Epic Games has added several new applications to the Epic Games Store, including, apparently, another game store. The digital store Itch.io, a darling of the indie community, is now one of Epic’s new apps, meaning there’s now a game store inside of your game store.
Epic’s announcement refers to Itch.io thus: “itch.io is an DRM free indie focused open game store, where the developer sets their price (or no price) and controls the revenue share as well. Simply put, it’s a marketplace for hosting indie games with a ‘pay what you want’ pricing model. Anyone can quickly upload their game and then customize the game’s page.”
The two stores have a little bit in common, in that both are geared towards helping game developers keep as much money as possible. The way Itch.io usually works is that developers can decide what percentage of each game’s sales goes back to the site itself. Epic’s whole deal is that it offers a better profit split than Steam. An Epic rep (a Repic?) confirmed to Polygon that the Itch.io store will work independently of Epic Games, and Epic won’t take a percentage of any sales made through the Itch.io store.
As for why Epic’s adding another game store inside its game store, I’m inclined to repeat the theory that it might be a public thumbing of its nose at Apple. In protest (and by “protest” we mean a messy legal battle) of Apple’s 30% cut, Epic wants to put its own store within the App Store, and doing so with Itch.io without taking any profit from the latter comes across as Epic passive-aggressively saying, “See? It can be done.” The other apps to be added to the Epic Store include iHeartRadio, open-source browser Brave, painting software Krita, and modeling software KenShape.