¿Is the EPIC Games Store, honestly... open to Indie developers using UE, and how to succed?

I checked the publish form: Publish on the Epic Games Store

Not really a great deal of requirements, basic information like:

  • Name and email
  • Company (which is a must… misleading to: no indies)
  • Company website (not even game website…)
  • Game title
  • Video Link (not even packaged build link, to test it…)

Maybe this simple and basic questionnaire is misleading, because if I go to the Epic Store and choose “indie” there are multiple games, some have publishers, but most don’t, released by their own developer, single name also as company (which is great), but from the questionnaire I wonder if there are more steps or ¿can you really decide which games to approve, just based on a video link on youtube? without testing languages, gamepad, options, FPS, possibilities, or is it just looks what matters?

Is there someone from the Indie community, who has been accepted, and can tell us what is the formula to achieve it, specially when you are not a part of a bigger company, what to do, not to do? Is having nice gameplay, multiple languages, website, and gamepad compatibility enough? or there are some additional recommendations that no one told you before applying; The documentation page also has basic Q/A like “developers have to be flexible” … I have no idea how, I bend OK … LOL

Other PC stores (top 3 PC stores) have a relatively quick process, some are like … they die for you to release as soon as possible (even Steam, in my own experience), you can release in 2 weeks “tops” and this is the review period, just 2 weeks or less, (most developers wait longer by their own decision for more wishlists, now a new feature for the Epic Store), review and paperwork at other stores is very fast, it takes a few days (2-7 from submission & signatures, some even digital to make it faster), most give you a free promotion, YES free! and make you wait about 2 weeks so they can schedule it … but with the Epic Games Store, I have no idea how anything works and what to expect, and this is a cool subject before the release of UE5.

Share your thoughts here!

A video is the easiest way to make a first filter, it is absurd for someone to waste time testing your game if it is already seen in the video that it sucks.
I suppose that the flexible thing is because epic works more with if it were a publisher than as a store site where you can host anything.
And like all publishers they want you to make changes or improvements.

First store, in my personal experience, that doesn’t test a game first, watching a Batlefield 2042 gameplay and playing it, it’s a complete different experience, also some games, have pre rendered footage. Both the other best PC stores, require a build for testings before activating the store page, it is not absurd… unless you don’t have enough personal for testings and you rely in 1 subjective opinion, both top PC stores are quite open to Indies of any kind, even projects that are still in their final stages of development.

but also some console stores require builds, and for instance some companies that I know even send their builds for testings when they only have their first demo level finished, which is very smart…, because if the console store doesn’t like it, you can make better decisions, stop development and invest in other projects, It would be a waist… to work in a project for 5 years and then… the store doesn’t even like the first level and you waist millions of dollars… that’s absurd; also… if the store likes your demo, it is easier to get investors for your project and make it even better, hire more personal, make the game longer, even test their gameplay better… some console stores even go further and If they like the demo of some company so much, they might release short clips from those 1 level gameplays in private or public events, just to watch public reaction.

That’s a pretty cool and modern approach as long as it’s pro-positive, meaning there’s a lot of communication, you’re not alone; other stores, when your game is finished, do suggest changes occasionally and based on their gaming experience (this happens in the first 7 days from the first request and build upload, it never took more than 12 days in my experience), but they never force you to do anything, you can agree or not and they still approve you, unless… that there is a basic pre-requisite not reached or your game description is promising more than the real gameplay, and then downgrading the experience (which does happens with videos, and game descriptions), but after those 7 days, I have never been contacted again with suggestions, after the release, comments come directly from consumers, and that’s when you start updating your game; most of the time the only reason for them to contact you back, is if the game is selling well, or you make more than 8K Wishlist’s and then they want to make more free promo for you, some way, maybe including your game in an special event, not sales, because those are programed by you, even 6 months in advance.

In an uncut video of gameplay you not only see the graphic quality, you see the overall of the game and the style of the game. They don’t want to see if it has good graphics, or gameplay just to see that it’s not a game of some orcs raping elves or an clear asset flip.
Steam does not have an initial quality filter, they do not care, they only test the game to see that it is not a real fake or it is an exe full of viruses. And for them to test it you have to pay $ 100 that they only return when you win 1000.

I think you are mixed looking for financing with publishing a finalized game on consoles.
To publish on consoles the first steps are a design document, and if they accept it, you only talk to them again when the game is completely finished and you send it to the tests

If you are looking for financing, well that’s what you say, a mini demo is made and you send it to all the publishers you can

Not true… not sure why people still believe that IA is actually approving games in that store, I actually don’t like Steam, that’s why I’m considering Epic, but they do play your game… my experience of course, actually one time I had to delay my game release 1 month, because they wanted me to include an specific feature, leaderboards, I tried but my concept wasn’t that much into it, I explained this to the help desk, an they said it was only a suggestion and approved my game, I did lost my original date, but even do I had to move the date, they still gave the first week of promo (which you can actually loose If you change dates constantly)

not talking about trying to get financing, just the over all chances you get, by getting a first impression, before starting a long journey of 5 to 7 years, and they might just play for 1 minute and since style is subjective, they might feel the spirit of the project is not for this 1 person, and reject it first hand, and then tell you “sorry we just have too many great project by the moment, you can try in the future”… LOL

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I have two games on steam and it has never seemed to me that I was talking to a human being, they have not asked or required anything.

I do have, the first time I released a game on Steam, my description had “gamepad compatibility” but some of my widgets only had keyboard button suggestions, because I though “gamepad” was actually a “possibility” but they explained that if it was a possibility, I should remove it from the description unless I was sure it worked completely, then I had to edit that game, that time, I did have to make that change before store page approval and I talked with a human being, actually his name also appeared in the review with his feedback in the store page back end, and those widgets appeared after 20 minutes of gameplay.

Another time, they said they constantly had problems with Unreal Engine games, because they lack some windows system requirements and for that reason they included them in the store page, so basically they explained to me (step by step) how to enable them from the store back end, I actually made a question about this years ago in here, because I wanted to include them in the build,
I also didn’t know how to enable the mid button to open Steam from the controller, and they request me to add this feature during the 7 day period of review, I also made a desperate question about that in here, but they said no worries you can add it latter, they just emphasized that this was important for them, so I added this like 15 days after the release, because in that UE version the button wasn’t named, or something like that, but finally I was able to include it, and by the time, the game was already released.

aa ok, but they are not changes in the game they only make sure that what you put in the store is what the game offers. That reduces returns.
I meant compared to a publisher who can ask you for changes even in the core of the gameplay

I agree, but a real publisher in todays world, distributes games across many platforms, like console (PS, Switch) or android and finances development, they pay you in advance, for editing and working on the game, feedback is based on their experience across all platforms, not just PC, that’s why a publisher is sometimes a great partner when a contract between both is fair, which most cases it is not, that’s why some great video games never had a second part.