Epic Games is branching out into publishing with a new arm of the company, Epic Games Publishing, that is touting itself as having the most developer-friendly terms in the industry. The new multiplatform publisher is kicking things off in a big way by announcing that it already is working with high-profile developers genDESIGN, Playdead, and Remedy Entertainment — all of which already have games in development for them.
Clearly the publisher went after developers that are considered both groundbreaking and artistic, with the combined list of games they’ve made including seminal titles like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (Fumito Ueda at genDESIGN), Limbo (Playdead), and Max Payne (Remedy), among other classics. The new publisher also says that more development partners and games will be announced in the coming months.
Epic terms appear to be insanely developer-friendly with Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, saying, “We’re building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves when we worked with publishers.”
The terms include the following:
- 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.
Remedy has already begun discussing what it is working on with the publisher (along with releasing quotes about how great Epic Games Publishing is). The studio is developing both a new multiplatform AAA game and a smaller-scale multiplatform game set in the same franchise. No details on what the games are have been released yet.
Working on 2 multiplatform games for next-gen consoles and PC, published by @EpicGames. The 1st project is our most ambitious one yet, an AAA game already in pre-pro. The second is a new, smaller-scale project set in the same franchise. @remedygames https://t.co/JcctZMJOTc
— Sam Lake (@SamLakeRMD) March 26, 2020
The move to establish Epic Games Publishing could be a risky one for the company, especially given how developer-friendly their terms truly are. The company is covering all costs of a project and not retaining any of the IPs; many publishers make their long-term money by developing multiple games under the same franchise with different developers. While the terms sound great from a developer perspective, it could be challenging to maintain a publishing company like this. Then again, Fortnite is making a lot of money.