Epic Reportedly Offered Sony $200 Million ‘Minimum Guarantee’ for 4-6 PlayStation Exclusives on PC

Alessio Palumbo
Epic Games Store

As part of the ongoing Epic v. Apple trial, an internal Epic document penned on September 24th, 2020 and labeled 'Weekly Store Strategy Meeting Agenda' leaked via ResetEra.

This document is particularly interesting because it provides details on the company's attempts to bring console exclusives to PC and, more specifically, to the Epic Games Store.

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Individual Tactics

(Content) Sony IP titles
* Offer extended at $200M MG+ for 4-6 titles
* Awaiting feedback

(Content) Microsoft IP titles
* Opening conversations
* Internal feedback from MS:
o Their PC Game Pass leader is against what we're doing
o They are effectively bidding against us for content
o Phil is meeting with Gabe @ Valve occasionally

(Content) Nintendo IP titles
* Not started; is a "Moonshot" unto itself
* Corporate history says this is a non-starter

The juiciest tidbit is doubtlessly a $200 million offer extended to Sony to bring 4-6 of its PlayStation exclusives to the PC as (presumably timed) Epic Games Store exclusives. Sony has indeed begun porting some of its exclusives to PC, but so far, none of the big titles have had exclusivity deals with Epic. Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone are available on both Steam and the Epic Games Store.

So far, only Predator: Hunting Grounds and ReadySet Heroes launched as Epic Games Store exclusives, though they both released way before this document was penned, making it unlikely that they could have been part of the offer.

To clarify, the $200 million offer appears to have been modeled after the 'minimum guarantee' model. That means Epic would have essentially guaranteed Sony $200 million in advance regardless of how the titles performed, but Sony would only get further revenues after Epic had managed to recoup the $200 million through sales. If this was really the case, it certainly made the offer less appealing to Sony's eyes. Still, even if the PlayStation maker refused, that surely didn't damage the relationship with Epic which has never been stronger; Sony did, after all, just invest another $200 million in Tim Sweeney's company after last year's $250 million.

Epic even 'opened conversations' with Microsoft about potentially bringing the company's IPs to its store, though this seems unlikely to happen. The document notes that Microsoft is a competitor (through the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass PC) and besides, it's now releasing its games on Steam, with Head of Xbox Phil Spencer known to be meeting with Valve president Gabe Newell.

Last but not least, the document ends with a mention of Nintendo IPs, though it merely states that the previous history shows how the company is not at all interested in its games appearing on other platforms. Therefore, the possibility is considered a 'non-starter' as well as a 'Moonshot'.

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