Epic Games will let developers keep 100 percent of their net revenues from the Epic Games Store for six months if they choose to make their games or apps exclusives for that time through its new First Run program, the company announced on Wednesday.
Typically, Epic lets developers keep 88 percent of their revenues, with the company taking a 12 percent cut. For developers who launch a product through First Run, the split will return to 88 / 12 once the six months are up.
Developers who choose to participate in the Epic First Run program will see a few other benefits as well. Epic says First Run games and apps will be presented to Store users with “new exclusive badging, homepage placements, and dedicated collections” and will be featured in “relevant store campaigns including sales, events, and editorial as applicable.”
The program is open now, and the first products that will be eligible to be part of the program must launch on or after October 16th. Here is Epic’s exact language on what products are eligible:
A new release game or app which has not been previously released on another third-party PC store or included in a subscription service available on another third-party PC store.
Games or apps with a pre-existing exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store are not eligible for the program.
However, developers can be a part of First Run and still release their products on their own stores. “Products in the Epic First Run program can also be released simultaneously on publishers’ and developers’ own stores or launchers with direct sales, sale of an Epic digital redemption code, or integration with our keyless redemption program,” Epic says.
The First Run program could encourage more developers to bring their games to the Epic Games Store ahead of competing PC marketplaces like Valve’s Steam, and that in turn might lead to more players spending more money on Epic’s platform. Epic also tries to woo players with the weekly free games it has been offering for years.