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Epic Games Store gives developers 100% of revenue in exchange for 6 months of exclusivity

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Epic Games Store could be getting a huge influx of new games in the near future.

Image: Epic Games
Image: Epic Games

The most important time for any developers trying to get their sea legs on the harsh sea known as the game industry is the first few months after a game releases. It’s the make-or-break time of the development cycle when everything they’ve developed, maintained, and polished comes to a head.

Epic Games understands that, too, as they’ve made a few games themselves. So, this week, they announced that they’re introducing the Epic First Run program.

The Epic First Run program is designed to give developers 100% of all revenue that they make during the first six months after they publish their game. Once the six-month period ends, they go back to the usual 88/12 split.

All new games are eligible, as long as they’ve never touched lips with another third-party storefront prior and they’re published after October 16th, 2023. The exception to the rule is that they are allowed to release the products on their own online stores or use the keyless redemption that Epic Games offers via Humble Store and Green Man Gaming.

But, maybe you’re not a developer. Why should you care? What does that mean for the consumer market?

This shift with the Epic First Run means that a lot of your favorite upcoming games may have exclusivity on the Epic Games Store for six months. If you want to buy them on PC, it’ll be the only way to purchase and/or obtain them.

We saw a similar move with games like Borderlands 3 back in 2021. Epic paid around $146 million to have Borderlands 3 exclusively. Within a mere two weeks (or if you’re an Epic Games fan, a “fortnight”), the game had already made back nearly what they paid at $110 million.

They know that the way to be as successful as bigger storefronts like Steam is by starving them of some content. Epic already has the better deal for developers with Steam’s 70/30 split of revenue share. They’re just going all in now.

If you’re a game developer, you should read more about it on Epic’s website. If you’re just a gamer, keep your eyes peeled for new releases starting in October and where their loyalties lie.

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