The Epic Games Store, Epic digital marketplace launched in December 2018 as a direct competitor to Steam, is still losing money, according to Epic Games Store General Manager Steve Allison during the latest antitrust court proceedings against Google.
Despite the continued issues, Allison highlighted that the Epic Games Store's primary goal remains expansion, as reported by The Verge.
Epic Games first earned a name for itself in the digital gaming distribution sector by acquiring exclusive titles for their platform often at a high cost. Epic Games has committed huge money in purchasing exclusive titles and running weekly free game promotions in the nearly five years since its launch, all in an effort to carve out a larger portion of the PC gaming market. In order to convince publishers and developers to use their platform they have also given favourable revenue-sharing conditions.
To compete with Steam, Epic Games offered a more generous revenue split, with 88% of sales going to developers and 12% going to Epic, as compared to Steam's typical 30% cut of game sales. Valve launched a tiered revenue-sharing mechanism in 2018 to help developers who reach certain sales criteria.
Epic Games has also committed significant cash to obtain third-party timed exclusive releases and has maintained its popular weekly free game giveaways, which have attracted a large number of gamers.
Epic announced the "Epic First Run" programme in August, which allows developers to keep 100% of their game's income if they agree to make it exclusive to the Epic Games Store for six months.
During his testimony, Steve Allison said that the Epic Games Store has not yet achieved profitability. Emails obtained during the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit revealed the company's aim to acquire up to half of all PC gaming revenue, showing their rapid growth goals.
This announcement follows layoffs at Epic Games and its subsidiaries which affected hundreds of people, including Mediatonic, the developer of Fall Guys. Epic created a plan that pays developers a 100% revenue split for the first six months when they bring older titles to the platform as part of ongoing attempts to improve their store's offerings.
Epic Games increased the price of Fortnite V-Bucks and certain in-game content packs in a related move, with intentions to charge for the usage of Unreal Engine outside of video game creation in the future year. While Epic Games Store remains unprofitable, Epic Games remains committed to expanding in the competitive PC gaming market.