Epic Games has announced another major move in the games-publishing business. The Fortnite and Unreal developer has created a new multiplatform publishing division, boasting some of the most developer-friendly terms ever, and it’s signed some big names to kick things off.
The new division–Epic Games Publishing–will publish new games from Gen Design (The Last Guardian), Playdead (Limbo, Inside), and Remedy Entertainment (Alan Wake, Control). Epic said these are the “first partners” to announce deals with Epic Games Publishing, which suggests more may come over time.
Epic Games Publishing describes itself as a “developer-first” label that “fundamentally changes the developer/publisher model.” The company is promising the “most developer-friendly terms” in the entire video game industry landscape.
Developers who sign up with the Epic Games Publishing label will get “full creative freedom and ownership” of their projects, according to the studio. Developers will wholly own whatever IP they create with Epic. Additionally, Epic will pay up to 100% of all development costs for Epic Games Publishing titles. This includes salaries for developers and everything else required to launch a game such as QA, localization, marketing, and “all publishing costs.”
So how does Epic make money? Epic Games Publishing titles will split profits 50/50 between the developer and Epic Games. “Developers earn a fair share for their work–once costs are recouped, developers earn at least 50% of all profits,” Epic said in a statement.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said in a news release, “We’re building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves when we worked with publishers.”
Epic Games Publishing boss Hector Sanchez added, “Gen Design, Remedy, and Playdead are among the most innovative and talented studios in the industry, with strong visions for their next games. They will have full creative control, while Epic will provide a solid foundation of project funding and services.”
Specifics about the new games from these companies, and more details on the Epic Games Publishing division, will be announced “in the coming months.”
The formation of Epic Games Publishing is just the latest big move from Epic Games to give developers friendlier terms. The Epic Games Store offers developers 88 percent of revenue, with Epic keeping just 12 percent. This is far friendlier than other stores including Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, Google Play, and iTunes, all of which pay 70 percent of revenue to developers and keep 30 percent (though Steam has made some changes to that). Epic said it was able to offer these more favorable terms thanks to the massive success of Fortnite.
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