Epic Games’ effort to take on Steam have led the company to partner up with another distribution center to tackle the job. Epic Games has announced that it will partner with the Humble Bundle Store to bring titles to both locations. This also includes exclusives, meaning that gamers shouldn’t be locked into the EGS for titles. Epic won’t receive revenue for games sold through the Humble Store.
At first, the partnership will launch with keys redeemable on the Epic Store, presumably similar to how keys can be redeemed on Steam. Later, you’ll be able to link your Humble and Epic accounts to make direct purchases.
Epic’s revenue slide. The company won’t collect commissions on Humble sales done through the Humble Store.
Epic claims it wants to give players more avenues for buying games and more choices to reach them. Over time, it hopes to expand its purchasing options. But it’s not hard to see where this might be headed — it could be part of an effort to isolate Steam in the larger gaming ecosystem, or, at the very least, to create a network of stores that can challenge the 800-pound gorilla more effectively than any single one of them can.
The Epic Game Store has taken some flak since launch, both for sniping exclusives (in some cases changing where the product would be sold) and for allegations that it spied on its end users. We discussed the latter rumor in some detail earlier this month. While there’s no evidence that the EGS is attempting to gather data for nefarious purposes, Tim Sweeney acknowledged that the app scans your Steam directory for information it could parse via Steam’s own APIs. Scanning local files for the information and promising to upload it only under certain circumstances didn’t play particularly well with some gamers who have privacy concerns about how their personal data is gathered and we agree that Epic should have used the Steam APIs to perform its tasks.
Overall, we’re still glad to see more competition in digital game distribution and hope that this cooperation between Epic and Humble will lead to more deals of this sort, Humble Bundle or otherwise. Nobody wants to juggle an infinite number of services, but increasing competition between players typically leads to better outcomes for gamers and requires the stores to innovate more aggressively in order to attract player bases, whether through free game offers or technology development.
Epic announced the partnership during its keynote at GDC. It also announced Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, Beyond: Two Souls, The Cycle, Heavy Rain, Industries of Titan, Kine, and The Outer Worlds, among other new titles.
Disclaimer: Humble Bundle is owned by Ziff-Davis, which also owns ExtremeTech.