Epic Games acquires PSYONIX, developer of Rocket League

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Pete, May 1, 2019.

  1. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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  2. BRiT

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    This was a real surprise for me. Outside of the Epic shenanigans with their PC store, I do hope this means good things for those developers.
     
  3. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Update: Psyonix says there are no plans to stop selling Rocket League on Steam.



    Dana Cowley, Senior Marketing Manager at Epic Games, clarified that the company has "not announced plans to stop selling the game" on Steam, as previously speculated by The Verge. Cowley continued, "Rocket League remains available for new purchasers on Steam, we'll continue to support it on Steam for existing players after it comes to the store."
     
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  4. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    Eurogamer updated their story, too. I'm not sure the clarification really disputes the original interpretation of their announcement. Neither "remains available" nor support for "existing players" (as opposed to new ones) contradict it being removed later this year, but this clarification may deflect some internet flak.

    Edit: "No plans" =/= "not announced plans." Poorly truncated tweet, IMO.

    I can't fault them for diversifying. Rocket League offers cross-platform play, right? I'm guessing that will continue after the PC store switch. Do they use any Steam features for networking, or is it all their own servers given the cross platforming?
     
    #4 Pete, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  5. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Yeah, if I'm being extra cynical my take on the update is: "They haven't announced they're pulling the game from Steam, Yet"

    And yes, I believe RL offers cross-platform play between Xbox/Switch/PC. I'm not sure about cross-play on PlayStation because Sony.
     
  6. Scott_Arm

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    Pull it from Steam. To be polite, fuck steam. It'll only be a good thing when the Steam gaming store monopoly comes to an end. If steam wants to keep games on their store, they can lower their cut to compete with the competition, which right now is Epic. It's a 30% cut vs a 12% cut. We always talk about how dev studios are going out of business. That 18% makes a huge difference.
     
  7. Silent_Buddha

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    So we should trade Steam, which doesn't have a monopoly, they are just the largest, for Epic which is actually spending a LOT of money to become the monopoly? Remember, Epic aren't just preventing games from being sold on Steam, they are also preventing games from being sold on GoG, Origin, and any other competing storefront.

    One of them just has a massive share of the online game's market due to being first and constantly improving their service. The other one is actively trying to become a monopoly at the expense of all other storefronts.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  8. Shifty Geezer

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    Comments around the web seem to suggest that's how Steam started though, securing exclusives to give people a reason to buy into a limited service. At this point in time we should see Epic's moves not as an attempt to become a monopoly, but to become established and self-sustaining. Competition isn't bad in this case and pressure for Steam to reduce their fees would be welcome, but I also see a lot of good from Steam for developers, especially indies. They've been constantly evolving to offer better options, moving from selecting content themselves to the greenlight process, and after the shortcomings of that, to allow anyone to publish on their own terms. In comparison, companies like Apple take the same 30% cut despite insane profitability and give far less back.

    At the moment, Epic's moves aren't anything different to any other platform trying to get started. Exclusive content is a key driver and has been used by every platform, consoles and libraries, as a USP to attract customers. That content should ideally come from Epic's own stables rather than buying up existing IPs, but the first move for exclusivity is always to buy existing talent. I think one thing to factor here is the difference between a simple digital store and a software delivery platform. A store needs only compete on price, but then it doesn't have the costs of developing complex deployment frontends including partying, chats, trophies/achievements, tradables, and all the other things gamers value. Part of Epic's efforts is creating a cross-platform library based off their Fortnite work and success which should be a huge boon for devs.

    In short, it's all good at the moment. It's all business as usual. People need to give these companies time to go through the motions and settle on a final business model before accusing them of seeking monopolies etc. Epic buying PSYONIX is no more terrible than MS buying Ninja Theory or Sony buying Psygnosis. It only becomes a problem if Epic start steam-rolling the industry and actual do threaten to become a negative monopoly, and it'll be a year or three before that would be evident.
     
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  9. Scott_Arm

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    Steam constantly improving their service ... lol.

    Main complaints from devs:
    • steam takes 30% and doesn't invest the money back into the service
    • steam justifies the 30% by offering a package of services they have no interest in using
    • steam storefront is a pile of trash and good content can be buried under mountains of shit
    • steam takes 30% ... lol
    Epic will not become a monopoly if Steam actually competes, which will be good for dev studios and good for gamers. As a gamer, I don't care what storefront my game is on. If I can play the game, that's all that matters. This isn't xbox vs ps4 exclusives where you literally can't play the games unless you invest hundreds of dollars. Gamers lose nothing. They only stand to win if devs earn more of the revenue from the games they build instead of getting screwed by a man in the middle monopoly. Healther dev studios means better games, more games, more risk taking. And can you imagine being and indie and losing 30% on every sale?

    I remember when Steam came with Half Life 2 and it was treated as invasive malware, but now it's apparently sacred and all games must be on steam.
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    People always complain. The reason there's a mountain of shit on Steam is because Valve don't limit who can publish. And Valve don't do any quality limitations because they found themselves unable to determine what gamers do and don't want to buy, like Goat Simulator and a host of what I'd consider tat which some gamers love. So they've introduced curators and search systems and reviews, and most recently weighted reviews to counter review-bombing in which they don't censor any opinions but just give users the choice to select which reviews to value. Over the years, Valve keep giving and improving options. But good content getting lost is exactly the same with any open platform, such as LBP or YouTube. With so much content, stuff gets buried. You either limit content, which people will complain about, or have it open, which people complain about, because there's no perfect solution.

    No-one ever actually presents a workable solution, and just moans about what's wrong. Valve have been shown to be trying new things to try and improve stuff. Not at the rate we'd like but none of these companies do (Sony waited an entire generation to make a proper party system), so Steam shoudn't be singled out as some sort of evil organisation. 30% is a lot. It's also exactly what every other organisation (Apple, Sony, MS, Google) takes (or at least was last time I heard any numbers).

    Could Steam be better? Yes. Does it warrant the hostility shown it? Not at all. It's an imperfect solution in a world of imperfect solutions where no-one's got anything better to replace it.
     
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  11. Scott_Arm

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    @Shifty Geezer I think is deserving of a ton of criticism. People can view it as hostility, but their business model is run entirely from a position of a monopoly. They do not have a good reputation for listening to developers, from what I can surmise. I think the perception is you don't get what you pay for from that 30%. I'm sure devs would have the same complaints about Apple, Sony, Microsoft, but those are walled gardens and you really can't do anything about it. The same was true for PC. You pretty much had to be on Steam. Now there's another store offering a better deal and a large customer base, and people are acting like that's somehow unfair or bad for the industry.

    From the dev side the perception is that steam has stagnated for a long time and does not provide value for money. They view valve as using their cut to fund other ventures like VR instead of reinvesting into the storefront. On top of that, valve justifies the 30% by offering features that can be integrated into games, but that integration costs time and money, so the features end up costing you more than 30%. Those features are not cross-platform, so the companies end up dropping them. They're paying 30% for content delivery in a store where they're not necessarily getting the prominence they want for the millions in revenue they end up giving to valve. Now there's a new store that will take 18% less, and provide more visibility to its customers. The decision almost makes itself.

    You sell 1 million copies of a $60 game. That 18% is $10.8 million. Think of all the studios that have closed. That could be a life saver.

    You've had a game market where the following is true:
    Sony - 1 storefront
    Microsoft Xbox - 1 storefront
    Apple iOS - 1 storefront
    Google Android - 1 storefront ... sort of. It's the default on the device, pre-installed
    PC - 1 primary storefront

    They all charge the same rate because they're all either walled gardens or effective monopolies. The fact that they all take the same rate is basically because they can't compete directly with each other and so they're price fixing. It may not be illegal price fixing, because they didn't necessarily sit down in a room and agree what the price would be, but it exactly why monopolies are bad. Now in the PC space there's at least some competition which is what gamers and devs had needed for a long time.
     
    #11 Scott_Arm, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  12. Shifty Geezer

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    More they're levying complaints at Epic the same way the do other stores. ;)

    Absolutely. Epic Store looks great from that perspective. What does it take to get onto Epic store though? Can anyone get on? Do they support Early Access? Or is Epic's 18% cut only better if you can actually be among the 1% of games that they'll take?

    I have no idea what proportion of titles they'll take; the point being the competition isn't a clear-cut thing yet because they are different services. Comments on EG have people complaining about the lack of gamer features on Epic store, so as a dev putting your game on Epic store means a smaller cut from Epic for a smaller reach.
     
  13. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    This is answered in the FAQ. Currently you can contact Epic so see if your title is suitable (I think the store is still a work-in-progress) but they say they'll allow "all developers" in the second half of this year.
     
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  14. Scott_Arm

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    Epic is basically a curated store, so they'll only take so many games. It won't be a free for all like Steam.

    Epic takes 12% and Steam takes 30%. That's where my 18% less comes from, even though that's not really the correct way to write that.

    Epic does early access as well. Satisfactory had a great early access launch on Epic Game Store. Looks like Anno and Metro had franchise record launches on Epic. Saber made about an extra $2 million on their sales vs what they would have received if they'd launched world war z on steam.

    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/news/epic-games-store-update
     
  15. Scott_Arm

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    I love the dumb things you can see on twitter: "I'd rather pay a 50% markup on steam than use a shitty platform that is trying to start a civil war in the pc gaming community" Capital 'G' Gamers are the whiniest subset of human beings on the planet. I wish that game studios and game media knew enough to ignore them, as they're a vocal minority.

    Read these tweets from Tim Sweeney and then read the responses, lol.


    I think people who expect all of the savings to be passed on to the consumer are nuts. The move to Epic is about keeping games profitable, which means healthier game studios, less closures and a growing industry.

    Edit:
    This is comedy gold. I love it.
     
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  16. MfA

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    How often do you really feel you are missing any major games/deals on steam storefront? It seems to have a pretty decent profile for me. Do small devs without a lot of reputation get buried in shovelware, sure. Do they really think taking their chances with a gatekeeping solution isn't going to bite some of them in the ass? They just want to be first mover on a small market, like the few Indies who made it big on the switch. That can't last, a couple first movers will benefit from a small captured audience, a multitude will suffer from simple lack of market access if Epic becomes dominant.

    Rentseeking is merely annoying, one company becoming the filter which determines what are PC games is dangerous. It was dangerous when Steam was that company, but at least they embraced free speech. Epic not so much, with censorship fanboys cheering them on ... if the entire Steam storefront was shovelware I'd still prefer that over gatekeeping.
     
    #16 MfA, May 4, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
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  17. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Thing is though, with two major players, each can be what the other isn't offering everyone the thing they want. Steam can be the open platform. Epic can be the curated platform. As ownership/use of both stores isn't in any way exclusive, customers can shop where they prefer.

    Still not seeing any reasons for anyone to complain about any of this. ;)
     
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  18. MfA

    MfA
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    Why would there be two major players? Free speech is not a significant competitive advantage.

    It's perfectly possible for Epic to become the dominant player and defacto turn PC gaming into a console mess.
     
  19. BRiT

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    Please clarify what you mean by that statement.
     
  20. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Steam isn't going anywhere. The entire market isn't going to jump ship to epic store. They'll compete in various ways. Notably, Steam will get custom for its open door policy allowing stuff Epic won't. It'll still be the biggest game platform on the planet.
     
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