Microsoft and Epic reduce investments in independent games

  • Small-scale developers at GDC 2024 report decreased funding from Epic Games and Microsoft, signalling a shift towards more cautious investment strategies.
  • Major publishers are cutting budgets and cancelling sponsorships, with some withdrawing funding after lengthy negotiations.
  • Microsoft appears less proactive in engaging independent developers for Game Pass releases, while Epic Games has reduced funding for independent games, according to reports.

Several small-scale developers participating in the GDC 2024 conference feedback that Epic Games and Microsoft are no longer splurging money and are more cautious in investing in gaming projects, indicating a shift in operational strategy for both gaming companies.

Developers of games like ‘Slay the Spire‘ and ‘Darkest Dungeon’ from Mega Crit mentioned that the funding provided by Microsoft and Epic Games significantly decreased for participants at GDC 2024.

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Major publishers were cutting budgets

Casey Yano, co-founder of Mega Crit, reported that at least five small-scale developers revealed during the conference that major publishers were cutting budgets, and cancelling sponsorships, and some developers even mentioned publishers withdrawing funding after negotiations lasting up to a year.

It is understood that Yano indicated that Microsoft is less proactive in reaching out to independent game developers for Game Pass releases. Chris Bourassa, the director of ‘Darkest Dungeon,’ also mentioned that Epic Games has reduced the amount of funding provided for independent games.


Chloe Chen

Chloe Chen is a junior writer at BTW Media. She graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and had various working experiences in the finance and fintech industry. Send tips to

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