In context: In its war for content with Valve, the Epic Store continues to snipe exclusives (both timed and otherwise) from Steam. Tim Sweeney has insisted this will continue until Valve lowers its commission rate to competitive levels, but Valve seems resistant to give up its cash cow.
Ubisoft’s choice to release the latest Ghost Recon game exclusively through the Epic Store and U-Play is not that shocking. It recently announced it would be switching The Division 2 and Anno 1800 from Steam to Epic, but would still honor pre-orders that were placed through the Valve storefront.
“There is a growing number of distribution platforms fighting for great content,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot regarding the move. “With this deal, we saw an opportunity to increase player's exposure to our own store, while at the same time supporting a partner that greatly values our games and provides materially better terms.”
Epic’s 12-percent commission has proven far more attractive than Valve’s 30-percent cut for obvious reasons. However, smaller developers are also enjoying Epic’s help with “marketing commitments, development funding, and revenue guarantees.”
Outer Wilds developer Mobius Digital said in an update, “[We welcome] helpful partnerships with Annapurna Interactive, Xbox, and Epic to support us and keep our small studio running long enough to ship the game at the level of quality that it is today.”
The Epic/Valve feud shows no signs of stopping at this point. Last month, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted that he would stop buying exclusives when the cut from the Steam Store was lowered to 12 percent. Valve seems defiant to that challenge, but we’ll see how it goes as Epic continues gathering exclusivity deals.
If Valve is forced to compete with Epic and reduces its commissions by more than 50 percent, it might actually have to go back to making games and finally give fans Half-Life 3.