A few weeks ago, Epic Games announced the “Epic First Run” program, a new initiative designed to support third-party developers on the Epic Games Store. If you’re interested in applying, and get accepted, you’ll get 100% of the net revenue for placing your game on Epic’s Store for the first six months. Thereafter, the split will be standard at 88% for you, while they take 12%.
With over 230 million players and 68 million monthly active users, Epic’s offering has grown globally, even in the face of Steam, which still dominates the market. Products in the First Run program will receive visibility enhancements, including exclusive badges, homepage placements, and appearances in store campaigns. Epic Games emphasizes the importance of consistent developer engagement to make the most out of this opportunity and offers marketing resources in its Developer Resources Documentation. If you’re an indie who gets into the program, you’re going to love this aspect of it! Here’s what you need to know to be eligible:
- Launch Date: Your product should be launching on the Epic Games Store on or after October 16, 2023.
- Previous Releases: Products that have been previously released on another third-party PC store or included in another platform’s subscription service are ineligible.
- Exclusivity Agreements: Games or apps with a pre-existing exclusivity deal with Epic Games Store won’t qualify.
For developers new to the platform, creating an Epic Developer account is a straightforward process. All necessary steps can be found on the Developer Portal, and you can apply there too. If you have more questions about how this works.
The fine print
Additionally, products in the First Run program can be released on developers’ or publishers’ platforms. They can opt for direct sales, provide Epic digital redemption codes, or work with Epic’s keyless redemption program. After the aforementioned six-month period, developers are free to explore other third-party store options, all the while maintaining that standard split we spoke of.
A few months ago, Epic Games unveiled self-service publishing tools that aimed to simplify the product release procedure. Developers can use these tools for product registration, setup, testing, and distribution.
Here’s what I’d like to know – are you an indie dev with a game or product you want to release on the Epic Games Store, or are you sticking with Steam? Epic is discussing front page coverage for your title if you meet the requirements, which is something that’s pretty hard to do on Steam, especially with so many games releasing daily. Let me know in the comments if you’ve already applied, were accepted, denied, or are still waiting to hear back!