505 Games parent Digital Bros has published a financial report which appears to indicate a £8.39 million figure for its exclusivity deal with Epic Games in exchange for distribution rights to the Windows version of physics-bending shooter Control.
Released late last month to critical acclaim, Remedy's Control is one of the increasing number of triple-A titles choosing timed exclusivity on Epic Games' eponymous Epic Games Store distribution platform. The exodus from Valve's rival and well-established Steam are driven by two key features of the Epic Games Store: It offers developers and publishers an 88 percent cut of the revenue from sales, where Steam passes across just 70 to 80 percent depending on a title hitting million-dollar revenue targets; and Epic has been splashing the cash on timed exclusivity agreements.
Exactly how much cash it's splashing, though, is never clear. Neither Epic nor the publishers and developers on the receiving side have publicly commented, though an investor in crowdfunded strategy game Phoenix Point calculated Epic had paid at least £1.73 million for the title.
Now, a financial report (PDF warning) from 505 Games owner Digital Bros first spotted by Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad appears to offer a clue of what Epic is willing to pay for a higher-profile triple-A title: £8.39 million.
The payment comes marked as revenue for Remedy's Control, published by 505 Games, at a time when the game wasn't available for sale - meaning it's entirely from licensing agreements. Ahmad goes on to clarify that 'the payment from Epic was 100 percent for Control and was for the exclusivity deal, [while] there was no payment from Sony or Microsoft' for the title's publication on their respective console platforms. 'Unclear if there were any other strings attached to the payment, other than exclusivity [of course.]'
From that £8.39 million, 505 Games takes 55 percent while Digital Bros as its parent company hangs on to 45 percent. The document, written in Italian, does not however make it clear whether the cash comes as an advance on future royalties. 'The different versions of the game, for personal computers and consoles, were launched on August 27, 2019, but the contractual structure with the digital marketplace company that required exclusivity of the personal computer version [i.e. Epic Games] has allowed the recognition of revenues already starting from this exercise,' the company's statement reads in translation.
Neither 505 Games, Remedy Entertainment, nor Epic Games has commented on the Digital Bros financial report.
January 24 2020 | 12:00