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Epic Games may have paid over £8m for Control PC exclusivity

A financial report indicates that Epic paid €9.49 million to Digital Bros for Control PC exclusivity

Control gameplay

Epic Games has been bringing quite a few titles on board as exclusives (though some timed) this year. Judging by comments made by some developers, such as Super Meat Boy Forever creator Tommy Refenes and the Ooblets devs, it appears that Epic’s been offering some financially appealing terms to studios for exclusivity, but actual figures for deals so far haven’t been clear. Now, however, it looks like we might have an idea.

Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at market research and consulting firm Niko Partners, has tweeted “Digital Bros, parent company of 505 Games, has disclosed that they received a payment of €9.49 million [£8.36 million/$10.45 million] from Epic Games for Control.” Ahmad adds his speculation on the reason behind this: “which I would imagine is for exclusivity,” also explaining that “55% of that payment going to 505 Games.”

Ahmad links to a financial report in Italian which, when translated through Google, contains “the breakdown of revenues from digital distribution as at 30 June 2019 divided by digital marketplace” and “the detail of the gross revenues for video games in the premium games sector” in two tables, which include Epic Games and Control, respectively. The number next to both entries reads 9.490. As Ahmad points out, this means that 100% of this amount was for Control.

Most intriguingly, the report appears to confirm that this payment is related to an exclusivity deal. When translated, it says “the revenues deriving from the personal computer version of the video game Control were significant […] The game in different versions, for personal computers and consoles, was launched on August 27, 2019, but the contractual structure with the digital marketplace that required the exclusivity of the video game of the personal computer version has allowed the recognition of revenues already starting from this exercise.”

So, it appears pretty evident that the money paid to Digital Bros for Control, reflected in the report, ties into an Epic exclusivity deal for the PC version of the game. Ahmad, and user Zaimokuza33, draw the same conclusion from the report.

Naturally it’s fair to assume that the exact sum for an exclusivity deal varies from game to game, but it’s interesting to see some figures put on this aspect of Epic’s strategy.

We can also see what’s so appealing about it to devs – even beyond the risky world of indies. PCGamesInsider previously reported that Control’s budget was somewhere between €20m (£17.6 million/$22.2 million) and €30m (£26.4 million/$33.3 million). This means the exclusivity deal was around half to a third of its budget.

We’ve reached out to Epic Games and 505 Games for comment. Epic declined to provide one.