Epic’s First Run: A Game-Changer in exclusivity
Epic Games introduces the ‘First Run’ strategy, offering 100% game revenue in exchange for six-month exclusivity. However, this approach raises crucial questions about its feasibility for developers. Scheduled for a mid-October debut, First Run aims to entice developers weary of Steam’s industry-standard 30% revenue share. While the Epic Games Store already offers a more appealing 12% cut, it allows creators to list their games elsewhere at this rate.
Developers participating in First Run gain net sales revenue and exclusive badging, homepage prominence, and dedicated collections. Additionally, their products will feature in-store campaigns, sales events, and editorial highlights.
Despite its allure, the deal might not be advantageous for all. Steam remains the primary platform for PC gamers, with sales data revealing Epic’s smaller contribution. Exclusivity deals in the past often included upfront payments, as small developers found guaranteed money more secure than potential earnings.
A Tug of War: Balancing Revenue and Reach
Epic’s proposition asks developers to trade 70% of a larger market for 100% of a likely smaller one. While Epic is active, its lack of certain features hampers its appeal against Steam’s well-established ecosystem. Although First Run might not be a practical choice for smaller developers, larger companies might find it attractive.
Epic’s efforts to challenge Steam’s supremacy haven’t translated into a credible alternative. Despite investing heavily in giveaways and exclusives, Epic has yet to establish a solid foundation that keeps users engaged. Epic’s First Run offers an intriguing concept of revenue share and exclusivity. While its appeal might be limited due to existing market dynamics, it could still find favor among certain segments of the gaming industry.