The huge success of Fortnite has Epic Games deciding to give back to developers on its Unreal Engine Marketplace, an online marketplace where designers can upload and profit off of their artistic creations. In an official announcement made yesterday, the company detailed how they would be changing their revenue model to give creators an 88% cut of their sales, with Epic now only taking 12%. This is a hefty change compared to the split most commonly accepted across the industry – 70/30. Tim Sweeny, the CEO of Epic has attributed the company’s ability to afford such a change to the success of Fortnite. Here are his exact words:
“Thanks to both the Marketplace’s growth and the success of Fortnite, Epic now conducts a huge volume of digital commerce. The resulting economies of scale enable us to pass the savings along to the Unreal Engine Marketplace community, while also making a healthy profit for Epic.”
The most groundbreaking aspect of this news may not actually be the split ratio adjustment; Epic Games is planning to make the change retroactive! In effect, they plan to flat out return that 18% difference back to all of the developers who have made some sales off of their platform. While adjustments of splits happen from time to time, retroactively returning money is virtually unheard of.
This update follows their recent announcement of an 8 million USD prize pool for their “Summer Skirmish” event. It’s hard to tell if all of this generosity is simply a marketing strategy to sell their “good guy” image, or if they have done some projections which indicate a financial benefit in the long run for making these kinds of moves. At the very least, it’s clear that Epic believes there are benefits to giving back to its community.
Ever since Fortnite has exploded in popularity these past few months, Epic Games has been very vocal about the things they are working on and the great things its community can expect from them. Coupled with non-stop brilliant content releases, it’s no wonder Fortnite has essentially become the defacto game to talk about. Epic is definitely the gaming company to pay attention to most right now, and I for one, am eagerly waiting to see what buzzworthy move they make next.