Gaming Wars Have Spread to Online Launchers: It’s Getting Ugly
For a very long time, Valve’s Steam has been the recognised, go-to game store for PC gamers, but now it has some legitimate competition. While Steam’s game count clocks in at over 780 million titles, some of the most anticipated triple-A titles have, instead, become exclusives to other PC stores, such as Epic Games. It looks as though 2019 is going to be a messy year for this strain of gaming.
Gaming wars are always good for the consumer
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— Arekkz (@Arekkz) February 4, 2019
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With each generation of gaming consoles, there is a lot of hype around the war that rages between Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox, and the latest Nintendo console. In the current generation of consoles, the PlayStation 4 appears to have thoroughly defeated the Xbox One, while the late coming Nintendo Switch is setting records and muscling in on the PlayStation.
While there were many aspects that helped to swing the console wars, in the end, it comes down to games that are exclusives to the consoles, according to TechRadar. Over 2018, Nintendo’s unique, polished and exciting exclusives as well as PlayStation’s exclusives, like God of War and Spider-Man, managed to pull them ahead of the somewhat lacking exclusive line-up from Xbox One.
During the wars, each console has tried to separate itself from the others by going further than just its exclusive titles by offering free games each month. PlayStation Plus, Xbox’s Games with Gold, and the Switch’s NES all offer full free games to those who sign up to their online subscription service.
Offering free stuff to players isn’t something new in competitive gaming markets. On the internet, there has been a huge war fought between hundreds of gaming platforms for over a decade, and nowhere is it more evident than in iGaming. Many online casinos offer hundreds of games, so they had to get creative to appeal to new players. It started with deposit-matching bonus money, but now players can get a bonus without a deposit from Betfair to enjoy the likes of Aquaman, Rocky, and Wall Street Fever for free.
In the console wars, each device needs to offer a form of free gift just to stay level with the competition, which has resulted in thousands of gamers getting to enjoy more games.
This war could make PC gaming even better
— Niche Gamer (@nichegamer) December 10, 2018
Source: Niche Gamer, via Twitter
The mantra of the gaming community is that PC is best. Not only can games be played at their optimum level on powerful PCs, but they also boast larger game stores, many of the most competitive and well-balanced games that have evolved into eSports, like Dota 2 and League of Legends, and games are often cheaper to buy on PC than on any console.
The PC game store Steam has been unmatched over the last decade or so, enabling it to dictate the costs for both consumers and developers. But now, Epic Games is pulling some major titles away from the PC titan. Not only will Epic Games exclusively launch The Division 2, but now it will be exclusively launching the highly anticipated Metro: Exodus, despite the game formerly being available for pre-order on Steam. Those who have already pre-ordered the game on Steam will get the full game, updates, and downloadable content, but from February onwards, Metro: Exodus was only available on Epic Games. This switch greatly disgruntled Steam and its loyalists.
The upstart launcher offers a much more developer-friendly revenue split of the revenue, going 88-12 per cent in favour of the developer compared to Steam’s 70-30 split. According to Forbes, the enhanced cut of the earnings, Deep Silver – Metro: Exodus’ publisher – have been able to reduce the game’s price on the Epic Games store by $10.
Epic Games has only been making noise for a short time, but its attack on Steam’s monopoly has already started to present benefits for PC gamers. As has been the case in the console wars and the long-standing online casino wars, competition can only result in better offers for consumers.