Epic Games reportedly paid developers over $11.6 million to give away their games for free to lure new users following the launch of the company's own store in December 2018.
The reveal comes as part of the Epic Games versus Apple Lawsuit, alleging the iPhone maker with antitrust practices that began on Monday, May 3.
Epic Games Store's Spending on Launch Revealed
A document surfaced in the wake of Epic Games versus Apple Lawsuit, which shows how much the video game publisher spent on free games for its store's launch.
GameDiscoverCo's Simon Carless posted a tweet on Monday, May 4, which reveals how much Epic Games Store paid developers for the 38 games given away from December 2018 to September 2019.
Want to know how much $ the devs of those 'free' Epic Games Store games got, & how many copies were grabbed? Here's the first 9 months to September 2019. 👀 pic.twitter.com/5hkLb1VEjj— Simon Carless (@simoncarless) May 3, 2021
The document shows that Epic Games' decision to persuade developers to turn their creations into free games resulted in about five million new users. This translates to Epic Games paying the developers an average of $2.37 for each new user it brings to the store-an amount the company would easily make back if each user buys at least one $20 game.
The list, however, does not cover all of Epic's free games since it launched its store, as well as the company's biggest giveaway when it released "Grand Theft Auto V" in May 2020 for free.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney admitted their business practice on Apr. 11, when he answered a tweet and said that they pay developers a flat fee to give away their games, as opposed to paying them per download.
The numbers are right there.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 11, 2021
Spending on Epic titles through Epic Games Store = $700M - $265M = $435M.
Most free games are free for a week, some are free-to-play.
Our free game giveaways are negotiated with developers where we pay them an agreed dollar amount, not per copy.
The amount developers received for their games vary, as the document showed Epic Games paid around $1.5 million for the "Batman Arkham" trilogy games, $1.4 million for "Subnautica," and $1 million for "Mutant Year Zero."
On the other hand, Epic Games handed out less for indie titles including "Fez," in which Polytron received $75,000 after bringing in 107,303 new users, or $0.70 per download.
In addition, Carless revealed another document that shows Epic Games spending $146 million to gain exclusive rights for "Borderlands 3."
Also notable: Epic paid Take-Two $146 million in advances for PC Borderlands 3 exclusivity ($115 million for the game + marketing + one-off fee) and recouped the minimum guarantee part ($80mil) in just the first 2 weeks. pic.twitter.com/3YThZuy5pJ— Simon Carless (@simoncarless) May 4, 2021
Epic Games vs. Apple Lawsuit Update
The Epic Games versus Apple Lawsuit started with Sweeney alleging the iPhone maker taking an unfair share of money from software developers.
According to Wall Street Journal's report on May 3, the "Fortnite" developer purposely violated Apple's App Store rules to prove the point.
"Apple was making more profit from selling developer apps in the App Store than developers," Sweeney said.
Epic Games' move to add a feature allowing players to pay the game developer directly for in-app purchases prompted Apple to kick "Fortnite" off App Store in August 2020.
This prompted Epic Games to file the anti-trust lawsuit that would bring together execs to stand as witnesses on the trial and could change the multibillion-dollar industry distributing apps on mobile devices.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Leigh Mercer