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Epic v. Apple trial documents reveal new financial information around Fortnite’s success

Fortnite served for 97 percent in 2018 and 88 percent in 2019 of total revenue generated by Epic Games, according to documents presented in the Epic Games v. Apple antitrust trial hearing today.

In the past three years, Epic has earned more than $15 billion in revenue. Epic brought in $5.7 billion in 2018, the year following the release of Fortnite that saw the company catapult from a major independent game studio to a multibillion-dollar tech company. In 2019, Epic brought in $4.2 billion and in 2020, $5.1 billion, the documents revealed. The financial disclosures were among the new information brought forward during the first day of trial in the landmark lawsuit, which is likely to run through the majority of May.

Epic also disclosed it overestimated its projected revenue in 2019 by more than $390 million. The company stated in documents that it anticipated to make $154 million more off of esports competitions—including the Fortnite World Cup—than it actually generated. Given Epic is not a publicly-traded company, the documents are a first look for the public inside the developer’s financials.

Monday’s trial featured the first of many high-profile tech and game executives who will testify: Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Throughout Monday, lawyers representing Apple and Epic presented their opening arguments and then cross-examined Sweeney. 

Sweeney testified for more than two hours. He answered questions ranging from basics—such as identifying certain game consoles for the record and breaking down video game lingo—to more difficult ones, including why he waited this long to pursue Apple over what Epic describes as anti-competitive behavior.

“It took me a very long time to come to the realization of all the negative impacts of Apple’s policies,” Sweeney said. “We got to the point where Apple was making more money selling a developer’s product on the App Store than the developer was making themselves.”

Documents disclosed in the trial…