Gearbox CEO: Steam "May Look Like a Dying Store" in 5 to 10 Years

Gearbox CEO: Steam "May Look Like a Dying Store" in 5 to 10 Years

Randy Pitchford has some predictions about Steam.

Gearbox CEO and founder Randy Pitchford batted for Epic Games Store again this week after posting a multi-tweet thread in response to one fan who reached out to Pitchford asking him why Borderlands 3 isn't launching on Steam. Borderlands 3 is set to be a timed-exclusive on the Epic Games Store when it launches in September, and Pitchford is confident this is the best move for the game.

One fan reached out to Pitchford on Twitter and asked the Gearbox founder to consider that fans are upset by the decision to make Borderlands 3 a timed Epic Games Store-exclusive. Pitchford, saying he had some time, asked the fan to give him their best argument as to why Steam would be better than the Epic Games Store for Borderlands 3.

The fan referenced Steam's overall featureset, which has been a major sticking point for Steam users when discussing the Epic Games Store. Pitchford then launched into his own defense of the Epic Games Store as both a platform, and what it signifies for the overall PC games market.

"Epic has published a near term road map. This road map includes a look into things they are committing to. If I were a betting man, I would expect that there are more things that happen than what they are committing to," Pitchford said while referencing the public Trello Epic Games released outlining the roadmap for upcoming features for the EGS. These features include requested services like user reviews and better search functionality.

Pitchford then explained that in the long-run, Epic Games Store is better suited to take on Steam which Pitchford says holds a "monopoly," on the PC games market. According to Pitchford Epic is "the only guys who can really come along to disrupt Steam's monopoly" and that, "From a track record point of view, my expectation is that Epic's investment in technology will outpace Valve's substantially. When we look back at Steam in five or ten years, it may look like a dying store and other, competitive stores, will be the place to be."

Pitchford has a relationship with both Valve and Epic Games Store, as an employee and developer for the former, and publishing partner for the latter. It should also be noted that the decision to publish Borderlands 3 on the Epic Games Store was made by 2K Games, not Pitchford, but he appears happy with the decision.

There has been a vocal contingent of customers opposed to the Epic Games Store. The reasons range from Epic Games' focus on exclusivities, to a fear that the Epic Games Store is spyware for the Chinese government. Ultimately however, Epic appears driven to compete with Steam and views its competitive revenue share system and exclusive games as a viable—though not necessarily long-term—strategy to help get customers away from Steam.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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