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Epic Games' new publishing arm transforms the games industry

Epic Games will use its deep pockets to 100% fund indie projects in its new publishing label.

@DeekeTweak
Published Thu, Mar 26 2020 1:36 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:19 PM CDT

Not content with challenging Steam's reign, Epic Games is now taking on titans like EA and Take-Two with its own games publishing division.

Epic Games' new publishing arm transforms the games industry 646 | TweakTown.com

Epic Games today made a megaton announcement: The Fortnite giant will start publishing games from indie studios. And no, they won't be exclusive to the Epic Store on PC--they'll be multi-platform games.

The initiative begins with new projects from Remedy Entertainment, Playdead, and Gen Design. These new games will be 100% funded by Epic's Fortnite billions, and the company isn't making devs surrender rights to their IPs. Epic wants to shake-up the industry and disrupt the status quo on games publishing, and has a radical idea of giving developers 50% of the earnings. For contrast, Remedy only earns 45% of every copy of Control sold.

  • Full creative freedom and ownership. Developers retain 100% of all intellectual property and full creative control of their work.
  • Fully-funded projects. Epic Games Publishing will cover up to 100% of development costs, from developer salaries to go-to-market expenses such as QA, localization, marketing, and all publishing costs.
  • 50/50 profit sharing. Developers earn a fair share for their work -- once costs are recouped, developers earn at least 50% of all profits.

This is extremely transformative for the games industry as a whole. Right now independent developers have to use their games as bargaining chips to negotiate funding, marketing, and shipping deals. Remedy, for example, had to give 505 Games 20 years publishing exclusivity to get Control made. That's no longer a problem for devs selected to take part in Epic's new program.

The specifics on most indie game deals are unknown, but practically every big name publisher has their own label. Take-Two has Private Division, and EA has published a number of indie games in its EA Originals label like Fe, A Way Out, and Sea of Solitude. Epic has shaken up the PC gaming storefront and now it wants to do the same with publishing.

"We're building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves when we worked with publishers," said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games.

"gen DESIGN, Remedy, and Playdead are among the most innovative and talented studios in the industry, with strong visions for their next games," said Hector Sanchez, Head of Epic Games Publishing. "They will have full creative control, while Epic will provide a solid foundation of project funding and services."

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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