As if the ongoing war between Steam and the Epic Games Store wasn’t enough for you, My.Games, the developer and publisher formerly known as My.com, is entering the digital storefront business. Releasing in Q4 2019, the My.Games Store will not only offer games from a variety of developers (as well as My.Games’ own titles) but also a pair of services that aren’t typically packaged with stores.
In a press release announcing the news, My.Games boasted of having 13 million monthly active users on its Russian platform, Games.Mail.ru, and hopes the new store will bring “a wealth of support and knowledge to studios and publishers looking to reach both a Russian and a global audience.” The years of operating Games.Mail.ru “helped us accumulate unique expertise, develop content distribution technologies, and integrate traffic control and audience monetization systems.”
The My.Games store also comes with “two unique gaming services,” described at follows:
Lootdog allows gamers to trade in-game items for real money securely, while Donation Alerts is a tool to monetize streamer content and put gaming projects in the spotlight.
Donation Alerts seems straightforward enough, similar to other software available to streamers; it’s Lootdog that has me raising an eyebrow. Exchanging in-game items for cash is against the EULA of nearly every game out there, while companies like Valve have faced legal issues for turning a blind eye to the practice on Steam. Making it an officially sanctioned part of one’s game store is a controversial move, to say the least. It especially flies in the face of the “loot boxes aren’t gambling because you can’t make money off of them” defense. Granted, My.Games isn’t a member of the ESA, but lawmakers in various countries are unlikely to grasp that distinction.
The My.Games store will offer a 70/30 revenue split, identical to Steam’s base split — which is more favorable for games with a larger install base — and well below the Epic Games Store’s 88/12 split. The store is currently in beta and will launch globally later this year.