After saying 'We've been spending way more money than we earn', Epic turns on the money hose to lure game devs into releasing their golden oldies on the Epic Games Store

Promotional art for the Now On Epic program, showing spacecraft flying through a portal.
(Image credit: Epic)

Epic has announced a foolproof plan to tempt devs and publishers to put their back catalogues onto the Epic Games Store: throw money at them. Announced yesterday, the Now On Epic program will offer game makers (and licence holders) 100% of the revenue generated by older games they put on Epic for the first six months of their time on the store, as opposed to the 88%/12% split that selling games via Epic usually entails.

It's the corollary and the inverse of the Epic First Run program that launched yesterday. That program offers devs six months of 100% revenue from their games so long as they commit to an equal period of Epic Games Store (semi-)exclusivity. Once those six months are up, the revenue split reverts to Epic's usual 88%/12% division.

The Now On Epic program, by contrast, offers a similar deal for games that are already out  on non-Epic stores: six months of 100% revenue in return for releasing "a minimum of three products that have been released prior to October 31, 2023," although devs that don't have three products that meet those criteria can just bring over "all products that are live" on other stores instead. The program won't run indefinitely: devs will only be able to enrol in the program until December 31 next year, and the games they're bringing over have to launch before June 30, 2025.

So hey, that's good. As someone currently juggling playthroughs of Knights of the Old Republic 1, Baldur's Gate 2, and Morrowind, I can tell you with some confidence that old games are pretty good, and I'm in favour of any mechanism that rewards licence holders for making them more widely available. Nevertheless, I can't help but notice some small irony in the fact that this news comes in the wake of swingeing layoffs at Epic itself and its former subsidiary Bandcamp, which (in the former instance) CEO Tim Sweeney attributed to the company "spending way more money than we earn". 

I imagine the 12% cut Epic takes on third-party games on its store is not a massive revenue generator for the company, but still, it must sting for laid-off employees to see Epic turn up the money hose for third parties immediately after asking people to clear their desks.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.