The studio keeps expanding to new areas
Epic Games is now a publisher
Most of us know Epic Games as the studio responsible for Fortnite. They also became a direct competitor to Steam by creating the Epic Games Store and quite a lot of controversy with the way it was run. What’s next? Well, publishing games, it seems.
An epic start for Epic Games
The fame of Epic Games skyrocketed in 2017 with Fortnite. The Battle Royale title quickly became one of the most played online games – ever. Now, a few years later, Fortnite is still as popular and it doesn’t look like anyone will dethrone it soon. Epic also made an investment of over $70 million into the esports scene with Fortnite tournaments.
Due to the success of the Battle Royale title, Epic Games branched out to digital marketing and created the Epic Games Store. It quickly became Steam’s biggest competitor as it offered better deals for the developers. Steam offered 70 percent of sales to the developers while Epic increased that to 88. It was really hard to say "no" to that and many games were even an exclusive release for the platform, delaying their launch on Steam sometimes with months. The store was created in December 2018.
Branching out even further
Two years later, Epic Games is making the next logical step – becoming a publisher. The news came last week when Epic made the announcement on their website. According to the statement, the company is entering a new multiplatform publishing effort with a developer-first approach. There are already three developers who partnered with the newly-founded publisher:
- gen DESIGN – formed by Fumito Ueda, who’s responsible for Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian
- Playdead – the studio based in Denmark is the one behind indie titles like Limbo and Inside, both of which are 2d sidescrollers with a dark atmosphere.
- Remedy Entertainment – Perhaps the most famous one of the three is Remedy. The company goes way back to Max Payne which came in 2001, then Alan Wake, Quantum Break and most recently – Control. That last one was also an exclusive on the Epic Games Store so it comes as no surprise that the two are teaming up now.
Sweetening the deal
Epic Games are once again offering a killer deal that is simply too good to miss out. According to the official statement, the distribution will go as follows:
- Full creative freedom and ownership. Developers retain 100% of all intellectual property and full creative control of their work.
- Fully-funded projects. Epic Games Publishing will cover up to 100% of development costs, from developer salaries to go-to-market expenses such as QA, localization, marketing, and all publishing costs.
- 50/50 profit sharing. Developers earn a fair share for their work – once costs are recouped, developers earn at least 50% of all profits.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney commented
We’re building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves when we worked with publishers.
Head of Epic Games Publishing Hector Sanchez added:
gen DESIGN, Remedy, and Playdead are among the most innovative and talented studios in the industry, with strong visions for their next games. They will have full creative control, while Epic will provide a solid foundation of project funding and services.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen some really promising titles get rushed due to deadlines and costs. The results were less than satisfying as most games in that scenario would get released unfinished which cost both the publisher and developer’s reputation.
Epic’s deal seems to be on another level and the three partners should experience full creative control without having to worry about any lack of funding. If all goes as planned, chances are we’ll see many more developers hop to Epic Games.
Stay tuned for more gaming news.