The Epic Games Store may be half a decade old, but it's still yet to be a profitable venture for its parent company. As it goes to court with Google over alleged antitrust practices, The Verge spotted storefront general manager Steve Allison saying Epic is still aiming for the store to get into the black.
Allison's claim is somewhat supported by that of CEO Tim Sweeney. When it laid off nearly 900 employees this past September, Sweeney claimed the company was "spending way more money than we earn." It would also help to explain why it raised the price of Unreal Engine for non-game developers a week after the job cuts.
The EGS launched in late 2018, and has grown into a storefront on the scale of Valve's Steam marketplace. In many ways, it fully wants to rival Steam: Epic has an 88/12 percent revenue split that favors developers (compared to Steam's 70/30 split), and has provided several opportunities for developers to increase that take.
During the 2021 trial between Epic and Apple, it was revealed the former paid nearly $12 million for about a year's worth of free games. That amount has likely grown in the last two years as games have become more expensive to make and timed, platform-specific exclusivity has become more common for third-party developers.
Further complicating matters is that Epic began letting developers publish their own games (after paying a $100 submission fee per title) and provide payment solutions, either their own or a third-party one. Beyond throwing the method in Apple's face, it allows developers to receive all in-app revenue purchases.
While specifics on the store's performance weren't divulged by Allison at time of writing, Epic is seemingly fine with eating that cost at the moment. At this point, the Epic Games Store is getting both players and other studios into the developer's ecosystem in different ways.
It's unknown how those factors have helped the EGS get any closer to turning a profit, or when the developer expects the digital storefront to do so.