A document released in connection with the lawsuit, tweeted by Simon Carless, founder of GameDiscoverCo, shows that Epic paid $ 146 million in advances to secure six months of PC exclusivity on Borderlands 3 starting September 13, 2019.
The eye-catching deal ensured that Gearbox’s shooter wouldn’t launch on rival PC platform Steam until March 13, 2020.
Digging into the specifics, Epic paid $ 115 million for the Borderlands 3 deal. This included a minimum guarantee of $ 80 million, a marketing commitment of $ 15 million, and a one-time fee of $ 20 million.
Also included are “2K bundles”. This involves money paid to publish a few 2K games for free on the Epic Games Store. As part of this, Epic paid $ 11 million for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and $ 20 million for Civilization 6. That’s a total of $ 31 million.
So the “fully loaded Borderlands 3 deal,” as it is called in the document, amounts to $ 146 million.
Also note: Epic paid Take-Two 6 million upfront for the PC Borderlands 3 exclusive (5 million for the game + marketing + one-off fees) and recovered the minimum guaranteed portion (million) in just the first 2 weeks. pic.twitter.com/3YThZuy5pJ
– Simon Carless (@simoncarless) May 4, 2021
Was it worth it for Epic? According to the document, 100% of the minimum collateral of $ 80 million was clawed back in just two weeks, with $ 100 million generated in two weeks. In the first two weeks, Epic earned $ 9.2 million from Borderlands 3, based on its 12% discount. Borderlands 3 reached just over 1.5 million users on the store during that time. Especially for Epic, 53% of those users were new to the Epic Games Store.
Last month, court documents released in connection with Epic’s high-profile legal battle against Apple revealed that Epic had committed $ 444 million in minimum guarantees for 2020 alone.
A minimum guarantee is an advance paid to a publisher or developer, whether or not the game itself makes enough money to recoup the advance. One example is $ 9.49 million parent company 505 Digital Bros. received from Epic for PC exclusivity for Remedy’s Control.
Currently, the Epic Games Store is losing money. “EGS is not yet profitable at its current scale and stage of development because it has anticipated its marketing and user acquisition costs to gain market share,” said Epic.
During the opening day of the trial, Sweeney a dit Epic’s store is “in the hundreds of millions of dollars to be profitable.”
“We have a general expectation of becoming profitable within three or four years,” he added.