vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

by Mark Tyson on 24 June 2020, 13:11

Tags: Epic Games, Valve

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaemks

Add to My Vault: x

The Epic Games Store (EGS) made a big splash in the PC gaming industry when it was announced in late 2018. Epic set its ship on course as being an industry-busting proposition, seriously re-balancing the developer / store revenue split, as well as implementing other tweaks and changes from what had become 'standard' for PC games portals.

After the store went live around the globe, Epic seems to have experimented with various promotional ploys for gamers. In order to grab users from competitors like Steam, GoG etc, it began the controversial practice of paying publishers for exclusivity periods. Several highly anticipated AAA PC games were scalped in this way, including the likes of Borderlands 3, Red Dead Redemption 2 (partial exclusive), and Control. It is probably this (anti) competitive practice that stirred PC gamers to dump so much criticism onto the EGS.

Thankfully exclusivity deals weren't the only promotional thrust backed by Epic. It started to provide big name game giveaways, and in early 2020 this activity was judged such a success for the store that it was officially extended through the rest of the year. Since that time we have seen giveaways of titles such as; GTA V, Sid Meier's Civilization VI, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, and Ark Survival Evolved.

The last 'The Vault' promo title

The creative and media company behind the Epic Games Store freebies campaign, dubbed 'The Vault', has shared some interesting data about its success. Havas Media says that its 'user acquisition campaign' which ran from 14th May through 18th June featured a major, top-secret free game giveaway each week that players could acquire and keep forever. Executed across 21 markets worldwide, the campaign is said to have helped Epic make some big gains.

Havas claims that the EGS currently enjoys an "average Peak Concurrent Users (PCCU) on PC of 13 million and Monthly Active Users (MAU) on PC of over 61 million". These are impressive figures, especially when compared against the established PC games store Goliath, Steam, which boasts about 95 million monthly users and an average of 14 to 20 million peak concurrent active users per day.

Epic continues in its weekly games freebies, though the games are a bit lack lustre compared to 'The Vault' a week ago. Currently it is giving away Pathway, to be followed by AER Memories of Old, and Stranger Things 3: The Game - starting from tomorrow.



HEXUS Forums :: 28 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Hexus
industry-busting proposition
Yep very much so, trying to change the PC Gaming industry into a console style cesspit of exclusives, higher prices for consumers, less choice about where to buy their games, and open bribes to publishers (not developers…in the main).

I still find it amazing how many supposedly forward thinking people are tricked by the free games they are being offered via Epic, who completely ignore the huge problem Epic present to the PC gaming community. It may largely be a future problem, but we had this with micro transactions before, took 3-4 years and then our games were filled with them (and still are to this day). The community had an easy way to stop it (don't purchase them!) but we as a whole didn't, and look where that led. This is a very similar thing, only potentially much much worse.

The only encouraging thing here is the numbers seem to imply a load of people signed up for the free games only, which costs Epic directly, so as long as those same people don't start spending via their store, thats a good thing!
I still find it amazing how many supposedly forward thinking people are happy to forget all the evils done by Steam and suddenly leap blindly to their defence when someone finally manages to upset the Valvecart.
These are usually the same people who are happy to ignore the evils from the likes of Amazon, while bleating about the same supposed evils done by Epic.
Steam, Amazon, Fox, whoever are all totally irrelevant.
All those companies have done bad things, and I wouldn't defend any of it.

That does not mean Epic can come up with something that is at least as nefarious, underhand and damaging to consumers and be allowed to get away with it. You don't fight a wrong with another wrong!

The issue with Epic is nothing to do with steam et al, its all about their own practices.
Spud1
Steam, Amazon, Fox, whoever are all totally irrelevant.
All those companies have done bad things, and I wouldn't defend any of it.

That does not mean Epic can come up with something that is at least as nefarious, underhand and damaging to consumers and be allowed to get away with it. You don't fight a wrong with another wrong!

The issue with Epic is nothing to do with steam et al, its all about their own practices.

How evil for epic to make a real effort of break a steam monopoly, yes they have gone at it aggressively and it appears to be working. Yes they have used some paid exclusivity rights to drive people to them but lets be honest if they just had the same games at the same prices the default steam monopoly would get 99% of the purchases.

I remember buying games on discs and them forcing a thing called steam to be installed, yes some were valve games but others weren't, its almost like I was forced to install valve software to play some games not made by valve… wait a second are we getting mad at epic for doing exactly what steam did to grow its install base…

The problem is short term and long term need to both be considered.

Short term, a handful of games are exclusive to epic, yes this can control prices but a simple solution is if your not happy with the price wait until you are.

Long term, a genuine competitor to steam with a big enough install base to actually make a difference forcing both store into a price battle, average price of games comes down + earlier more aggressive sales.

I have nothing against steam, it holds most my games and works well. I have nothing against epic, they have given me a load of free games as well as some excellent bargains in sales, epic now holds my second biggest library leaving the others behind (origin, uplay etc).

Happy days all round.
Ttaskmaster
I still find it amazing how many supposedly forward thinking people are happy to forget all the evils done by Steam and suddenly leap blindly to their defence when someone finally manages to upset the Valvecart.
These are usually the same people who are happy to ignore the evils from the likes of Amazon, while bleating about the same supposed evils done by Epic.
I kinda agree TBH.

Just up front I'm not referring to anyone in particular or implying everyone is the same, but there seems to be an awful lot of people who will jump to the defence of Valve for their failings, and will seize any opportunity to criticise their competition.

Don't get me wrong, I do understand where people (the sensible ones at least) are coming from about the risk of exclusivity etc. but let's be realistic, that's not exclusive to EPIC is it? We've had platform-specific exclusives for a heck of a long time, and on the other side of the argument is the concerning risk of Steam becoming something of a monopoly, and being able to get away with practices that would be challenged in a competitive landscape.

However, how realistic is it that a platform could draw people/publishers/developers away from the existing near-monopoly without some sort of a draw?

Edit:

Percy1983
I remember buying games on discs and them forcing a thing called steam to be installed, yes some were valve games but others weren't, its almost like I was forced to install valve software to play some games not made by valve… wait a second are we getting mad at epic for doing exactly what steam did to grow its install base…
Me too…