Why the Epic Games Store Gives Away Free Games Explained

  • Last Updated : Jan - 21 - 2022

Every week, the Epic Games Store puts out a free game that anyone can download with an Epic Games Store account. This can be anything from an indie title like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter to AAA games like the Tomb Raider Trilogy. These titles will only be available for a few days before the store moves on to the next free game in its queue, but should a player acquire the game in the specified time frame, it’s theirs the keep with no payments or additional microtransactions attached.

Constantly giving away games is a pricey undertaking. In a document from last year, it was revealed that Epic Games spent millions on free games for the store. Subnautica alone cost the company $1.4 million, while the Batman: Arkham series topped that at $1.5 million. The document also specifies the number of new Epic Games Store users that each game brought in, which explains the company’s rationale behind the weekly free games.

To put it simply, it’s a great marketing strategy. There are plenty of online video game shops, with Steam being the most popular by far. In order to compete with them, the Epic Games Store is giving away games weekly, which is something even prominent game stores don’t do — or at least, not as often. It’s an excellent way to convince users to download the company’s game client, and that’s often a hard sell since most PC gamers likely already have Steam installed.

Once the client is set up, then a person is at least slightly more likely to buy something from the Epic Games Store, and any purchase is a win for the company. Aside from this, giving away games is also great for publicity. That goes for both Epic Games and the company behind the free title, because every time a media outlet makes an article about Epic Games’ free titles — like this one — that’s free advertising.

Aside from this, there are other ways the Epic Games Store tries to differentiate itself from competing platforms. For instance, the company has expressed that it is “open” to hosting games that make use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, provided they follow relevant laws. This came right after Steam banned such titles. This opens the company to more exclusive deals with people in the blockchain gaming industry but could drive away users that are against blockchain tech. Regardless, perhaps the Epic Games Store will offer a crypto- or NFT-based game for free one day.

Until then, players can enjoy the newest free game on the Epic Games Store — Wolfenstein: The New Order. The game will be free until June 9, and then the company will unveil its next mystery game. The steady stream of popular game giveaways has put the spotlight on the platform, prompting plenty of users to theorize what free game might come next. Regardless of how accurate these theories are, it’s still publicity for the company. It seems the Epic Games Store’s marketing tactics are working quite well.

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