The trial between Apple and Epic Games is serving, among other things, so that insides and dirty laundry of both technologies emerge, in part because of the statements that each one makes about their opponent, but in other cases also because of the documentation that the two companies are having to provide for the process. And while waiting for the heads of both, Tim Cook and Tim Sweeney to make their expected statements, it is very interesting to take a look at everything that is transcending.
And today we have found a very interesting piece of information, which does not take us by surprise but which allows us to quantify the hole that its online game store represents for Epic Games. And it is not mucus of turkey, because in the last two exercises the deficit generated by this business division was 453 million dollars, about 380 million euros at the current exchange rate, 181 million dollars in 2019 and 273 last year. And even more striking is their forecast for 2021, a year they hope to close with losses of 139 million dollars (just over 116 million euros).
Specifically, according to the documentation presented by Epic Games, their plans point to Epic Games Store business unit will not be profitable until 2023, at which point they hope that their model, based on charging 12% for the sales of published games, will become sustainable. A forecast that, I’m sorry to say, but to this day, and in the absence of knowing what future plans Epic has for its store, they seem excessively optimistic.
And it is that, only in 2020, Epic Games invested 444 million dollars to achieve exclusive titles, as reported by TechPowerUp, an amount that should be added to the enormous investment that its policy of giving away games every week must entail, and that sometimes offers not very recognized titles, but which has also surprised us by giving away some triple A’s like GTA V. Only in 2020, Epic Games Store gave away 749 million copies of games, which, at least from what you told us, has not encouraged most of you to buy games in it.
Smarter is undoubtedly the move to bet on exclusives. Like it or not, and in the absence of offering greater appeal to players, the key to generating income is to guarantee it through the exclusive. For example, with the gift of GTA V, there was speculation that the highly anticipated GTA VI would come to PC, exclusively, through the Epic Games Store. It does not seem likely that Rockstar is willing to close other doors, but this sector is so peculiar that we cannot rule out anything.
The best example so far is found in the arrival of the Kingdom Hearts saga on PC. It is true that the prices are somewhat excessive, but we are talking about a collection of games with a legion of followers, and that for many years seemed very far from the PC world. That, more than giving away games, is the way that could make its numbers go green, and that the company can diversify its sources of income a bit and not depend so much on Fornite.