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Epic Paid $146 Million for Borderlands 3 PC Timed Exclusivity on Epic Games Store

Epic Paid $146 Million for Borderlands 3 PC Timed Exclusivity on Epic Games Store - News

by William D'Angelo , posted 3 days ago / 1,180 Views

Court documents from the Epic Games v. Apple case have been getting leaked online since the case started yesterday.

Another document reveals that Epic Games paid Two-Two Interactive $146 million to have the PC version of Borderlands 3 launch as a timed exclusive on the Epic Game Store. The game was exclusive for six months before it was released on Steam.

$115 million was for the exclusive rights to distribute the PC version of the game. This breaks down to an $80 million minimum guarantee, $15 million for a marketing commitment, and $20 million for non-recoupable fees. Epic Games also paid $31 million for bundled 2K deals including Borderlands The Handsome Collection and Civilization

After two weeks, Borderlands 3 earned $77 million in revenue on the Epic Games Store and $23 million for PC retail and resellers for total recoupable revenue of $100 million. The Epic Games Store with its 12% revenue share earned $9.2 million in net revenue after two weeks. 

Out of the 1.56 million Borderlands 3 players, 53 percent were new to the Epic Games Store.

Other leaked court documents include an internal Xbox review of The Last of Us Part II that was done by the Xbox Portfolio Team, that Dead Island 2 and Saints Row 5 will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store, and how much Sony was against adding cross-platform play to multiplatform games on the PlayStation 4.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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7 Comments
shikamaru317 (3 days ago)

Honestly, not too bad for a series that sells as well as Borderlands, I would have thought that Epic would have needed to pay more to get 6 months timed considering Borderlands 2 sold over 10m on Steam. Deal worked out pretty well for Take-Two though, they got $146m upfront from Epic, sold $100m in Borderlands 3 copies in just the first 2 weeks on Epic Store and probably another $100m in copies over the next 5 and a half months of Epic exclusivity, and then released on Steam, where Borderlands 3 has sold another 1m+ copies according to Steam Spy. The $146m upfront alone was probably enough to cover most of the games' budget, so the the actual Epic Store Sales, Steam sales, Xbox sales, and Playstation sales would have almost all been pure profit for Take-Two.

Kind of sucks that both Epic and Take-Two got rewarded so well for their anti-consumerism, but such is the way of the world, people very rarely actually speak with their wallets.

  • +2

I can see how it works for 2K, but not sure how it does for EPIC. The retail/resellers seems to be classed separately so Epic don’t seem to get a cut of that.
Discounting the bundles as there’s no sales figures for them, you have the marketing and fees cost plus the 3m gap to the sales guarantee. That gives 38m in costs for Epic. Their cut from the sales was only 9.2m, leaving 28.8 still to make up.
You’d need more sales figures to get a better picture of the outcome but did they cover all their costs, or was it a loss-leader to market the store with the goal being achieved with the 53% of Borderlands 3 buyers being new EGS users?

  • 0
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eddy7eddy SecondWar (3 days ago)

They want to bring new users to the EPIC store, doing investments like this or giving away free games.

  • +3

The 9.2M is only 2 weeks (and only EGS, not their cut of physical retail), I don't think it's implausibe Epic was profitable after their 6 months of exclusivity. Possibly it's wasn't in the black, but it probably wasn't huge loss either.

  • 0
Chazore shikamaru317 (3 days ago)

Such is the way of the world, and such as the world is, it will continue.

Voting with your wallet doesn't really work all that well anymore, not unless the normies feel stung enough to wake up and do something about it (which I rarely trust them to do these days).

  • 0
holzi (2 days ago)

This seems to be an amount of money you can develop a AAA game for. Crazy how large the margins on certain kinds of games are.

  • 0