As part of its strategy to compete with Steam, Epic Games has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to secure exclusive releases on its digital store.
Over the last two years, many big-name titles have been exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC. The platform has also given away free games regularly to anyone with an active account.
It has been common knowledge that Epic had spent big money to secure the timed exclusives but, until now, it was not clear exactly how much cash was involved in the deals.
A report by PC Gamer reveals that legal papers produced for the dispute between Epic and Apple show that the company spent $444 million on exclusivity agreements in 2020 alone. These agreements guarantee that games stay off Steam for one year while released on Epic Games Store.
But as part of the exclusivity agreements, Epic makes a minimum guaranteed payment to third-party developers whether or not the game sells enough to cover it. For instance, the report notes that Epic spent $10.45 million alone for the exclusive right to sell the PC version of Remedy’s Control.
And due to advances like this to third-party developers, Apple estimates that Epic Games Store will net a loss of at least $330 million.
Fortunately, the vast revenue made by Fortnite has given Epic the opportunity to try and secure a prominent market position, even if it is still some way behind Valve’s Steam.