Free games? Free games. Epic Games Store did a great job of tempting us all onto its platform with free games (if you weren’t already on for Fortnite). After all, it’s gotta sell you its exclusives somehow. Now, it seems it’s a good enough program that it’ll continue into 2020, according to a blog post today. The current game, if you’re interested, is Sundered: Eldritch Edition, which describes itself as “a chaotic hand-drawn metroidvania where you resist or embrace ancient eldritch powers.”
It’s likely a welcome return for plenty of gaming fans. Throughout late 2018 and all of 2019 — and now into 2020 — Epic Games Store lured potential customers to its platform by giving away free games. And these weren’t just small games desperate to get their time in the spotlight. Plenty of the titles were player- and critic-favorite heavy hitters. Celeste, Hyper Light Drifter, Soma, Superhot and more were only a few of the massive free titles offered in 2019.
In order to claim the games, all customers had to do was log in and claim the game. The games are permanent to the accounts — not a “free weekend” deal — so if you managed to snag a copy of a game that you’ve eyed for years, congrats! You get to take your sweet time with it.
According to the blog post, 73 free titles were offered in 2019. Over 200 million games free copies of games were claimed by players as a result. This likely includes the daily holiday game giveaway in December, but it’s still an impressive count.
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In Epic’s blog, the company also talked about the success of the Epic Games Store’s first full year. Having premiered in late 2018 after The Game Awards, EGS arrived to mixed reviews. Some fans were upset that there was (and still is) no “cart” option. Others expressed frustration as developers pulled their games from Steam and made them EGS exclusives. Still, EGS became a tempting switch for fans and developers alike.
Seemingly riding off the success of Fortnite and the Unity engine, Epic offers massive incentives for developers. It offers 88% revenue sharing, with higher for those using Unity. Developers can utilize Epic’s cross-play, cross-save, and cross-platform servers and tools; Dauntless and Fortnite both utilize these features.
Aside from the free games, for players, the titles seemed to be more of the draw. One of the most praised titles of 2019, Control, is currently exclusive to EGS. The Division 2, Borderlands 3, and Metro Exodus were also exclusive titles. In fact, over 108 million customers alone spent $251 million on third-party titles EGS, and $680 million altogether (likely including Fortnite). Plus, Epic offers some pretty steep sales every once in a while. For its holiday sale, it offered $10 off any game costing $14.99 or above (after other discounts).
Disclaimer: Epic Games is owned in part by Tencent, which owns Fanbyte Media. However, we have editorial independence from Tencent and no other connection to Epic Games. I mean, look, free games are free games.