Epic Games is continuing to make deals to keep new releases off of Steam, but not all of those timed semi-exclusives are huge brands from major publishers. As part of its promotional efforts at the PAX West fan event this weekend, the company is focusing on smaller indies.
Epic’s PAX West Showcase features eight indies from a variety of developers.
Here are the games:
- Ooblets: Best known for sparking a firestorm of harassment and anger over its decision to go exclusive on the Epic Games Store. But Ooblets is an adorable game where you raise the titular creatures on a farm and then get into dance battles.
- No Straight Roads: This is a music-based action game where you control an indie band that is fighting against the evil electronica empire.
- Manifold Garden: An exploration game that takes you into a dream-like world with twisted structures and physics.
- Superliminal: A puzzle game where you can manipulate objects in the world by changing your perspective. For example, hold a locked door, and then watch as it gets smaller as you move closer to the frame.
- The Alto Collection: A bundle that includes Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey snowboarding platformers. The Alto series debuted on mobile devices, and now it is coming to PC for the first time.
- Airborne Kingdom: A city-management sim where you oversee a floating town in the sky.
- Eternal Cylinder: A survival game where you control a family of alien creatures in an open world.
- Wattam: A physics playground where you get to meet talking trees and sushi. This is the latest game from Katamari Damacy developer Keita Takahashi.
Steam doesn’t do anything like the Epic Games Store Showcase
Epic’s PAX West Showcase is an indicator of how it differs from the competition. While Steam is a huge platform with millions of potential customers, it’s easy to overlook smaller games.
The Epic Games Store, however, can give a lot more attention and store real estate to each new game since it has a fraction of the library of Steam.
But Epic is actually doing more than that. With the Showcase, it is actively marketing games that are coming to its platform. Valve doesn’t do anything like that. You don’t see a Steam Showcase that emphasizes fascinating new releases. Instead, Valve focuses on programmatic solutions to customize its store for each person. That leads to useful tools like Steam Labs where Valve recommends you games based on what you already own and play.
Smaller devs are probably less interested in the chance of showing up in some algorithm. Getting a guarantee to show up in an Epic trailer is more appealing. And that is one of the biggest differences between the two platforms at the moment.