“The missing puzzle piece in Unreal Engine development and for deployment, success.”
Why not add hosting with a similar business model like Gamesparks.com does, just dediated for Unreal Engine? Currently GS does not offer multiplayer server (working on it since around Nov 2015), and implementation via Steam seems not very straight forward and lacks in many regards.
Another reason to pick UE
Another possible revenue system for Epic
Would help developers who are not experienced with network infrastructure, or lack resources
Would result in more UE games
Would result in more multiplayer games
Optional for existing and future UE devs.
Requires robust scalable network infrastructure
Requires additional service staff
Requires dedicated development team
Distribution platform, via UE game client, think Steam
Backend tailored to offer BP and code setup via server backend for dedicated tasks and game functionality
Backend editor for game admin tasks
Integrated setup for easy integration of game features, eg. achievement system, login, highscores / ladder
Hosting of game client (See also Google Buckets)
Extensions could be tailored framework marketplace additions (UE backend compatible), which once bought, would become available in the Unreal Engine Backend, eg. chat system, quest system, auction house etc. This would tremendously help to unify code setups, and streamline development. Thus, offer easily accessible logs, debug tools, database editing for quests and such.
How long would it take to setup the integral parts of such a system? With scalability in mind, and possible partners like Google Cloud, Amazon, Azure etc (Epic could pick their partner or do it alone based on existing infrastructure, but i would pick Google), a reasonable time frame to begin testing it seems.
To assemble the required team should be also not a big issue, looking at the skills around here, and the company’s brand and resources.
Imagine the new UE experience layer, start the “UE game client”, begin browsing all the new games from games actively developed, or switch to the shop tap. Steam would be no longer a requirement.
While initial costs and directed resources would require some commitment, once the infrastructure and software is in place, you basically are down to administration tasks, depending on scalability. If for instance a specific title becomes successful you could put a revenue system in place to compensate and for your revenue share. Or you get a share from each title (Steam is about 30ish % i read somewhere). This would also bring all the existing Epic games under one hood.
Tim Sweeney thinks Microsoft will make Steam “progressively worse” How would Microsoft destroy win32 platform? - General Discussion - Unreal Engine Forums