Sergiy Galyonkin – aka Mr. SteamSpy himself – has left Epic Games after almost a decade at the Fortnite maker, including six years as its director of publishing strategy, saying that he is no longer “a good fit” for the publisher.
After a number of years in the games industry, Galyonkin came to wider internet fame in 2015 as the mind behind Steam data-tracking site SteamSpy, which estimated handy info such as playtime and game sales on Valve’s PC storefront by gathering data from users’ profiles.
That info was especially handy for Epic, who hired Galyonkin as Eastern European head of publishing in 2016. Galyonkin then shifted into the role of director of publishing strategy shortly after and helped the Unreal maker launch its own Steam rival, the Epic Games Store, in 2018, using some of the data from SteamSpy. That same year, Valve updated its privacy settings, cutting off access to the data that SteamSpy had been built on.
“We challenged the status quo in game distribution with the 88/12 revenue share,” Galyonkin said of his time at Epic.
Announcing on Twitter that today, October 2nd, was his last day at Epic, Galyonkin expressed gratitude to “my former Epic Games colleagues and Tim Sweeney for allowing me to help build Epic 4.0”.
“Now, Epic Games is on its way to transforming from a game developer, engine creator, and publisher into a platform – Epic 5.0,” Galyonkin continued. “I am not a good fit for this new version of Epic; it requires people of a different kind.”
He was also there for the launch of Fortnite in 2017, which he said “became one of those self-reinforcing cultural phenomena I wrote about just a year prior” in proving that “free-to-play without pay-to-win can work at scale”.
— Sergiy Galyonkin (@galyonkin) October 2, 2023
Galyonkin expressed thanks for Epic’s donation of $144 million to support charities working in Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion, saying “it means the world to me [and] I will forever be grateful”.
Galyonkin confirmed that he would remain in the games industry, saying he “hope[s] to be more vocal now that I don’t have to worry about the PR department knocking on my DMs”.
Galyonkin did not confirm whether his departure was related to Epic’s recent announcement that it would lay off more than 800 staff as the result of heavy investment and lower than predicted revenue returns from Fortnite.