I’ll admit: I was once baffled at the resentment PC gamers held toward the Epic Games Store. Once upon a time in the not-too-distant past, I was primarily a console gamer. I mained an Xbox One, but I owned a PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, too. And having to own multiple systems — being someone who writes about video games — seemed like something you just had to do if you wanted to play everything
And then I spent more time on PC.
I already had a decent Steam library built up to begin with, but I’d never really explored everything Steam had to offer. There is a lot, from the achievement system to the trading cards feature to the ultra-handy wish list. Who knows: maybe Valve will even add esports betting like you’d find on oppa888.com. It’s that featureful.
In a way, Steam is almost a console unto itself in a sense; some people buy every single game on Steam, play those games with their Steam friends, and live for collecting Steam achievements. It’s a platform that, to many, has no peers. There is Steam and nothing else. And if there happens to be a game that doesn’t come to Steam, some simply won’t play it.
I mentioned earlier that I primarily used to play on an Xbox One. Why was that? I had friends there. I enjoyed hearing new achievements pop while playing. I’d amassed an enormous library of Xbox One games. I owned the other platforms out of necessity. But had games from those other systems come to Xbox One, I wouldn’t have needed them.
Suddenly, things clicked.
Steam spent such a long time — and still does — as the most dominant competitor in town. And for those who invested in the platform early, Steam was like owning an Xbox if the Xbox was the world’s only game console. It’s almost expected at this point that, if a game releases on PC, it’ll come to Steam. But the Epic Games Store is like a hardware company releasing a competing console and signing a bunch of third-party developers to exclusivity deals. It makes your platform of choice feel less than. And that feels bad.
Console owners have lived with this for years and hate it. It’s new for PC gamers, though, and it’s totally understandable that they’d hate it, too. Installing a new launcher isn’t near as costly as buying a new console, mind you. But it comes with all the same headaches. You have to wonder if your friends will also make the jump. You have to accept you’ll have some other list of achievements that won’t have years and years of history. All of your games won’t be located in the same place. It all feels a bit much just to play some game you can’t get anywhere else.
So I apologize, Steam fans. I too, have seen what you’ve seen and experienced what you’ve experienced. And while I’m not bothered by it enough to launch a crusade, I do understand where you’re coming from now. Unfortunately, it looks like the new reality we’ll have to contend with, as it appears the EGS isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So let’s make the best of it. Download the Epic Launcher, scoop up the free games the company gives away every week, play some Fortnite, and hope that yet another store doesn’t come along and try to do the same thing.