Epic spent no less than $11.6 million on free video games and gained 5 million new customers in return

By | May 4, 2021


A brand new doc launched as a part of Epic’s authorized battle with Apple has revealed how a lot Epic paid builders to offer away their video games at no cost following the launch of the Epic Video games Retailer in December 2018. The doc, which was noticed by author Simon Carless, covers the 38 video games given away free between December and September the next yr. We already know that Epic is spending tens of millions on its giveaways, however the brand new doc reveals how a lot that interprets to on a per-game foundation.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney beforehand revealed that the corporate pays a flat price to every developer to offer away their video games, relatively than paying per obtain. Over the interval coated by the doc, Epic paid over $11.6 million in complete for the video games. In response to the offers, nearly 5 million new customers signed as much as the shop, which interprets to Epic paying $2.37 for every new consumer it signed up on this interval. That’s cash which the corporate would theoretically make again if every new consumer went on to purchase only one $20 recreation, primarily based on the 12 % fee Epic takes on new purchases.

A desk exhibiting how a lot Epic paid for every free recreation.
Picture: Epic Video games

Past the ten months coated within the desk, Epic says it’s acquired a complete of 18.5 million new customers by way of free recreation giveaways, and that round 7 % of them, or about 1.3 million folks, go on to make a purchase order.

A abstract of what number of complete customers Epic’s giveaways have attracted.
Picture: Epic Video games

There’s an enormous quantity of variance between how a lot Epic paid for every giveaway. On the high finish is the $1.5 million it paid to offer away the Batman Arkham trilogy video games, nevertheless it additionally paid substantial quantities for Subnautica ($1.4 million) and Mutant Yr Zero ($1 million). As compared, the corporate paid a lot much less for indie titles like Tremendous Meat Boy ($50,000), Jackbox Get together Pack ($60,000), and Fez ($75,000).

At solely 38 titles, the checklist covers lower than half of the 100+ video games Epic has given away on its retailer since its launch. It additionally doesn’t cowl certainly one of Epic’s greatest giveaways from Might 2020 when it made GTA5 free on its retailer. Rockstar’s title proved so fashionable that the shop was knocked offline for a number of hours as everybody tried to assert their free copy.

In addition to paying to offer away present video games at no cost, Epic has additionally paid for upcoming video games to be launched completely on its retailer. One other doc launched as a part of the authorized proceedings and discovered by Carless reveals that Epic paid a $146 million advance for a deal that included Borderlands 3 exclusivity.

The brand new numbers have been made public as a part of Epic’s authorized battle with Apple. The Fortnite developer is accusing Apple’s App Retailer of being a monopoly, and takes challenge with the 30 % fee Apple fees on many in-app purchases. With the courtroom trial having kicked off this week, anticipate extra of the interior workings of every firm to be made public within the days forward.


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