Indie Game Store itch.io has Joined Epic Games Store
Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, is adding a new indie storefront to its store which adds an extra 3,400 VR titles. It has now become a store within a store.
The indie games storefront itch.io is now available as a downloadable app in the Epic Games Store. itch.io has grown into a highly popular platform where indie developers distribute different types of indie games. The Epic Games Store is a storefront with only a few PC apps so the incorporation of the indie platform is a massive boost to its repertoire of apps. Epic’s audience gets an opportunity to sample a massive collection of indie works.
The popular indie platform has thousands of free and paid indie titles including some simple tech demos, adventure games as well as survival co-op games.
The addition of itch.io to Epic Games Store puts the indie platform in a storefront with approximately 31.3 million active daily users. It will also give Epic customers access to more than 200,000 titles. The money that users spend within the app will go entirely to itch.io and the developers. In a statement to Polygon, Epic said that it will not earn anything from the sales in the itch.io app. However, for the sales within the Epic Games Store, Epic will take 12%. Steam, on the other hand, relies on a staggered system where between 20% and 30% goes to Valve depending on the income.
With its integration of itch.io, Epic has taken another step away from being a games-only platform into something of a conventional app store. Spotify appeared as the first non-gaming app on the Epic Games Store last year. The apps iHeartRadio, the web browser Brave, the modeling tool KenShape as well as the painting software Krita have also been available this week.
By offering its massive user base direct access to itch.io, the Epic Games Store could also become a more attractive prospect for virtual reality gamers. Currently, there are over 3,400 VR titles on itch.io including some 350 premium VR titles. Some successful VR titles such as GORN and COMPOUND also started on the indie platform before they were subsequently sold in Steam Early Access. This is also a major VR boost for the Epic Games Store which currently hosts a handful of VR titles if you factor out the titles on itch.io. Some of the popular VR titles on Epic are Tetris Effect and Trover Saves the Universe.
However, this dearth of VR titles on Epic is likely to change soon. The platform is currently working on a games store that is geared specifically for virtual reality and augmented reality content. This new Epic VR platform should be both device and platform-independent on the basis of OpenXR. This VR-focused Epic Store could also serve as the building block for Epic’s long-term future vision of a metaverse. Recently, Epic Games raised $1 billion for its own Metaverse plans including $200 million from Sony. In March this year, Epic purchased the professional photogrammetry software solution, Capturing Reality. This, coupled with the Metahuman Creator could see the beginning of the creation of realistic computer people which could populate Epic’s Metaverse in virtual reality.