Snapshot Games made headlines last month, after lead developer Julian Gollop revealed that Phoenix Point was signed to temporarily be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Backers of its crowdfunding campaign were understandably irate at being told they will have to wait up to a year for their promised Steam or GOG key, but new statistics reveal that the decision to make the game exclusive has helped double development costs ahead of its release.
An email that was sent to Fig backers was shared on Resetera, clearly stating that Phoenix Point had “already accrued a 191% return” thanks to the publishing strategy. The timed exclusivity deal with Epic Games “brought in significant resources” for Phoenix Point. So with a 191% return, the development budget has been paid off and the remaining 91% is pure profit ahead of the game's launch in September.
“Since the received cash advance contributes to the game's revenue, it will be shared with investors as per our licensing agreement with Snapshot. Additionally, investment returns will continue to accrue with sales of the game,” reads the email.
Epic Games often keeps the finer details of its deals under wraps, but forum user Remachinate claims that the publisher could have paid as much as $2.25 million based on previously released financial documents compared with the Fig crowdfunding total and its current revenue. The number has yet to be confirmed by Epic Games or Snapshot, but the officially released figures certainly show that the exclusivity deal is working in favour of the developer.
Customers might be less pleased at the outcome however, as exclusivity deals leave a bad taste in player’s mouths. Despite Gollop’s, and even Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford’s reassurances that the Epic Store will have more features by the time that Phoenix Point and Borderlands 3 respectively release later in the year, many remain concerned that the platform will lack core functionality compared to the platform they were originally promised.
Gollop has tried to remedy disgruntled backers by offering a full refund to those that unconvinced. Those that do stick with their pledge will apparently be compensated with “at least three major DLC packs” and receive their Steam or GOG key once the timed exclusivity has ended.
Although Epic’s stance on exclusivity briefly wavered, the company doesn’t intend to stop signing deals with developers and publishers any time soon.
KitGuru Says: There’s a chance that Epic Games might listen to those that vote with their wallet should sales not prove strong enough, but developers will likely jump at the deals given such a strong return. How do you feel about the way Snapshot Games has handled things?