The Epic Games Store

Illustration by Sahana Maheswaran

When PC gamers  look to purchase and play a game, more often than not the first place they think of is Steam. Owned by Valve, the company is behind some of the most popular games of all time, such as Portal, Left 4 Dead and Dota 2.

With over 120 million monthly users and over 50,000 games for sale, Steam is without a doubt the foundation of PC gaming.

One company is looking to take on Steam’s chokehold of the gaming industry with a store of their own, Epic Games.

The Advantages of the Epic Games Store

Epic Games is widely known as the creators behind one of the biggest games of all time, Fortnite. Fortnite is a battle royale first person shooter with 350 million players as of May 2020.

For PC players, Fortnite is free to play and only available through Epic Games’s own store.

Fortnite was the gateway to showing gamers the impressive collection of exclusive games that were available to them on the Epic Games store but not Steam, such as Kingdom Hearts III, Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

The Epic Games store has another advantage over Steam; not for the buyers, but for the sellers.

Steam, as well as physical stores, mobile stores and console stores, generally take a 30% cut of all game sales. The Epic Games store, however, only takes 12%. That is an impressive deal to game developers, as it means more money per sale of their game if they sell it on the Epic Games store.

The only other widely used stores that can compare to those deals are Humble Bundle, where 15% of a purchase goes to Humble Bundle and an additional 10% goes to a charity of the store’s choice, and (pronounced itch-ee-oh), where developers can choose how much money goes to itch and how much goes to them.

Epic Games v. Apple

Steam isn't the only video game giant Epic Games has been fighting with.

Epic Games recently sued Apple in federal court over the belief that Apple is stifling competition and "unfairly forcing" app developers to pay fees on purchases not just for the game, but also for in-app purchases.

These in-app purchases can be used to buy cosmetic items or advantages in game.

If you own an Apple device, the only way you can download apps is through the Apple App Store. Apple products do not allow third party applications or stores on their devices. The cost of operating on Apple's storefront is a 30% cut of purchases made over their platform. Epic Games bypassed this 30% charge by handling in-game purchases outside of the app store, which prompted Apple to ban Fortnite from the Apple App Store.

The trial took a total of three weeks, and no ruling has been decided yet.

Internet companies such as Spotify, Facebook and the Match Group, a technology company that owns online dating services, have publicly supported Epic Games for the lawsuit.

Alternative Online Games Stores

Epic isn't the only online video game marketplaces are trying to take the edge away from big games sellers like Steam. is a very different platform, with almost all of the games sold being indie games, or games without a major game publisher.

Most of the games made for are part of a game jam, a contest where game developers have a short amount of time to make a game from scratch. At the end of the competition, the games are released into the wild and are rated by users. At the end, the game with the best rating wins.

Hundreds of game jams are in progress on at any given moment.

As of May 24, 2021, 141,816 games have been created for game jams hosted by I have been a part of a game jam hosted by as a voice actor.

Because Epic Games wanted to include as an app inside of the Epic Games Store, was mentioned in the Epic Games v Apple lawsuit. Apple claimed that hosted “unspeakable” games, in reference to the fact that allows for pornographic games to be sold on their platform, something that Steam has just started allowing recently.

Humble Bundle is another online video game store that has been rising in popularity recently. Humble Bundle's most intriguing pull are their "bundles," where buyers pay a minimum amount for a collection of curated games. Users can also pay any amount above the minimum price to give extra money to the developers, Humble Bundle, and one of the charities that Humble Bundle gives to.

For example, a bundle that just recently passed was the "Best of Bandai Namco" bundle, where for a minimum of $20, buyers would get 9 games, including Katamari Damacy REROLL, Little Nightmares Complete Edition and TEKKEN 7.

Every bundle has smaller versions of the original bundle, where you get less games for less money. Users can freely adjust how much of the money spent goes to the developers, Humble Bundle and their given charity. Humble Bundle allows buyers to donate to thousands of charities across 5 countries, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Red Cross, Save the Children and more.

This is an exciting deal for gamers who want to not only buy games for a cheap price, but also want their money to go towards good causes.


With almost 25 million concurrent  active users, it is likely that Steam probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Video game buyers are starting to take notice of outside retailers, and if the Epic Games v Apple lawsuit goes in the way of Epic Games, these large retailers might start to get nervous.

With interest from game developers and players alike, it is likely that the Epic Games store might take a bit of the wind out of Steam’s sails by taking sales away from them.