Epic Games Store now lets developers publish their own games

Epic Games' new self-publishing initiative aims to make its storefront as enticing to developers as possible.

Epic Games revealed a new initiative wherein developers can publish their own games on the Epic Games Store. 

Beginning today, developers and publishers have access to self-service tools that will allow them to put their own titles on the storefront. Doing so will, in Epic's words, allow developers to "efficiently release games, maintain their store presence directly, and reach a growing audience of over 68 million monthly active users."

All developers and publishers need to do in order to self-publish is meet Epic's requirements, which are "designed to provide a best-in-class player experience that doesn’t lock players into a single store." 

Those requirements include PC cross-play for multiplayer games, age ratings for regional distribution, and Epic Games Store Achievements. The game must also be consistent with the descriptions and assets on its store page, meaning it has to download, install, and work exactly as it's being promised. 

To sign up, developers must login through Epic's developer-specific portal and follow the instructions from there. For each game being submitted for a store page, a developer or publisher has to pay a fee of $100. 

How Epic's self-publishing affects Steam and its own store

Looking at how Valve handles the self-publishing process for Steam, Epic has a similar method for its own store. However, the latter company's process also has some extra flourishes that may be a more enticing offer to developers looking to put their game on the Epic Games Store. 

For starters, Epic has said that developers will keep 88 percent of the revenue they earn. By comparison, developers on Steam keep 70 percent of earned revenue, which has been a friction point for developers in the past. At GDC 2020, many developers admitted they don't believe Valve's earned the right to ask for that much revenue. 

That said, Epic added that developers have the option to use their own payment solution, or a third-party one, to receive all the revenue from in-app purchases. 

Epic also has free professional localization, though that "free" only comes after paying the $100 to get a game approved for a store page to begin with. 

And for developers who are making their game using the Unreal Engine, the company has offered to waive those engine royalty fees for in-store purchases made using its payment processing system. But it's worth noting that developers using their own processor for in-app purchases and products won't have royalty fees waived. 

That revenue split may be more than enough to lure developers over, particularly indies. But with offers on the table for those who use Unreal or don't have enough money to afford a localization team, the Fortnite creator wants to make its storefront as tempting as possible to developers and players alike. 

Game Developer and GDC are sibling organizations under Informa Tech.

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