Epic Games has spent at least $1 billion on exclusives

Epic Games has spent at least $1 billion on exclusives

Previously confidential documents offer more proof of Epic’s sledgehammer approach to gaining marketshare.

Epic Games has spent at least $1 billion on exclusives - image2
(Image credit: Epic Games)

As ᴏꜰ Septemʙᴇr 2019, Epic Gaᴍᴇs ʜᴀᴅ sɪɢɴed ᴜᴘ 105 exclᴜsives ꜰᴏʀ tʜᴇ Epic Gaᴍᴇs Stᴏʀe, aᴍᴏᴜɴᴛɪɴg ᴛᴏ a ᴛᴏtal ᴏꜰ ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴏᴠᴇʀ $1 billiᴏɴ spent securɪɴg tʜᴇm. Thᴀᴛ’s accᴏʀdɪɴg ᴛᴏ ᴅᴏcuᴍᴇnts releᴀsed ᴀs pᴀʀᴛ ᴏꜰ tʜᴇ ᴏɴɢᴏɪɴg Epic vs. Apple trial, ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ɪs uneᴀʀᴛhɪɴg sᴏᴍᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ɪɴteʀᴇsᴛɪɴg bᴜsɪɴess ᴅᴇᴀʟɪɴgs ɪɴdeed.

In its October 2019 ‘Review of Performance and Strategy’ document (hosted here as a .pdf), it’s reiterated that Epic spent $444 million on its 2019 exclusive launches: we already knew that. But it also confirms that $542 million was spent on 2019 launch exclusives, while—as of September 2019—it had already spent $52 million securing four exclusives for 2021. Naturally, that number will have increased since.

It’s hardly breaking news that Epic Games is throwing a heck of a lot of money at its PC storefront, but $1 billion on exclusive launches—most of them timed, as they usually come to Steam after 12 months—is a startling number. Far more startling than the $11 million it spent between December 2018 and September 2019 on its free games offerings, which seems fairly miniscule given how many new account sign-ups it cultivated.

The exclusives will likely continue, too. According to Epic’s “Aggressive Pursuit Model”—that is, the model they’ll follow if things are going well—it’ll aim for 52 exclusives in 2021, 36 in 2022, 34 in 2023 and 34 in 2024. Given that Epic told us earlier this year that it’s doubling down on exclusive launches, it looks like they’re following that model. 

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