Epic CEO Tim Sweeney called Valve "assholes" over Steam's platform fees

by Danny Craig  · 
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney called Valve "assholes" over Steam's platform fees

In an old email thread between Valve president and co-founder Gabe Newell and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, the latter gets frustrated about store fees for developers selling their games on Steam.

The details:

  • The email thread, spotted by GameDiscoverCo, was shared as part of an ongoing antitrust lawsuit between Valve and the game developer Wolfire. Beginning in 2017, when Newell asked if Valve was doing anything to "annoy" Epic, Sweeney responded that Steam's 30% platform fees are "no longer justifiable." He went on to say that the little marketing you get from releasing on the platform is "far disproportionate to the fee."

  • Sweeney spoke out in support of smaller developers in an email from 2018 after Valve introduced a new fee scale that only took 25% or even 20% from higher-selling games. “Right now, you assholes are telling the world that the strong and powerful get special terms, while 30% is for the little people,” the CEO said. We're all in for a prolonged battle if Apple tries to keep their monopoly and 30% by cutting backroom deals with big publishers to keep them quiet. Why not give ALL developers a better deal?”

  • Amusingly, this email was then forwarded internally to Newell and Erik Johnson by Valve COO Scott Lynch, along with the classic trolling catchphrase “You mad bro?”

  • Epic and Apple's legal battle began when the former attempted to circumvent the tech company's App Store fees, resulting in the removal of Fortnite from iOS devices and the recent suspension of Epic's developer account. Conversely, Valve is still being sued by Wolfire for essentially price fixing, with the case now in the "discovery" stage.

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