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Epic Games introduces First Run Program, offering developers 100% revenue for six months

Epic Games has revealed its new First Run program, which allows developers who release their games exclusively on the Epic Games Store to retain 100% of the net revenue from their titles for the first six months. Afterward, the revenue split will revert to Epic Games' standard structure of 88% for developers and 12% for Epic Games. Games published through the First Run program will receive exclusive badging, homepage placements, and dedicated collections on the store, as well as featured spots in store campaigns and continuous exposure. Epic Games believes that this initiative will help developers of all sizes reach global audiences from the start, though they should still actively promote their games to their target audience.

This move by Epic Games has opened up discussions about the potential impact on the mobile app store industry. Alternative app stores have become increasingly popular in recent years as developers seek to avoid the commission fees charged by Apple and Google. Epic Games itself is involved in a legal battle with Apple over its attempt to bypass the commission fee through in-game currency discounts on its own site.

While a 0% commission fee for six months may delay revenue for app stores, it incentivizes developers to invest more in marketing their products through these alternative platforms. This could lead to significant returns once the period ends. Eventually, it is expected that one of the alternative app stores will follow Epic Games' lead, prompting developers and publishers to choose between the established routes to success or the potential for higher returns through exclusivity deals.

If other app stores adopt a similar revenue-sharing model, it may result in a major disruption to the Google and Apple duopoly. By offering developers a 100% revenue deal, alternative app stores can attract successful games and gain a competitive advantage. This could inspire other app stores to quickly implement similar strategies to stay relevant in the market.

In addition to the impact on app stores, the launch of Meta's own mobile app store in June indicates further potential changes in the app store ecosystem. The introduction of exclusive deals and the possibility of beloved titles switching stores for higher profits adds an element of uncertainty to the industry.

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