Epic Games is starting an open beta for new publishing tools that allow developers to self-publish games on its store, similar to what’s offered by Steam Direct on the competing platform. Epic wants to increase the pace of new games that come out under their wing, but by how much remains unclear.
Up until now, developers that wanted to publish games on Epic’s store had to rely on an approval process each step of the way. With the new beta, game companies that sign up for it will be able to set up project pages, achievements, and pricing on their own, as well as upload builds and updates. Any developer or publisher can sign up for the beta, but Epic will select the final participants.
There don’t seem to be specific restrictions for what kind of games developers can self-publish outside of standard rules against things like copyright infringement, hateful content, and pornography. Games with a multiplayer component have to have crossplay with PC games from other storefronts.
One of the main selling points of the Epic Games Store has been the appearance of a more curated storefront in comparison to Steam — one where games don’t get buried under a constant, massive stream of new content every day.
This became even more contentious when Valve started Steam Direct, through which developers can release games on Steam with very little involvement from the store. Since then, it has allowed almost anything onto Steam. This year the number of games on Steam reached 50,000, while there are currently less than 700 games on Epic’s store.
How stringent Epic will be when it comes to releasing new games remains to be seen.