately hobbled with device restrictions, pricing confusion, and a terribly limited (and closed) games library. Instead, the above description comes courtesy of an utter surprise, launching today in both free and paid tiers: Nvidia's GeForce Now.

After a months-long closed beta, GeForce Now opens to the public sometime today (perhaps the moment this article goes live). Download its app on a supported device, then hook up your preferred control method (gamepad, mouse+keyboard) and connect to one of Nvidia's servers. You'll boot into a virtualized Windows PC on the cloud, which then loads one of "hundreds" of supported games as sold by Steam, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, uPlay, the Bethesda Launcher, and Origin. From there, the server's gameplay feed and your button presses go back and forth so that your low-powered device can stream high-end 3D video games.

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Posted in Battle.Net, cloud gaming, ea origin, epic games store, game streaming, Gaming & Culture, GeForce Now, google stadia, NVIDIA, nvidia geforce now, Steam, uplay | Comments (0)

Why one PC developer turned down the security of Epic’s exclusivity offer

August 19th, 2019
Artist's conception of <em>DARQ</em>'s developers sadly walking away from Epic Games Store exclusivity.

Enlarge / Artist's conception of DARQ's developers sadly walking away from Epic Games Store exclusivity.

If you've been following the PC gaming space in recent months, you know Epic has been throwing a lot of money around to secure exclusives big and small for its Epic Games Store (EGS) on PC. But there has also been a small and growing trend of developers who are publicly rejecting Epic's money and exclusivity terms for a variety of reasons.

Rise of Industry creator Alex Mochi, for instance, said in a screengrabbed Discord conversation that Epic's "deal didn't appeal to me" because "I want for as many people to have access to the game as possible." SkateBIRD developer Megan Fox tweeted that Epic told her they were "focusing on exclusives, and SkateBIRD promised Steam keys in its [KickStarter], therefore, nah [on Epic Games Store availability]." Factorio developers Wube Software said in a blog post it would see any potential exclusivity deal as "selling-out to big companies that would use the game as cash grab while destroying the brand." And so on.

Indie developer Unfold Games is the latest to publicly turn down an Epic exclusivity offer for its dream-like adventure game DARQ. The team went into more detail than most on the decision in a Medium post this weekend, explaining why "getting some upfront payment on top of guaranteed revenue" from Epic was not enough to entice them.

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Borderlands 3, other games temporarily removed from Epic Games Store sale [Updated]

May 17th, 2019
<em>Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2</em> took itself off of the Epic Games Store temporarily rather than take part in the recent "Mega Sale"

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 took itself off of the Epic Games Store temporarily rather than take part in the recent "Mega Sale"

[Update, May 18: Gearbox's Borderlands 3 is no longer available for pre-order on the Epic Games Store. The game was previously available for as low as $49.99 during the sale (before Epic's additional $10 off for all games over $14.99), down from its initial starting price of $59.99.

The Epic Games Store page for the game now simply lists a "Coming Soon" message where the pre-order links used to be. The "PC Digital" platform option has also been removed from the pre-order page on the official Borderlands webpage.

Epic and Gearbox representatives were not immediately available to comment on the pre-order pause for the Epic Games Store exclusive. But Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford appears to have deleted a recent tweet that read "Save $10 on Borderlands 3! Also works if you have already pre-ordered, I’m told. Epic sure wants to earn your trust."]

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Epic discounts entire Game Store library in storewide “Mega Sale“ [Updated]

May 15th, 2019
Epic discounts entire Game Store library in storewide “Mega Sale“ [Updated]

Enlarge (credit: Epic)

[Update, May 16: The first ever "Epic Mega Sale" is now live, with discounts of up to 75% on every game in the Epic Games Store catalog through June 13. On top of those sale prices, purchasers receive an additional $10 off every game currently listed for at least $14.99 on the platform. That offer excludes DLC and in-game purchases, but includes pre-orders for upcoming titles (previous pre-orders will receive an automatic credit to reflect the savings).

Epic is also increasing the usual biweekly pace of its free game offers for the duration of the sale. Through June 13, a new free game will be offered on the service every week, starting with narrative adventure Stories Untold.]

Original Story

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Epic acquires Rocket League studio, bringing game to Epic’s store this year

May 1st, 2019
The blue car represents Psyonix leaping over Steam's... orange car? Look, it's a loose metaphor. Work with me here, people.

Enlarge / The blue car represents Psyonix leaping over Steam's... orange car? Look, it's a loose metaphor. Work with me here, people.

In a surprise move today, Epic Games announced it has "signed a definitive agreement" to acquire San Diego-based Psyonix and its 132 employees, who make the hit car-based soccer game Rocket League.

As part of the deal, the PC version of Rocket League will be moving to the Epic Game Store "in late 2019," Epic announced. "In the meantime, it will continue to be available for purchase on Steam; thereafter it will continue to be supported on Steam for all existing purchasers." Psyonix says it will continue to sell and support Rocket League on other platforms, including the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, going forward.

"In the short term, nothing will change at all!" Psyonix writes in a blog post accompanying the announcement. "We’re still committed to providing Rocket League with frequent updates that have new features, new content, and new ways to play the game for as long as you’ll have us."

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Gearbox’s Pitchford: Steam may be “a dying store” in 5 to 10 years

April 19th, 2019
"You can't get us on Steam, and that's a good thing."

Enlarge / "You can't get us on Steam, and that's a good thing."

Earlier this month, Gearbox drew some ire from Steam-loving Borderlands fans by announcing the next game in the series, due in September, would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC. In a massive tweet thread earlier this week, though (helpfully collated in this reddit post), Gearbox founder and CEO Randy Pitchford defends that decision and highlights what he sees as the long-term positives that Epic's competition with Steam will bring to the industry.

While acknowledging that Epic's platform currently lacks many quality-of-life features available on Steam, Pitchford pointed to Epic's public road map for adding many of those features before September's Borderlands 3 launch. In fact, Pitchford sees the game's impending release as a "forcing function... that will, in turn, make all those features available on a faster timeline than otherwise possible... If I were to bet on this... Epic will inevitably surpass Valve on features and quality of service."

Pitchford acknowledges that publisher 2K and developer Gearbox could have hedged their bets by releasing on both Steam and Epic. But he added that he feels the entire industry will be better served in the long run if Borderlands 3's exclusivity can help make the Epic Games Store competitive with Steam. (The sizable investment Epic has made in paying to get exclusive content on its store probably didn't hurt, either)

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Posted in Borderlands, borderlands 3, epic, epic games store, Gaming & Culture, Gearbox, Pitchford, Randy Pitchford, Steam, Valve | Comments (0)