The free game giveaways from the Epic Games Store were a bold move, giving away tonnes of indie titles and even big AAA titles for completely free every week. Let’s face it, we all thought that Epic Games was just losing boatloads of money trying to get people to use their platform, I’m sure most of us haven’t spent a dime on their yet. But according to Epic Games, their storefront is now catching up to Steam’s success thanks to those very giveaways.
It’s still a ways behind Steam, but the Epic Games Store is now a formidable opponent against Valve’s very own storefront. The free games strategy was risky, but it has now taken the Epic Games Store ro 61 million monthly active users, and an average peak concurrent user count of 13 million users.
“Since launching the Epic Games Store, we've always wanted to create a huge event around our very successful Free Games weekly program to give something awesome to players worldwide, and we decided to go big,” said the General Manager of the Epic Games Store, Steve Allison. “We invested in acquiring the rights to give four of the biggest games in the world away free.”
Those 4 games included Civilization 6, The Borderlands Handsome Collection, ARK: Survival Evolved, and of course, the biggest giveaway they ever made, Grand Theft Auto V. GTA 5 even broke the store on the day because demand was so high for it. Despite this success, the founder of Epic Games Tim Sweeney even mentioned that the free giveaways have also somehow increased sales on other storefronts too. I guess it’s a win, win for everybody.
And whilst 13 million peak concurrent users is nearly half of Steam’s record of 24.5 million, it’s starting to catch up quickly. Sweeney previously cited that storefronts like GOG and Humble Bundle were setup with loads more features and spend years reaching barely a fraction of sales of Steam. But within two years, the Epic Games Store has already reached 15% market share, which is pretty remarkable to say the least.
What do you think? Will the Epic Games Store continue to grow? Or will these onslaught of free games eventually bite them back? And how has your view on the storefront changed? If at all? Let us know!