Epic significantly shifts Unreal Marketplace revenue model to give more money to creators

Epic win

From the outside looking in, Epic isn’t hurting for money. Fortnite has been the biggest game in the world for a while now, routinely raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in monthly revenue. While gaming fads come and go (Fortnite won’t be king of the hill forever), Epic’s Unreal Engine has been a stable staple of the industry for decades. Unreal has been one of the few main non-proprietary engines, and Epic ends up with licensing fees and royalties on most projects.

Because of its advantageous position, Epic is sweetening the pot for the creators. Epic is restructuring the Unreal Engine Marketplace so that the developer/store split is 88%/12%. Previously, Epic took 30 percent of revenue from store sales, which it says is the industry average.

The Unreal Engine Marketplace is a store where developers can buy pre-made digital assets for their games — anything from character models to texture packs to music samples. Many projects use a combination of store-bought assets and assets created in-house. Most notably, PUBG has been in the news in recent months for employing this method.

There seems to be no ulterior motive other than supporting creators. It’s not like anyone was complaining about this revenue share deal. It gets better, though. Epic is retroactively applying the new model to all sales that have taken place since the Marketplace’s launch in 2014. Epic is just giving back 18% because it’s in a position where it can do that.

Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney explains the move by saying “Thanks to both the Marketplace’s growth and the success of Fortnite, Epic now conducts a huge volume of digital commerce. The resulting economies of scale enable us to pass the savings along to the Unreal Engine Marketplace community, while also making a healthy profit for Epic.”

Brett Makedonski
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