Archive for the ‘epic games store’ Category

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)

Borderlands review bomb triggers Steam’s “off topic” fix [Updated]

April 5th, 2019

[Update 10:30 p.m.: In a statement sent to Ars Technica just now, Valve's Doug Lombardi says that "after a review of current review activity on Borderlands titles, the decision was made to tag the franchise for off-topic reviews on Steam, effective immediately. As a result, user reviews submitted while the titles are tagged will not count towards the games’ Review Scores. User reviews written during the tagged period will still be accessible and users can choose to include these reviews in the Review Score by changing their preferences."

Steam reviews for Borderlands franchise games since April 2 are now shown in a histogram view with a large asterisk and the warning "Period(s) of off-topic review activity detected. Excluded from the Review Score (by default)." The "Recent Reviews "summaries for those games have also flipped from "Mixed" to "Very" or "Mostly Positive" as a result of the move.]

Original Story (12:21 p.m.)

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Why Valve actually gets less than 30 percent of Steam game sales

April 4th, 2019
Why Valve actually gets less than 30 percent of Steam game sales

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

Since Epic started taking a 12 percent cut of sales revenue generated on its new Games Store, much has been made of whether Steam's baseline 30 percent revenue cut is justified. But a new analysis shows that Valve sometimes receives much less than that headline revenue percentage for some of the most popular games on Steam.

The reason for the discrepancy is Steam keys, which developers can generate pretty much at will to sell through non-Steam storefronts and brick-and-mortar retailers. While these key-based purchases are still redeemed through Steam and can take advantage of Steam's suite of features, Valve actually takes no commission from sales that don't take place directly through its own storefront.

Valve doesn't directly publicize how many of a game's sales come from keys versus direct Steam purchases. But as Twitter user @RobotBrush recently pointed out, the Steam store does publish the numbers of user reviews that come from Steam purchases vs "Other" key-based sources (a feature designed to prevent key-based review manipulation).

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Borderlands 3 is the next big Epic Game Store exclusive

April 3rd, 2019
Follow us to a new PC platform!

Enlarge / Follow us to a new PC platform!

Borderlands 3 is the latest high-profile game to announce that it is ignoring Steam and other PC platforms in favor of an exclusive launch on the Epic Games Store. Developer Gearbox Software and publisher 2K revealed this morning that the game will be an Epic exclusive from its Sept. 13 launch through April 2020.

"The PC gaming community has been an important part of the success of the Borderlands series, and we are excited to be partnering with Epic who recognize its worldwide popularity and share in our commitment to bring Borderlands 3 to this rapidly expanding audience," 2K President David Ismailer said in a statement. "Our mission, in addition to delivering the most engaging and captivating entertainment experiences, is to embrace new distribution platforms that will contribute to our effort to grow the audience for Borderlands 3."

Borderlands 3 joins previous Epic exclusives including The Division 2 and Metro Exodus and upcoming PC releases including Control and Detroit: Become Human, which will only be available on Epic's storefront.

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Epic CEO: “You’re going to see lower prices” on Epic Games Store

March 20th, 2019
Epic CEO: “You’re going to see lower prices” on Epic Games Store

Enlarge (credit: Epic)

SAN FRANCISCO—The Epic Games Store's much-ballyhooed 88-percent revenue share has been great news for developers who are no longer forced to accept Steam's de facto 70-percent standard. But this new behind-the-scenes monetary split hasn't resulted in savings for gamers, who thus far have seen the same price tags for games on Epic's storefront as on Steam (when titles are available on both).

Speaking to Ars Technica, though, Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney says that players should look forward to paying less on the Epic Games Store in the future. While Epic leaves pricing decisions completely in developers' hands, Sweeney said, "after you go through several cycles of game developers making decisions, you're going to see lower prices as developers pass on the savings to customers, realizing they can sell more copies if they have a better price.

"This sort of economic competition is really healthy for the whole industry and will lead the industry to a better place for all developers and for gamers as well," he continued. "It's a supply-side thing, this revenue sharing, it's some sort of business arrangement between developers and a store that [a] gamer generally doesn't see... [but] as developers reinvest more of that 18 percent of additional revenue into building better games, that's key to the long-term health of the game industry that we all have to look out for."

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Epic says its Game Store is not spying on you

March 15th, 2019
Despite what you may have read, Epic says this is not spyware.

Enlarge / Despite what you may have read, Epic says this is not spyware.

This week, certain corners of the gaming Internet have been abuzz with a bit of self-described "amateur analysis" suggesting some "pretty sketchy," spyware-like activity on the part of the Epic Game Store and its launcher software. Epic has now stepped in to defend itself from those accusations, while also admitting to an "outdated implementation" that can make unauthorized access to local Steam information.

The Reddit post "Epic Game Store, Spyware, Tracking, and You!" points to a wide-ranging set of implications based on some broad file and network access traffic observations when the Epic Game Store is running. But much of the post is focused on Epic's association with Chinese gaming giant Tencent, which owns a share of the company.

"Tencent is a significant, but minority shareholder in Epic," co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney wrote in response to the conspiracy theory in one Reddit thread. "I'm the controlling shareholder of Epic... The decisions Epic makes are ultimately my decisions, made here in North Carolina based on my beliefs as a game developer about what the game industry needs!"

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