The owners of the Epic Games Store and Game Pass have scaled back deals with indie developers

It has always been difficult for small developers to get funding, but now the situation has become even more gloomy. In an interview with PC Gamer, the creators of Slay the Spire and Darkest Dungeon stated that indie teams were paid less for an exclusive release in the Epic Games Store and Game Pass.

Slay the Spire

The co-founder of Mega Crit studio that developed Slay the Spire, Casey Yano, said that he recently talked with five indie teams, and all of them complained about the reduction of payments or the rejection of the partnership.

"It all looks like shit. We are definitely lucky that we can finance ourselves. Otherwise, I would be very, very, very anxious right now," Yano said.

His words were confirmed by Chris Bourassa, co-founder of Red Hook Studios and creative director of Darkest Dungeon. According to the developer, now "the gold rush is over."

"I come from the northwest. The city I was born in was built because of the gold rush, but then diamonds were found further north. Perhaps another paradigm shift awaits us. The scale of the deals I've heard about is now significantly smaller than in the old fat days. We definitely made a deal with Epic at the right time," Bourassa shared.

From interviews with Yano and Bourassa, it is unclear whether the platforms have changed their attitude towards large gaming companies, or whether they have started paying less only to indie teams.

Microsoft has spent a lot of money on adding games to Game Pass over the years of subscription existence. The size of some transactions was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. From documents published as part of the Activision Blizzard purchase trial, it became known that Microsoft was ready to pay $300 million for the appearance of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in the Game Pass on the day of release, $ 100 million for the release of Assassin's Creed Mirage and only $ 5 million for the release of Baldur's Gate 3.

Epic Games has also spent generously on exclusive deals for its store. For example, in 2019, the company compiled two scenarios for the development of the Epic Games Store: aggressive and cautious. In an aggressive scenario, she planned to spend $1.7 billion on the purchase of exclusives in 2019-2021, and $1.38 billion in a cautious one. In November 2023, Epic Games announced that the Epic Games Store was still operating at a loss.

A source:

PC Gamer
Related news