Epic Games Store Is Spending Millions On Free Games
From the get-go in 2018, the Epic Games Store has presented itself as a formidable rival to Valve’s Steam, with the storefront nabbing high-profile exclusivity deals, offering steep discounts, and putting out a regularly rotating slate of free games each and every week. The latter is undeniably among the storefront’s most popular features, especially as over a hundred notable games have become free-to-keep over the program’s few years of existence.
However, as Epic Games essentially loses money whenever a game goes free, one has to wonder how far the company is prepared to go in pursuit of PC dominance. Well, according to recently-released documents, it appears Epic isn’t exactly afraid to break the bank as the company spent nearly $12 million on its weekly free games program in its first nine months alone. Of the 38 games listed, freebies like Subnautica and Batman Arkham Collection fetched for over $1 million each, while indies like Super Meat Boy and RiME cost $50,000 or lower.
Want to know how much $ the devs of those ‘free’ Epic Games Store games got, & how many copies were grabbed? Here’s the first 9 months to September 2019. ? pic.twitter.com/5hkLb1VEjj
— Simon Carless (@simoncarless) May 3, 2021
To put these numbers into perspective, Epic Games’ document also breaks down the “UA Cost,” which tallies the cost of each freebie compared to the new user accounts it generates. According to the chart, costly deals like Batman Arkham and Subnautica ultimately proved successful in bringing in players as Epic measured 10% and 17% increases in new accounts while the promotion was live. On the other hand, not all freebies have been winners, with indie titles like Inside ($11.12) and Celeste ($12.00) both earning poor UA costs and only managing 3% and 2% increases.
Simon Carless of GameDiscoverCo unveiled the document on Twitter after the records were made public as part of the ongoing Apple v. Epic Games court proceedings. For those unaware, Epic and Apple have been trading corporate blows with one another for the better part of a year now, with the tension notably kicking off with the removal of Fortnite from the iOS App Store. In the many months since, the rivalry has only intensified as Epic launched a lawsuit against Apple with claims of “monopoly” and “unfair competition” in tow.
While releasing freebies is undeniably amazing for especially thrifty gamers, one has to wonder how the Epic Games Store manages to break even with all these costly endeavors. It appears the answer is actually pretty simple: they don’t. Epic seems to be mostly focused on cultivating a regular store userbase rather than generating revenue, an idea likely afforded by the multi-billion dollar success of Fortnite. CEO Tim Sweeney recently touted as much on Twitter, calling the company’s massive funds spent on exclusives “a fantastic investment into growing the business.”
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 10, 2021
What do you think? Are you wowed by the lengths the Epic Games Store has gone in PC store supremacy, or are you simply in it for the free games? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more freebie headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
- Resident Evil Village PC Demo Players Have Found Their Way Around The Timer
- Xbox Game Pass Adds 9 New Games, Free Spotify Premium Trial
- PlayStation Plus Free Games For May 2021 Revealed
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.