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Gabe Newell: "Competition in game stores is awesome...but ugly in the short term"

Valve CEO: "We get a lot more freaked out not by competition, but by people trying to preclude competition"

Valve CEO Gabe Newell sees other PC storefronts as a benefit to the industry, though he acknowledges the immediate effect of new competitors can be a sour one.

Speaking to Edge magazine (via GamesRadar), Newell offered his opinion on how the Epic Games Store has impacted Valve's business.

"Competition in game stores is awesome for everybody," he said. "It keeps us honest, it keeps everybody else honest.

"But it's ugly in the short term. You're like, 'Argh, they're yelling, they're making us look bad' - but in the long term, everybody benefits from the discipline and the thoughtfulness it means you have to have about your business by having people come in and challenge you."

"We get a lot more freaked out not by competition, but by people trying to preclude competition. If you ask us which is scarier, it's people falling in love with Apple's model of controlling everything and having faceless bureaucrats who get to keep your product from entering the market if they don't want it to, or designing a store in a way that minimizes software's value-add to experience and stuff like that."

The Epic Games Store launched in December 2018, touting an 88/12 revenue split against Steam's standard 70/30 for most developers and fewer features -- though it's since caught up to its rival on many fronts.

However, the store faced backlash for its strategy of courting PC storefront exclusives away from Steam, much of which came in the form of harassment targeted at developers who released their games on Epic.

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Rebekah Valentine avatar

Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.

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