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Epic Games spent $444 million on exclusives in 2020

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While people were initially very hesitant to accept the Epic Games Store as the new kid on the block after Steam dominated the digital marketplace for a decade, one has to hope all the money Epic has thrown at its storefront has resulted in a pivot in public perception. Following the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple (caused by a direct payments portal inserted into Fortnite Mobile), new court documents have revealed that Epic Games spent around $444 million on securing exclusivity rights to a bunch of games in 2020 alone. That wad of cash was used for “minimum guarantees”, which essentially means it was cash paid to developers upfront, regardless of how well their games sold.

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Of course, just because you throw a disgusting amount of cash at something doesn’t mean you’ll make it all back. In fact, the Epic Game Store is still running at a loss as last year the company was projected to have lost around $237 million and in 2021 it’s estimated that the EGS will lose $139 million or roughly one new Fortnite skin in sales. Which is a step in the right direction but still a hefty amount of cash to not be recouping. Of course, Epic Games knew this would be the case as Apple states, “As Epic has acknowledged, the incentives and investments it has made in an attempt to grow EGS will result in ‘unrecouped costs.’That includes at least $330 million in unrecouped costs from minimum guarantees alone.”

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Why would Apple be bringing all of this up in court? Well, according to the tech giant the current legal tussle between Epic and Apple is a result of Epic wanting to, “revive and reinvigorate its business”, which all started with trying to claw back the 30% cut Apple takes for all products sold through the app store, including microtransactions in Fortnite. There’s been no word yet on when the legal proceedings could end.

Last Updated: April 13, 2021

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