Epic Games loses hundreds of millions of dollars with exclusive deals and weekly free games on its Epic Games Store. The data was known from the documents of the legal dispute between Apple and Epic, but Tim Sweeny, executive director of the creator of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, does not think it is bad news. Unlike, He sees it as an investment in his plan to rapidly grow the rival Steam store. Epic also ensures that with its 12% developer fee, the store will become profitable in 2023.
“It’s true!”, Says Sweeny about the news of the expense that the store supposes for Epic Games. “It has proven to be a success in reaching gamers with great games and a fantastic investment to grow the business.. Apple makes it ‘lose money’, but spend now to build a profitable business in the future is exactly what an investment is all about. It is the same as when you build a factory, a store or a game. “It is known for example that Epic guaranteed Remedy in 2019 a minimum of 10.45 million dollars for the temporary exclusive of Control on PC regardless of sales figures.
Apple spins this as “losing money”, but spending now in order to build a great, profitable business in the future is exactly what investment is! Its equally true whether youre building a factory, a store, or a game.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 10, 2021
Sweeny accompanies her message on Twitter with a graphic highlighting the over 160 million Epic Games Store users, that buyers spent 700 million on games during 2020 -of which 265 million were for third party games-, 103 games given away and almost 750 million free games claimed by users of the store.
In August 2020 Epic added without prior notice a feature in Fortnite that allows players to buy V-Bucks with their own payment system, thus avoiding Apple’s – and Google – and therefore the manufacturer’s fee. The game was withdrawn from the stores, but unlike Android, where there are alternatives to Google Play, the App Store is a more closed system and that means the disappearance of the game on iPhone and Mac, in addition to the cessation of updates.
Epic Games and Apple have since taken their litigation to court, as Epic wants developers to be free to sell their iPhone apps without Apple’s consent, while the manufacturer refuses.