Epic Games Store added a better games store, Itch.io

Epic Games keep doing weird things that I don’t understand. I’m not talking about this whole #FreeFortnite debacle with Apple (although I guess it could be somewhat related). No, this time it’s about the weird choices of PC apps they are bringing to their store. Today they added the Itch.io app which is another best game store which is technically a competitor? They’ve also added a handful of other apps and created a new section in the storefront where you can find them all – an app store, if you will.

Itch.io is an independent store where developers can quickly set up pages to sell their projects. Some games are free, some games are paid, others have fixed prices for which you can pay a little more, if you wish. You can access it in your browser or through its own launcher. Starting today, you can also grab the Itch client from the new apps section of the Epic Games Store. While Itch sells games without DRM, some also offer Steam keys. So you can now buy Steam games from the Epic Games Store.

As strange as it may be that Epic added it, I guess that’s a good thing for Itch. It’s a small store with tons of fabulous indies, and being available through a big storefront like Epic will likely make more people check it out. I still don’t know what’s in Epic, but hey, more Itch.io is definitely not a bad thing.

This new addition is part of Epic Games’ efforts to add a bunch of apps to their store. It started in December with Spotify, which was also odd. It would make more sense to me if Spotify had some sort of integration with the Epic Launcher, but no, it’s just the app.

Apps arriving alongside Itch.io today include Brave (an open source web browser), KenShape (a tool that can turn 2D pixel art into 3D models), Krita (a digital painting app), and iHeart Radio. (a radio streaming service – although this is only available in North America). In a press release, Epic says more apps are on the way in the future, including their own Houseparty video chat service and the video, voice and text chat app Discord.

Not the strangest of Epic moves, Steam also offers non-gaming software. The addition of these apps by Epic seems like another step in their efforts to compete with other digital stores. They’ve already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on exclusives, but their client is still missing a lot of the features they found in Steam, and they’re still catching up.

Whatever Epic does, it might at least get you to check out Itch.io if you haven’t already. Last week Alice Bee discovered three free Pico-8 games with great titles on the indie store, such as Go Fast Deliver Things and Sneaky Stealy. Very pretty names indeed.