In their continued effort to court more games and customers, Epic are getting ready to expand the options for developers releasing on the Epic Games Store. Until now, Epic say they've had an internal, manual process for publishing to the store, which they'd like to now start getting into the hands of developers. They're opening up a closed beta program for their self-publishing tools, which will allow developers to set up their own product pages, pricing, game updates, and more on the EGS.
Developer publishing tools are something that Epic have been planning for a while now on their roadmap for the store. "To date, we’ve only had a manual process that relied on the Epic internal team for each step in publishing the more than 650 games and apps currently available," they explain on the signup page for the self-publishing closed beta.
Epic say that the goal for self-publishing is to "streamline the process for developers to set up their own product pages, achievements, pricing, offers, and upload builds and updates on the Epic Games Store." The Epic Store doesn't have universal achievements just yet, mind, but that's also been on the work in progress list.
There are restrictions and requirements, so the process likely isn't going entirely hands-off. Epic say that games with multiplayer will be required to support grouping with players across all PC storefronts. They also have a list of prohibitions such as discriminatory content, pornography, and, you know, actual malware. Epic say that "published products receiving complaints about content that does not meet the criteria may be subject to re-review and removal."
Epic also call out their 88%/12% revenue split with developers. That'll be in contrast to Steam's standard 70%/30% split. Otherwise, the move towards self-publishing does of course resemble the Steam Direct method of publishing that Valve introduced back in 2017 to replace the Greenlight program.
Getting publishing tools into the hands of developers will certainly speed up the rate of games getting added to EGS which is, of course, an important goal for Epic.
They don't say when they expect self-publishing tools to be completely available, but signups for the closed beta are open as of today.