22 Mar 2024

Epic Games founder insults Steam and Gabe Newell in email: ‘you suckers’

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Gamesand Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve, featured heated email exchanges revealed in documents from an antitrust case involving Valve and developer Wolfire. The messages revolved around Steam’s commission policies and the introduction of the Epic Games Store as a competitor.

In one of the exchanges, Sweeney harshly criticized Valve’s policies, calling them “idiots” for favoring large publishers over small developers. Valve’s response, through COO Scott Lynch, was a simple ironic question about Sweeney’s emotional state, saying “are you mad bro?” and reflecting Newell’s calm demeanor during the dispute.

Valve’s tongue-in-cheek response and criticism of the Epic Games Store highlight the competition in the game distribution market.Font: Baran Serhat Özer/Medium

Valve is involved in an antitrust lawsuit brought by Wolfire, accusing the company of using its dominant market position to control prices and exclude competitors on Steam. The revelation of these emails, made during the discovery phase of the lawsuit, offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the competition between Valve and the Epic Games Store, with Sweeney expressing his frustration with Steam’s policies.

Disparity in Valve and Epic revenue distributions

Heated email exchanges between Tim Sweeney and Gabe Newell reveal disputes over commission policies at Steam.Fonte:  Epic Games

Sweeney argued that Steam’s 30% commission rates were disproportionate and harmful to smaller developers, while the Epic Games Store offered a flat 12% fee, seeking to challenge the model established by Valve. Email exchanges show a heated debate over revenue distribution between platforms and developers.

The antitrust case addresses the commercial practices of platforms involved in the marketing and publishing of games.The antitrust case addresses the commercial practices of platforms involved in the marketing and publishing of games.Source: Reproduction

Valve’s ironic response, through Scott Lynch, reflected Newell’s stance, which remained distant from public disputes, remaining above the conflict. As Wolfire’s lawsuit continues, questions have been raised about the smaller company’s funding and the coherence of its allegations against Valve, with criticism also aimed at the Epic Games Store.

Despite the tensions in email exchanges, the context of the antitrust process and competition between platforms raises doubts about commercial practices and the dynamics of the games market. What is your opinion about this? Take the opportunity to check out daily videos on our YouTube and TikTok channels.

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