Epic Games disrupted the industry when it unveiled the Epic Games Store, a distribution platform similar to Valve’s Steam, late last year. Since then, we’ve seen a number of exclusive game releases on the Epic Games Store, skipping Steam at least for the time being. While Epic has a lot of catching up to do in terms of feature set, CEO Tim Sweeney has declared its stance on allowing «crappy» games onto the platform.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Sweeney said the Epic Games Store won’t distribute low-qualiy games, although it’s unclear how that quality will be determined. The Epic Games Store will have a vetting process to ensure only «reasonably good quality games, of any scale, whether small indie games to huge triple-A games» make the cut. «We’ll have a quality standard that doesn’t accept crappy games,» Sweeney said. «We’ll take everything up to, like, an R-rated movie or an M-rated game.»
Sweeney implied that its «quality standard» won’t gatekeep developers from experimenting with the Unreal Engine. «The side of Epic that makes creative tools like the Unreal Engine available to everybody says that you can use our tools for creating anything that’s legal,» Sweeney said. «And we have no creative say in it—we can’t veto, whether we find it controversial or tasteful or not.» However, Sweeney added, «We’ll be aware of the quality of what’s submitted prior to making a decision to list it in the store—somehow.»
This is in stark contrast to Steam’s policies, which allows a wider range of games on the service. The Epic Games Store, according to Sweeney, won’t be a home for «porn games or bloatware or asset flips, or any sort of thing that’s meant to shock players. The PC’s an open platform and if we don’t distribute it in our store you can still reach consumers directly.» We’ll have to wait and see if Sweeney and the team behind the Epic Games Store make good on those commitments.
The Epic Games Store launched in December 2018. Since then, a host of titles—from Metro Exodus to Tom Clancy’s The Division 2—have released exclusively through the platform. In an effort to brand itself, the Epic Games Store has released a free game every two weeks. The latest offering, Oxenfree, is available now.