Epic Games Announces First Run Program With Some Tasty Exclusivity Bonuses For Developers

Published: August 23, 2023 11:02 AM /


Basim leaping to slash at an attacker with his sword in the Epic Games Store exclusive Assassin's Creed Mirage

Epic Games has announced a new program intended to entice third-party developers into making their games timed exclusives on the Epic Store.

According to a new post on Epic's website, the First Run program will give developers and publishers the option of boosting revenue "from 88% to 100%" within the first six months on the store.

After that, participants will "continue to benefit from Epic's 88%/12% revenue split". 

Developers who choose to participate will see their games adorned with "new exclusive badging", as well as special homepage placements and a place in "dedicated collections", according to Epic.

Additionally, products will be featured in relevant store campaigns, including events, editorial, and special sales. 

It's worth noting that this applies to developers of "any scale", too, so companies like Ubisoft or Square Enix, who already release timed exclusives on the Epic Store, will potentially benefit even more if they take advantage of this program.

Of course, indie studios like Salt and Sacrifice's Ska Studios would also be eligible for the program.

A character standing framed against a glowing doorway in Salt and Sacrifice, an Epic Games Store exclusive
AAA studios like Ubisoft, as well as indie devs like Salt and Sacrifice's Ska Studios, are all eligible for the new Epic Games First Run program.

The program begins on October 16th this year, and if you've got a registered Epic Games developer account on or after that date, then you're eligible for First Run.

However, if your game already has an Epic exclusivity deal at that point, then you won't be eligible. In addition, your game will need to never have been released on another third-party store or included in a subscription service elsewhere.

You can, however, still release your game on your own site or storefront and remain eligible, so as long as you haven't released on Steam, Origin, or any other third-party storefront, you're good to go.

If you're a developer, it's well worth reading through the official Epic Games FAQ regarding the First Run program so that you can get an idea of how to submit your project and what prerequisites you'll need to meet.

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on gamers, but I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing more Epic Games Store timed exclusives as a result of this initiative. Stay tuned for more.


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