This is great news. Now is possible to download the games without installing the launcher?
I just want to clarify, but I do need to download the Epic Store launcher first in order to download the games right? Beyond that point, I'll be able to download and play the games without having to login to the launcher? Somehow I can't find a place where I could just simply download my games from the Epic Store website, which leads me to the assumption that I need to download the launcher first as a prerequisite.
Unfortunately Epic works more like Steam than GOG in that you need to use the Launcher / Client to get the files for the first time. Once you have those files though, you can copy / zip up the game folder to a backup drive and "reinstalling" in future should be as simple as copying / unzipping the files back and starting the game via its .exe (or making a Start Menu shortcut link). You could also theoretically add that to Galaxy / Steam as a 3rd party game.
One more question, will updates still go through the launcher or will the games receive updates directly from their respective developers?
It's like Steam - updates are always unfortunately through the Launcher. No way around that.