Epic Games Publishing: An Effort to Fundamentally Change the Developer/Publisher Model

Epic Games just announced a brand new multiplatform publishing effort with a starting collaboration with three developer studios. gen DESIGN (Ico, The Last Guardian, Shadow of the Colossus), Playdead (Inside, Limbo), and Remedy Entertainment (Max Payne, Alan Wake, Control) are the first partners to announce relationships with Epic Games Publishing.

What sets it apart is the motivation behind their formation, which in their own words, “aims to have the most developer-friendly terms in the industry, so that creators can focus on making great games.”

In the blog post, Epic Games further iterated the following key points:

  • 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.

“We’re building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves when we worked with publishers”

Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games.

This is great news if it works out as intended, as there have been one too many incidents of publishers pushing out uninspired or incomplete games, changing the original vision into a cash-grab product and imposing deadlines which lead to stressful crunch hours for the developers involved.

“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.”

Hector Sanchez, Head of Epic Games Publishing.

Epic Games has been doing pretty well recently. Their own digital game store received some flak from people, but with their free games program, they’ve been able to turn it around. Additional information, development partners, and games will be announced in the coming months.

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