Epic Games announced their brand-new “First Run” program via an announcement on the Epic Games Store Web site on August 23, 2023. “First Run” is a new opportunity for third-party developers who are looking to launch their games via the PC-based Epic Games Store.
Developers selected for the program who launch their games exclusively via the Epic Games Store will receive 100% of all revenue during the first six months following the game’s launch. After that, they will receive 88% of revenue, with 12% going to Epic. (88/12 is the current split utilized by Epic for developers who launch third-party EGS exclusive titles.) Participants in the program will also receive additional benefits including exclusive badges, preferential placement on the Epic Games Store homepage, and priority for inclusion in future sales and other events.
An opt-in exclusivity program for developers and publishers on the Epic Games Store.
Boost your net revenue share from player spending on eligible products from 88% to 100% in your first six months as an Epic Games Store exclusive. Read the announcement: https://t.co/g0PCSGqSAH pic.twitter.com/pPwt33CX6F
— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) August 23, 2023
Third-party developers with an existing Epic Games Developer account can begin applying for inclusion in the “First Run” program beginning today. Only games that will be launching on or after October 16, 2023 will be eligible for consideration. Games that have previously been released on other third-party PC stores or subscription services, such as Steam or Xbox’s Game Pass for PC, are not eligible. However, developers in the program may release their games via their own first-party stores or Web sites, and may still offer Epic Games Store keys via charity-supporting endeavors such as the Humble Bundle program.
It is likely that the program was instituted by Epic as an effort to compete with Valve’s Steam and other third-party services for offering games on PC. Steam currently offers a much larger library compared to the Epic Games Store, although it does take a much larger revenue cut from developers. It is definitely possible that the implementation of the “First Run” program will encourage more developers to make exclusivity deals with Epic Games, addressing the EGS’ current lack of offerings when compared to Steam and other competitors. However, it remains to be seen how successful the program will be, especially there are still several months until the first “First Run” games begin appearing.