Lawyers in the Epic versus Apple lawsuit might have wrapped their cases a few months ago, but we're still discovering things about Epic's operations thanks to publicly available court documents. We already knew that Epic spent around $444 million securing exclusive game deals with game publishers, including minimum guarantees that Epic would have to cover if the game didn't sell on their nascent PC games store. However, we didn't know how much money Epic made back until GameDiscoverCo's Simon Carless posted a new document to Twitter (thanks, TechRaptor!)
The document shows various games released on the Epic Games store back in 2019. It breaks down how much money Epic spent on Minimum Guarantees (MG), how much money the game made in millions of dollars, and how much money Epic expected to make over the lifetime of each exclusive deal.
Add it all together and Epic spent $217 million in minimum guarantees only to make back $86 million, for an expected lifetime shortfall of $131 million. This meant Epic only made back roughly 40% of its investment.
Sadly, the game titles are blacked out so we don't know exactly which games are the biggest winners or losers for Epic, but we do have release dates. This allowed Reddit user MrBubbaJ to fill in the chart with actual names.
Somebody on Reddit tried to link the games to the advances by using EGS release date, with partial success (but may be incorrect, multiple titles released on same day, etc): https://t.co/WCu2ZyWlu6 pic.twitter.com/4WVlFJ22xf— Simon Carless (@simoncarless) August 3, 2021
Epic's biggest winners--and the only two games to make back their money--were Dauntless and Satisfactory. Both are pretty big games that got even bigger when they were eventually released on other platforms. Epic's biggest losers were Metro Exodus and The Division 2, two games that it had to spend a lot on minimum guarantees to secure a timed exclusive. Both games eventually released on Steam and other platforms where they were far more successful.
Without another lawsuit it seems doubtful we’ll ever see hard numbers for what Epic spent on 2020’s exclusive deals, but judging by Sweeney’s own words, it sounds like 2020 was another loss for Epic.
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