EPIC Games Store adds Indie game store Itch.io and a few other apps: Is Fortnite developer moving beyond gaming and challenging Google, Apple?

EPIC Games Store Itch.io
EPIC adds Itch.io. Pic credit: amrothman/Pixabay

EPIC Games Store has added Itch.io. The liberal marketplace for indie game developers will continue to remain an independent platform, but will now gain millions of potential gamers on EPIC’s virtual games store.

Fortnite developer has added indie online storefront Itch.io as a downloadable app to the EPIC Games Store. Additionally, the store has received a few interesting non-gaming apps. It appears EPIC wants to expand beyond gaming, and possibly challenge Apple and Google.

Itch.io joining EPIC Games gives thousands of indie developers a big marketplace:

Digital storefront Itch.io, a popular platform for distributing indie games, is coming to a different storefront. Itch.io already has a separate, downloadable desktop app, and more importantly, it will continue to function independently.

Itch.io joining forces with EPIC Games will certainly benefit both parties. More importantly, it will benefit the thousands of independent game developers who struggle against big giants.

Game developers offering their creations on Itch.io now have ready access to Epic Game Store’s roughly 31.3 million active daily users. Incidentally, the virtual game store reportedly has over 160 million users as of January 2021.

EPIC Games Store, on the other hand, instantly adds over 200,000 titles from Itch.io. Speaking about the collaboration, a representative from Itch.io said: “Itch.io is a collection of some of the most unique, interesting, and independent creations you’ll find on the web.”

“Bringing the Itch.io app to the Epic Games Store will give us an opportunity to widen the audience of people who can discover the diverse collection of indie works that we host.”

EPIC Games has reportedly confirmed that Itch.io has merely added itself to the virtual game store. EPIC will not take any percentage of sales of the games that EPIC members buy from the Itch.io app. This also means that game developers will continue to honor their agreement with Itch.io about a commission from game sales.

EPIC adds five non-game apps, signaling a much bigger ambition?

Apart from adding Itch.io, EPIC has welcomed five non-game apps. These are as follows:

  • Brave – A free, open-source web browser that allows folks to send “Basic Attention Tokens” to websites via cryptocurrency blockchains, which sounds horrible.
  • KenShape– A simple but cool piece of software that lets you turn simple 2D-pixel art drawings into blocky 3D models that can then be exported into various game engines.
  • Krita– This painting and drawing app has been around for a while now and is already popular. Now it’s on the Epic Games Store.
  • iHeartRadio– A podcast and internet radio service that lets people listen to hundreds of radio stations from around the country or a huge list of podcasts.

Back in December 2020, EPIC Games had added Spotify. Such inclusions to the EPIC Games Store strongly hint the parent company has bigger plans.

It seems Epic Games Store is not sticking to games and is gradually moving towards creating its own app store. It is currently engaged in a legal battle with Apple Inc. At the center of discontent is the latter’s seemingly restrictive and controlling iOS App Store policies.

A comprehensive EPIC Games App Store could not only compete with Apple but could also take on Google Play Store. Although EPIC’s current selection is nowhere close to the tech giants, platforms such as Itch.io have suddenly boosted virtual merchandise.

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