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Influencers are one of the main 'discovery engines' on the Epic Games Store

Epic Games Store’s director of publishing strategy and SteamSpy creator, Sergey Galyonkin, posted some clarifications on Twitter in regards to the role of influencers on the store. This comes after a ResetEra post that purported to summarise statements Galyonkin made on his Russian-language podcast caused some concerns. 

The post, which provides a great deal of commentary but almost no direct quotes, made the rounds yesterday. One thing that stood out was the 20 percent figure that Galyonkin offered as an example of what he might expect an indie developer to spend on influencers. It’s an extraordinarily high number, especially when compared to the 5 percent he gave as an example for larger, publisher-backed games. 

On Twitter, Galyonkin clarified that it’s not mandatory and that he believes giving developers the option to send referral links to influencers, thereby giving them a share of the revenue, creates more parity between indie developers and big publishers. 

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So developers won’t have to send referral links to influencers, but of course Epic expects them to. Galyonkin even calls influencers “one of the main discovery engines”, and it’s creating a marketplace where developers can devote a percentage of their revenue to get their attention. 

As for making influencers one of the primary methods of discovering games when they’re invested in its success, Galyonkin doesn’t see a conflict of interest. When asked if it would lead to universally positive coverage, he didn’t believe it would affect their judgement.

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The way the referral program works is that influencers will only make money by referring people to the game. If they say it’s awful, their audience isn't likely to buy the game and they’re not going to get paid. 

Epic will cover 5 percent of revenue sharing for the first 24 months, it revealed in a blog post last year. It wasn't clear if that meant from the game's launch or from the Epic Games Store's launch, but I've confirmed that it's the latter. Next year, developers will need to shell out themselves. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.