Games

Epic’s Tim Sweeney Explains Transaction Surcharges of Epic Games Store

Over the past few months, the Epic Games Store has landed in hot water with the gaming community multiple times. The recently-launched digital games store rivals Steam by providing game developers with a fairer 88% revenue share. While this is a very good thing for developers, the remaining 12% doesn’t come without cost.

Payment Processing Surcharge

Some of the payment methods available on Epic Games Store carry a payment processing surcharge which has to be paid by the customer. The surcharge is not applied to most of the popular payment methods, such as PayPal and credit cards.

A post on the PC Gaming subreddit claimed that Epic’s revenue share of 12% assumes that the consumer is paying the transaction fee. This led to confusion about how the Epic Store’s revenue split is affected by the payment method. In an attempt to clear the air, Epic Boss Tim Sweeney replied explaining exactly how payment surcharges work.

“Our 12% structure is built around the assumption that Epic covers all reasonably-efficient payment methods,” he writes. “In practice, we pay all payment processing fees on methods charging up to 6%, and some that are higher.”

The Epic Games Store supports a lot of payment methods, and 20% of them are alternate payment methods. Sweeney explains that most “developed economies” support at least one payment method with no surcharge. For those residing in developing economies, other payment methods, some of which carry additional charges, are available.

If Epic were to drop the alternate payment methods, then the store “would always have zero payment processing fees.” However, Epic believes that it’s “preferable to support these additional payment methods and pass the costs along.” 

“The goal of the Epic Games store is high economic efficiency. Absorbing such costs just hides them, and provides no reason for customers to choose a 3% payment method over a 20% method.”

Compared to Steam, the Epic Games Store is lacking in many areas. However, over the past few months, the store has made a lot of progress, and continues to do so.


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