If there is one thing sure to draw ire from people in 2019, it is to bring up the Epic Games Store. Everyone has an opinion on this new storefront. The less vocal group tends to accept its existence or maybe even embrace it. After all, it is offering a better revenue split to creators, something independent developers desperately need, and is giving users a free game every week through the end of 2019. (Good games too, like Torchlight, Overcooked and Rime.) But, the ones people hear most from are the ones upset it exists. Why is there such opposition to it.
Well, a part of it is a resistance to change. Until the Epic Games Store, Steam was the dominant distributor. People turned to the client for their needs. If people played PC games, they had an account there. It garnered goodwill over the years, not for customer service, but for its annual cheap sales. Everyone has all of their friends there. They have their library there. While there may have been security and customer service issues, people were used to it and accepted it.
Yes, there were other launches. A lot of other clients, if we’re going to be frank. GOG has its own. So do Ubisoft and EA, with Uplay and Origin. What difference does one more make, when people likely have at least two already on their PCs? Well, a part of it is that some of those weren’t real competitors. Uplay and Origin are both rather limited in scope. People might not really need it. GOG, while it does offer a client, doesn’t really force it on people. They have an option. Epic Games Store doesn’t have any option. If you get into it, you have to be a part of its ecosystem.
That is another part that could disturb people. Epic Games is asking people to use a whole new client, but its client isn’t doing everything Steam is doing right now. It doesn’t have things like Big Picture Mode. Its Friends options are more limited. It doesn’t have the niceties people have grown accustomed to, like streaming hubs or easy ways to share information. Except, people seem to forget Steam wasn’t always like that. It took time to reach that point and become the behemoth it is today.
Especially since, well, Epic Games Store is the first real competition Steam has ever had. Generally, people are afraid of change. Throw in the fact that folks could have hundreds of games already there and expectation in mind that they were going to play certain games, say The Division 2, Metro Exodus or Shenmue III, on Steam, and it is a recipe for hurt feelings. Suddenly changing things without warning isn’t a good look. Even if Epic Games is trying to build goodwill by funding the Kickstarter backer refunds for people suddenly displeased by Shenmue III’s temporary Epic Games Store exclusivity.
Basically, people are being forced to try something new in some situations. People who have, for years, had a certain expectation for how things should work and have made their virtual “home” with Steam. Now that Epic Games Store is here, some are resisting it. This isn’t to say they aren’t justified. It is understandable if some feel deceived or uncomfortable. But it isn’t such an unexpected thing. Considering the digital future, it’s something people should get more used to, as more clients and storefronts are bound to appear.