Epic Games Challenges Stream’s Dominance With Exclusives

The two titans of the gaming world have been slugging it out for dominance for several years. Since its launch in 2003, Steam cemented its top-dog status by positioning itself as the lead distributor of popular PC titles. But the deep-pocketed and proud owner of the ultra-popular game Fortnite is shaking things up. Epic is on a mission to become the new comforting feature of everyday life for gamers. Its strategy isn’t centered on usability or consumer convenience but rather a more lucrative revenue split with developers and, of course, store exclusives.

Epic’s Fight Plan

In its quest to make PC gaming more dynamic, Epic is taking a huge gamble by offering developers better deals. More specifically, developers and publishers get 88% of sales revenue, while Epic takes the remaining 12%. And the strategy seems to be working.

In the last two years, Epic managed to secure more than 100 exclusive titles on their store. Granted, the vast majority of them were timed exclusives that would eventually be released on other gaming store platforms. But the company is making headway, and following a brief slump in the number of exclusives, 2022 promises to be another good year for Epic’s program.

Don’t Change a Winning Team

At this time, we know that around 20 PC titles will be exclusive on the Epic Game Store. Most of them will be timed exclusives that will be released elsewhere within a year. However, the list of titles without a Steam release date is rapidly expanding. These include Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong, Saturnalia, The Wolf Among Us 2, Monkey Barrels, Oddworld: Soulstorm, and Jett: The Far Shore.

Meanwhile, the following titles will be exclusive on the Epic store for a limited time: 

Chivalry 2 is a first-person multiplayer medieval combat game that’s expanding the gameplay formula of its successful predecessor. It’ll be an Epic exclusive for a year. The same goes for the indie darling, Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy, released on Epic in May 2021. 


Next on the list is Kena: Bridge of Spirits, a Metroidvania game that wowed critics with its visuals following its release on Epic in September 2021. It’s set to remain there for an unspecified amount of time. 

A popular road trip through hell, Darkest Dungeon 2, will be released on Epic as an early access title for the duration of its testing period. Solar Ash, an indie action-adventure set to be released in October 2021, will also join the Epic Games Store exclusive program for the foreseeable future. The same goes for The Eternal Cylinder, a game involving the exploration of an alien world and its strange lifeforms.

In 2019, Ubisoft said it had no plans to release any games to Steam. And they’ve kept their word with several of their latest titles, including the Assassins Creed Valhalla being published only on the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect. This trend will continue throughout the rest of 2021 and 2022. Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Riders Republic, and remakes of older gaming classics, The Settlers and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will stay on Epic and Ubisoft stores.

As part of its developer-first publishing effort, Epic has four gaming projects in the works. Two are with the Finnish studio Remedy Entertainment, which includes a remaster of the action-adventure classic Alan Wake. The third project is from a beloved indie studio, Playdead, which released critically acclaimed games Inside and Limbo. A Japanese studio, GenDesign, which co-created one of the most emotional games for Playstation 4, The Last Guardian, will also work for Epic on their next title.

Gatekeeping in the Future

Epic’s exclusive gaming program looks certain to continue its expansion in the foreseeable future and attract more gamers to the platform. The tactics the company uses to challenge Stream’s market dominance have proven to be successful since Epic’s popularity is growing. It surpassed many other store platforms when it comes to the number of active users and is continuing to diminish Steam’s supremacy, one exclusive at a time.

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