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GDC 2019 - Sweeney: Epic's newly-revealed online services will always be free to developers - even when the Fortnite money starts to dry up

GDC 2019 - Sweeney: Epic's newly-revealed online services will always be free to developers - even when the Fortnite money starts to dry up

The free-to-use online services that Fortnite firm Epic announced at this year's GDC will be free forever - even if the company doesn't have a huge hit at the time.

CEO Tim Sweeney says that opening up this infrastructure, set up to support its hit battle royale title Fortnite, to other companies does not represent a huge cost. In theory this is all well and good when the company has a game like Fortnite generating huge amounts of money, but Sweeney says that its online services will remain free-of-charge indefinitely

"It'll always be free. The cost is very reasonable. We're in a hits-based business with games," he said.

"We've gone through years at a time when we've funded the company entirely through revenue from our engine business, including the time when we were building Fortnite and Paragon in their early days. Fortnite is growing and has hit two new non-event peak record usage times since Apex Legends launched and went through its huge growth. We've seen no sign of it slowing down. We're capable of operating the company for decades more with or without a hit to the magnitude of Fortnite."

You can read more from Sweeney in our upcoming interview with the Fortnite firm's boss


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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