Fortnite maker Epic's building its own Steam competitor, and while its biggest selling point may not make a huge difference to you personally, it sure will to the people who make your games. That difference is 12 percent - as in, Epic will keep only 12 percent of revenue from external developers selling on the Epic Games store. That's less than half of the 30 percent revenue split which is the industry standard for most Steam games, not to mention the iOS App Store and Google Play.
Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney announced the new PC game store in a post on the official Unreal Engine site; as an extra bonus Epic will also waive the standard 5 percent royalty fee for Unreal projects sold on the Epic Games store. This is a lot of business talk so far, but it's easy to see how it could have a very real effect on where you buy and play games if the store gains traction. Developers will be very tempted by the prospect of keeping a much bigger chunk of the cash from their digital sales on PC.
That said, many other digital storefronts like GOG.com, Humble, and Itch have risen over the years, and while they all seem to be doing well enough, none of them have shaken Steam's dominance. The same is true of other publisher-backed online stores like EA Origin and Ubisoft Store (AKA Uplay). But with the cultural force that is Fortnite leading the charge and a very compelling business proposition, Epic may have the best chance of rocking Valve's boat yet.
According to the announcement, the Epic Games store will launch on PC and Mac "soon" with a curated set of initial games and plans to broaden out more in 2019. We'll learn more about its first titles during The Game Awards on Thursday. And if you play Fortnite on PC, you're all set up to give the Epic Games store a try - it'll live on the same Epic Games launcher you already have installed.
If that still isn't enough to catch your interest, maybe this little tidbit that Sweeney told Games Industry will: Epic plans to give away a free game every two weeks throughout 2019. Assuming it goes all year, that's 26 free games just for showing up. Now we're talkin'.
Find more to play on our list of the best PC games.