- Epic Games is both a developer and game distributor.
- The company is widely known for the success of “Fortnite,” but also for its own Epic Games Store.
- Similar to Valve’s Steam service, the Epic Games Store lets you purchase and play games online.
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Epic Games isn’t an ordinary game developer.
Since the international success of “Fortnite,” the company has been on a crusade to become one of the top game developers in the industry.
What you need to know about Epic Games
With the launch of the Epic Games Store, Epic Games has challenged Steam and its developer Valve’s (“Portal,” “Half-Life“) dominance in the game marketplace. Epic Games has even taken Google and Apple to court over the high commission fees they charge developers to sell apps on their platforms (up to 30%).
On top of that, Epic’s Unreal Engine is a powerful software tool that independent developers can use to create their own games. That comes free on the Epic Games Store, which is a marketplace similar to Steam.
What the Epic Games Store offers
PC and Mac gamers are likely familiar with Steam, which has dominated the online game distribution market for more than a decade. The Epic Games Store, which launched in late 2018, is much newer than Steam but quickly became a contender. Part of that comes from the wild success of “Fortnite” and the company’s drive to net exclusive distribution rights to other developers’ newest anticipated titles. For a while, Epic Games was the only place to play “Borderlands 3” on a PC, which peeved a lot of players.
Ultimately, Steam and the Epic Games Store do much the same thing â€” distribute first- and third-party games â€” but there are a few significant differences. Steam boasts an established community and a much larger library. Epic Games is more basic, but has its exclusives and access to the Unreal Engine.
There’s also no reason to not have both: Neither charge a subscription fee to download games from their platform. As a consumer, you can pick and choose which games you download from each platform.
How the Epic Games Store works
The Epic Games Store has a clean and simple interface. Once you make an account, you choose a display name that other players get to know you by. That can be changed at any time, but only once every two weeks.
Exchange these names with friends to add each other on the platform. That way, you can play together online.
You can either purchase games from the Epic Games Store directly or redeem game codes purchased from a third-party developer.
For users familiar with Steam, remember that you can’t gift a game in the Epic Games Store unless you want to share your username and password. That’s against Epic Games’ policy, so it’s a little risky and, for now, perhaps stick to buying games for yourself.
The Epic Games Store is still in its infancy, with some limited features. But if the company’s meteoric rise tells us anything, we expect it to grow further.