Epic Games Store Still Not Profitable

Epic Games is suing Google over the Google Play Store’s policy of taking a 30 percent cut of any in-app transactions. As part of that lawsuit, Epic admitted that its Epic Game Store has yet to turn a profit, which demonstrates just how difficult it is in the real world to use predatory pricing to undercut competitors.

The dominant platform for purchasing PC games is Valve’s Steam. Valve’s competitors and some media outlets have estimated that up to 70 percent of all online PC game sales occur through Steam. Even as far back as 2011, CD Projekt claimed that 80 percent of the online sales of The Witcher 2 occurred through Steam.

In 2018 Epic Games decided to compete with Steam by launching the Epic Games Store. Epic’s main strategy was fairly straightforward: it was predatory pricing all the way down.

Epic announced it would give away one to two games each week for free to draw in users, attempting to undercut Steam by setting the price for many games at free. In 2020, it gave away Grand Theft Auto V for free, which more than 7 million customers took advantage of, and in 2021, more than 19 million users took advantage of its Star Wars Battlefront II giveaway.

Epic has also sponsored game sales in which the company has agreed to absorb the discounted price. So if a game normally sells for $15 and Epic cuts the price to $10 for a sale, it often absorbs the $5 difference.

And how has that worked out? It looks like Epic did little more than set a massive pile of cash on fire without capturing significant market share from Valve or turning a profit. Epic Game Store chief Steve Allison testified in the Google trial that the store’s goal is still growth and that it remains unprofitable.

Epic’s experiences illustrate the problems with using predatory pricing to take market share from competitors. It is an expensive strategy that is difficult to sustain long term and which competitors have many counter-strategies to undermine.

AEW Sting PVC Statue

To be honest, most of the Diamond Select AEW PVC figures have looked very bad. This Sting PVC diorama is the only one I’ve seen that I’d be willing to actually buy and display.

AEW - Sting PVC Statue
AEW – Sting PVC Statue
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‘Halloween Without Trick-or-Treating can be a Hallo-win’

WTAF is this abomination of a CNN opinion piece?

Opinion: Halloween without trick-or-treating can be a Hallo-win
Opinion: Halloween without trick-or-treating can be a Hallo-win

The article goes on for 1,100 words and reads like someone decided to turn one of her diary entries into a light-hearted opinion piece that was rejected by Family Circle for being too cringe.

Ultimately, Ms. Pretzel twists herself into knots to reconcile herself with the land that Halloween forgot,

This year, my family has decided to stay home on Halloween, but we’ve made up for it by going to a trunk-or-treat event, a Halloween carnival and a pumpkin patch earlier in the month. I have to admit: they were all a blast. Between bounce houses and crafts and cookie decorating, dare I say, it may have been more fun than going door-to-door. I started to think about the benefits of being in my non-trick-or-treating neighborhood: I wouldn’t need to fish candy wrappers out of my bushes, wouldn’t need to coax my daughter out of a candy coma on November 1st, plus, we’d been inspired to find fun, new events.

Not being in a trick-or-treating area, I decided, is something of a…well, treat.

Congratulations on your hollow win, I guess?

Hopefully, CNN can move on from its coverage of valium-world problems.

About Those Demands for a Ceasefire Between Israel and Gaza

Protests over the past couple of weeks have called for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.

What most of those demands don’t seem to realize (or don’t care to acknowledge) is that there was a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, mediated by Egypt and agreed upon in May 2023.

Hamas decided to unilaterally violate that ceasefire on October 7, 2023 with the wanton targeting and murder of Israeli civilians, along with hostage-taking on a large scale.

Any call for a ceasefire not contingent on Hamas releasing all hostages and handing over the architects of the October 7 terrorist attack is little more than a call for a unilateral surrender by Israel.

The Most Ivy League Thing Ever

Numerous professors at Columbia University signed off on an open letter in defense of “robust debate about the history and meaning of the war in Israel/Gaza.” Among other things, the letter defends a student statement about the war,

In our view, the student statement aims to recontextualize the events of October 7, 2023, pointing out that military operations and state violence did not begin that day, but rather it represented a military response by a people who had endured crushing and unrelenting state violence from an occupying power over many years. One could regard the events of October 7th as just one salvo in an ongoing war between an occupying state and the people it occupies, or as an occupied people exercising a right to resist violent and illegal occupation, something anticipated by international humanitarian law in the Second Geneva Protocol. In either case armed resistance by an occupied people must conform to the laws of war, which include a prohibition against the intentional targeting of civilians. The statement reflects and endorses this legal framework, including a condemnation of the killing of civilians.

The statement concludes with a demand that Columbia University reverse a decision to create curricular and research programs in Israel, a demand also made by over 100 Columbia faculty last year, and that the university cease issuing statements that favor the suffering and death of Israelis or Jews over the suffering and death of Palestinians, and/or that fail to recognize how challenging this time has been for all students, not just some.

It is worth noting that not all of us agree with every one of the claims made in the students’ statement, but we do agree that making such claims cannot and should not be considered anti-Semitic. Their merits are being debated by governmental and non-governmental agencies at the highest level, and constitute a terrain of completely legitimate political and legal debate.

So, the intentional targeting and slaughter of civilians at a music festival and infants in their beds is to be “recontextualized” as “military action.”

To be honest, it’s hard to be mad. Ivy League professors providing cover for anti-semitism is the most Ivy League thing ever.