Epic Games Store Expands To Offer Windows Apps Like Brave and Discord
Epic is now adding five new PC apps to its Epic Games Store launcher, with the goal of offering more than just games. Indie game store Itch.io is coming to the Epic Games Store today, alongside the open source browser Brave, the iHeartRadio streaming radio app, the KenShape 3D model tool, and the paint app. open source Krita. These are the first new PC apps from the Epic Games Store since Spotify launched in December.
Epic Games promises to add more PC apps in the future, including the Discord communications app. There’s even a new section in the Epic Games Store dedicated to PC apps, so it’s clear that Epic has ambitions to run its own Windows Store here. This is not entirely surprising, as Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has long been clamoring for app templates and open stores on Windows. Microsoft’s own Windows store hasn’t become a popular location for the large amount of Windows apps and games, and popular apps like Adobe Creative Suite, Chrome, Discord, and Zoom aren’t even in the app store. Windows.
Epic will face challenges similar to Microsoft’s in convincing developers to list their apps in a store, but it takes a slightly different approach. Epic doesn’t take any discounts on in-app purchases, so if you download Itch.io for free from the Epic Games Store, nothing goes to Epic when you buy an indie game.
This approach is also what Epic Games wants to see elsewhere with the app stores. Sweeney was impressed with Microsoft’s new open model for Windows and HoloLens 2 a few years ago, but Apple is firmly in Epic’s sights right now.
Epic’s antitrust lawsuit with Apple begins May 3, after Epic sued Apple for deleting Fortnite from the App Store. Epic added a direct payout system to the Battle Royale shooter that avoided Apple’s 30% revenue cut, which violated Apple policies. Epic is now questioning Apple’s entire App Store model, in the most significant legal challenge Apple has faced since the Xerox days.
At the heart of the battle is the 30% surcharge, or âApp Store tax,â that Apple imposes on in-app purchases made through the App Store. Epic accuses Apple of using its power in the iOS market to dominate the aftermarket of app distribution, and it wants Apple to allow competing app stores on iOS and change the tax on the App Store. If Epic is successful, we may see an Epic Games Store on iOS with apps and games similar to the PC version expansion.
Epic’s PC apps extension also comes just days after rumors surfaced about Microsoft’s plans for a new Windows app store. Microsoft is reportedly working on a major overhaul of its Windows app store, which could allow developers to submit any Windows app to the store. This includes browsers like Chrome or Firefox, and Microsoft may even allow third-party commerce platforms in apps.