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Making a custom OSS for UE4

UPDATE: Epic Games is releasing their own Store so I’m considering moving to it as it’s a cheaper alternative and then I wouldn’t have to develop an OSS. (which I may still do)

So at ACE I’ve decided to roll out our own OSS rather than use Steam. This will allow us to obtain more revenue to invest back into development and expand the company.


Steam vs Custom OSS

There are a ton of pros for using Steam and more cons for making a custom OSS, but I’m going to tell you why I chose to create our own OSS for ACE rather than use Steam.

The current title that ACE is working on is an FPS title. It doesn’t require/need many Steam features other than Friends List, Lobbies, and maybe Achievements in the future. While using Steam is a benefit for distribution it doesn’t make sense to pay a ¹large amount of revenue to Valve for just a few features that we use. We can’t justify losing that much revenue when this title will take a good amount of money to keep going. The cut that Steam would take would keep the title going for a while.


The sauce?

The push for this was having issues with Steam internally with UE4. We even swapped out to UWorks and still continued to have issues that made no sense.

The idea was inspired by Battlestate Games from their launcher for Escape From Tarkov and even studios like EA, Blizzard, and Bethesda.

Most of the AAA industry are moving off of Steam to keep that cut or whatever reason. (I assume it has to do with the Steam cut, but they may have a custom license with Valve so…) I completely understand decisions like this from a business standpoint, but as a consumer it’s stupid that I have to download an excessive amount of launchers to play a game. I’m aware that ACE isn’t a AAA company, but it’s nice to have custom built stuff.

This decision may actually hurt ACE, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. There are plenty of other titles that have pulled this off over the years and I believe that we can also. After all, we just want to make a great game that we want to play.

For us it makes sense to not release on Steam right away so we can make more money to improve rather than pay Valve for distribution. We do lose the “free” advertisement that Valve does, but Steam isn’t ²special anymore.


ACEOSS

The features that we’re going to have out of the box are:

I know it’s not that much, but it’s all that we really need for this FPS title. We’re also going to integrate this stuff into our website so you can see your in-game stats, friends list, etc on the site and share them with friends if you choose to do so.


What now?

We’ve thought about releasing on Steam in the future, after we make enough money where Steam’s cut doesn’t affect us as much.

The idea or plan is to complete the OSS in 1-2 months (if possible), have the launcher built, and fully integrate the OSS into the FPS title.

Edit: I forgot to also say that in the Steam cut they’re processing payments which is great. Now that we’re doing our own OSS we’ll have to do that also. With Stripe and PayPal it’s 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction so it’s certainly better than Steams cut. :p

Until next time