Apparently epic paid peanuts for their free game.

meiam

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Info are coming out due to the apple v epic lawsuits about how much epic paid for their free game, turns out it's really small (and apparently a bulk price rather than a cost per unit).


I didn't check the primary source (cause court document are not exactly fun to read) so I can't vouch for the number validity, but if those are correct it's pretty shocking how little some dev received. I'm frankly not sure why they'd even agree when some of them were relatively recent.

With price this low, it seems like throwing money to entice user might be a pretty good strategy.
 
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Dreiko

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Some of these prices are absurdly low, like Torchlight only getting 150k is weird. I guess they figured they wouldn't get any sales any more either way so might as well get that final check for the epic exclusivity.


Honestly I'm more intrigued by how I know almost none of the games on that list that supposedly are being bought out to entice people to use this service.
 

Chimpzy

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It's honestly what I expected. Mostly six figure lump sums, except for the really small and/or old indies (tho a few of those are one man projects so ostensibly still a decent amount of money). Also, 0$ for Metro 2033 Redux. I wonder what that's about. What, did the exclusivity contract for Metro Exodus have some clause that if it didn't meet sales expectations 4A Games had to throw in a freebie? I mean, I wouldn't put it past Epic.

Honestly I'm more intrigued by how I know almost none of the games on that list that supposedly are being bought out to entice people to use this service.
Most of them are indies, quite a few darlings too, but I suppose if you're not into that side of gaming a lot might not ring a bell. In my case, I knew all of them except 3.
 

laggyteabag

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There were quite a few questions regarding this in the Twitter thread where this appeared, so here are the important stats explained, if anyone was confused:

Entitlements - The number of times the free game was claimed - Remember: 1 claim, does not equal 1 lost sale.
Buyout Price - The amount of money that Epic paid to the Developer/Publisher
New Epic Accounts - The amount of new accounts created during the period that the game was free
EPIC UA Cost - The Buyout Price divided the number of New Epic Accounts - ie, how much each new account cost Epic

Also, for those wondering why Metro 2033's Buyout Price was $0, the consensus so far is that this may have been part of the negotiations for Metro Exodus' EGS exclusivity.
 
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laggyteabag

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I continue to believe that this is a great deal for the game developers/publishers.

Epic is offering huge lump sums for a lot of games that are - lets be honest - low value products, these days.

I mean, Epic paid $350K for LIMBO, which is a game that (according to Steam DB) sells for $1.49 on sale, which is what I assume most people are paying for the game these days. So, $350K, divided by $1.04 (steam takes a 30% cut), and LIMBO would need to sell 333,000 copies at sale price, just to get the same amount of money that Epic is offering to just give them. Even at full price ($10), they'd need to sell 50,000 copies. I just don't think the game has the legs for either of those figures, anymore.

Perfect World somehow even managed to negotiate $150K out of Torchlight 1, of all things.

Hell, I've never even heard of Axiom Verge, Stories Untold, RIME, Last Day of June, GNOG, The End is Nigh, Canary, or Everything, yet between them, they managed to get a $1,050,000 payout from Epic.

A lot of these are old games, or unknown games, and Epic is just willing to give them money. I'd sell out, too.

As for Epic - well, they are definitely achieving their goal of getting users - but at what cost? Recent reports are showing that the EGS is basically haemorrhaging money, and another document revealed that only 7% of EGS users have actually bought a product from the store. But at this point, im not even sure that Epic is in this for the profit, and is just trying to prove a point - and between Unreal Engine royalties, and Fortnite, I'm sure they can more than cover this vanity project.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Info are coming out due to the apple v epic lawsuits about how much epic paid for their free game, turns out it's really small (and apparently a bulk price rather than a cost per unit).


I didn't check the primary source (cause court document are not exactly fun to read) so I can't vouch for the number validity, but if those are correct it's pretty shocking how little some dev received. I'm frankly not sure why they'd even agree when some of them were relatively recent.

With price this low, it seems like throwing money to entice user might be a pretty good strategy.
So I’m guessing the “entitlements” column is # downloaded copies, and buyout is what Epic paid the devs….jeebus. It really ends up looking like they’re just using them to build a user base. I smell another lawsuit over compensatory damages.. Too late they already signed the contract. Sucks for Devs!



I continue to believe that this is a great deal for the game developers/publishers.

Epic is offering huge lump sums for a lot of games that are - lets be honest - low value products, these days.

I mean, Epic paid $350K for LIMBO, which is a game that (according to Steam DB) sells for $1.49 on sale, which is what I assume most people are paying for the game these days. So, $350K, divided by $1.04 (steam takes a 30% cut), and LIMBO would need to sell 333,000 copies at sale price, just to get the same amount of money that Epic is offering to just give them. Even at full price ($10), they'd need to sell 50,000 copies. I just don't think the game has the legs for either of those figures, anymore.

Perfect World somehow even managed to negotiate $150K out of Torchlight 1, of all things.

Hell, I've never even heard of Axiom Verge, Stories Untold, RIME, Last Day of June, GNOG, The End is Nigh, Canary, or Everything, yet between them, they managed to get a $1,050,000 payout from Epic.

A lot of these are old games, or unknown games, and Epic is just willing to give them money. I'd sell out, too.

As for Epic - well, they are definitely achieving their goal of getting users - but at what cost? Recent reports are showing that the EGS is basically haemorrhaging money, and another document revealed that only 7% of EGS users have actually bought a product from the store. But at this point, im not even sure that Epic is in this for the profit, and is just trying to prove a point - and between Unreal Engine royalties, and Fortnite, I'm sure they can more than cover this vanity project.
It’s a shit deal for them. The limbo example was downloaded nearly 2.7 million times, with 183,000 new accounts created just for that. We also can’t assume that everyone who’d ever buy the game would buy at absolute lowest cost, so even if lost sales would’ve only been 10% of total downloads at say, 5.00 average cost they still lost big time. Other games look worse off.

This is no different than the near infinite amount of times people are either glad they didn't take the lump sum, or are glad they negotiated for options via royalties and residuals.

Perfect example is the Witcher author. He didn’t think the games would go anywhere so took the lump sum, and fast forward to the games selling like gangbusters and him trying to claw back into some of that fat cash he never wound up getting in court.
 
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laggyteabag

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So I’m guessing the “entitlements” column is # downloaded copies, and buyout is what Epic paid the devs….jeebus. It really ends up looking like they’re just using them to build a user base. I smell another lawsuit over compensatory damages.
You have to remember that 1 download, does not equal 1 lost sale.

Last Day of June, for example, may have had 2 million people claim a copy, but I would wager that the amount of people who have actually played it, is a hilariously low percentage of that number, and those who would have actually bought it with money, would be even lower.

That said, i'd imagine that just in case someone did get grumpy over how many people claimed their game for free, there is probably some clause in their contract that stops them from taking legal action.
 

Bedinsis

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I just had the thought that this can be seen as Epic's subscription service, only they use it to get people on their storefront and therefore offer it for free.

In all honesty, I thought the give-away games' developers would be compensated per download, and the lack of anything indicating this came as an honest surprise for me, but that might be that I don't know the first thing about how the business works. Epic has reasons to keep information of sales for themselves, even if it means letting their partner developers be left in the dark.

I wonder why Koch Media agreed to a price of 0 $ for Metro: 2033 Redux. Maybe it has a ton of paid DLC they hope people purchase once they are hooked.
 

CriticalGaming

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I claim a lot of these games and never even install them. My account just has a bunch of free shit on it "in case" and I imagine a lot of people are in the same boat that I am.

But looking at the list of free games, the vast majority of them are far beyond their typical lifecycle. So the deal cut for a bunch of codes to give away was likely done so cheap because the publishers were likely not seeing any real revenue from those titles anymore anyway, and why not cut a last minute bit of cash off some codes that don't actually cost them anything to produce.

These games already had their development costs likely made back with profits back when they were brand new. So literally everything they make from Epic is extra gravy on a very old piece of pie. For example the Batman games for 1.5 million, how many copies of batman were selling or are still selling? I bet it isn't anywhere near $1.5 million dollars anymore. And since making extra game codes is meaningless, why not take the money?

Besides anyone who claims a free game, has a chance of becoming a full price customer when the next game in the series comes out. So it's additional marketing on top of that.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
The egs really is a test to see if you can just throw money at something to take over.
 

Dreiko

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Most of them are indies, quite a few darlings too, but I suppose if you're not into that side of gaming a lot might not ring a bell. In my case, I knew all of them except 3.
I am into indies, just not as much western ones.

On a second pass I have either heard of or seen about half of the list but as for having played those games, outside of the aforementioned torchlight which I love I just know of that batman and lego game, for honor, this war of mine, celeste and transistor but not actually played any of those. Some others like Fez (which had some sort of controversy about its creator or something) and super meat boy I've heard talk about but not seen much gameplay in-depth cause the initial stuff I saw wasn't too interesting.


I remember stuff like transistor back when ps4 was new and they were touting their indie support but it legit didn't look like anything special, not nearly as interesting as something like Indivisible which is way more my cup of tea for the sort of hand drawn adventure aesthetic and gameplay.
 

Piscian

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I wonder how they're calculating the revenue gained from bringing new customers in. The only game I think I've bought on EPIC is WWZ and I bought it before the free games started coming out. Admittedly this is a really smart play for them. This is chickenfeed for how much goodwill it's been generating. The only thing I've really been annoyed with EPIC so far is that purchasing any game on there free or otherwise they try to opt you into marketing emails. That and the general creepiness regarding Tencent.