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The Real Reason Epic Is Okay Losing $330 Million

It's no big secret that Epic is pouring a lot of cash into the Epic Games Store. In an attempt to grow the shop and take on Steam, Epic has spent tons securing exclusive titles, and has dropped a lot of dough on the many free games its given away in the past year and a half. Unfortunately, the Epic Games Store hasn't grown to the point where actual sales are covering these expenditures. The store is losing a metric crap-ton of money, though judging by one take on the matter, that may be part of the plan.

Over the weekend, PC Gamer reported on just how much cash the Epic Games Store is burning through. Thanks to legal filings from the ongoing Epic vs. Apple suit, the site learned that the Epic Games Store is expected to lose $139 million in 2021, which is a lot of money all on its own. However, 2021 won't be the first unprofitable year for the shop, as it managed to lose $181 million in 2019 and $273 million in 2020. According to Apple's legal team, Epic is going to be out "at least $330 million" just on the exclusivity deals its been signing.

The way Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sees it, though, you have to spend money to make money.

In a Twitter response to IGN's reporting on the story, Sweeney seemed almost gleeful as he confirmed the figures. "That's right!" he wrote, calling the strategy "a fantastic success in reaching gamers with great games and a fantastic investment in growing the business!" Sweeney went on to explain his position, tweeting, "Apple spins this as 'losing money', but spending now in order to build a great, profitable business in the future is exactly what investment is!" It seems having these numbers out in the world won't scare Sweeney into changing things up. On the contrary — he appears to be resolute in his belief that this approach is the right one.

Of course, that's easy ground to stake out when you have Fortnite pulling in the bucks. As PC Gamer noted, Fortnite made $700 million on iOS alone before the game was unceremoniously yanked, leading to the Epic vs. Apple case now on the docket. That title's insane profitability has allowed Epic to essentially throw a bunch of money at helping the Epic Games Store grow. And maybe it'll work — according to Epic, it "expects EGS to become profitable by 2023."