Epic Games has announced it will be publishing the next games from three studios: GenDESIGN, Playdead, and Remedy Entertainment. The deal between the Fortnite developer’s publishing arm and these studios will be for multiplatform games, meaning they will not be exclusive to the Epic Game Store, and will come to consoles as well.
According to a post with the details on the agreement on the Epic website, all three studios will be given complete creative control of the games that are released as part of this partnership, as well as ownership to the IP. This ensures that, should these games pop off and these companies want to make a sequel, Epic won’t have any rights to the IP to fight for profits or exclusivity of any kind. These games will be fully-funded by Epic, meaning that the developers won’t have to front any of the cost, and that includes covering “developer salaries to go-to-market expenses such as QA, localization, marketing, and all publishing costs.”
In terms of revenue split, Epic says that the publisher will be splitting the profits 50/50 after costs are recouped through sales.
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In the event you don’t know who any of these studios are, let’s run down each of them because all three of them have a pretty impressive pedigree:
Playdead has only released two games, but both Limbo and Inside were critically acclaimed when they launched in 2010 and 2016 respectively, and its third game has been in active development for some time. Images of the technically unannounced game have been featured on the studio’s job listings, but there’s yet to be a proper unveiling.
GenDESIGN technically only has one game in its portfolio with the PlayStation 4 exclusive The Last Guardian, but the studio is made up of developers from the now-defunct Team Ico, which created Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (which is free for PlayStation Plus subscribers this month). The company was founded in 2014, after which it completed development on The Last Guardian, but it’s now a separate entity from the Sony first-party studio it used to be, and is free to work with Epic on whatever it’s got coming up next.
Lastly, there’s Remedy Entertainment, which has worked closely with Epic in the past when it brought Control to the Epic Games Store as an exclusive on PC, for a lofty sum of $10 million. Beyond Control, Remedy is also well known for its work on the first two Max Payne games, as well as partnerships with Microsoft on Alan Wake and Quantum Break.
At the moment, these deals seem to be strictly a one-off for these developers, as the deal applies only to their next games. However, Epic Games has been acquiring studios like Rocket League developer Psyonix Games, so who knows if the Fortnite company might be scouting out for other studios to add to its roster.