How does Epic Games benefit from giving players free games every week?

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When I first heard about this, I thought there was a catch for sure because getting games completely for free and actually keeping games seemed too good to be true. But really the only catch I found was that I need the Epic Games launcher to play these games (I think there’s a way around this but I’m not sure).

They’ve been doing this for years now so clearly it’s benefiting them in some way, and I want to know how? And why aren’t other companies doing the same thing if it’s that successful?

In: Technology

11 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Same way companies profit from paying someone to design an advertisement despite the fact that nobody is going to pay to see it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Acquire users, get people invested in the platform “I might as well keep EGS installed, I have 200 games in that library.”

I think the long term goal really is to take the Fortnite audience, which is 1 million+ logins per day and mostly kids who don’t have sizable steam libraries, and try to get them attached to EGS rather than Steam. Trying to build loyalty of the next generation of PC gamers. Have people saying “All my friends and games are in EGS, I don’t want Steam”, aka the opposite of what Steam users say today.

Once you have a regular audience, running a digital storefront is literally just free buckets of money. So in short, it doesn’t benefit them today really, but they’re hoping for a pay off in the long term.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s not successful they are losing a lot of money and not getting anywhere near the market share they were hoping for.

The only reason they continue is that the company CEO is also the majority shareholder and he is a very stubborn guy.

The goal was basically get people to use Epic Games Store. Get them coming back and regularly check it.

Once you have a large collection there it will become your default game launcher and you might start buying there instead of on Steam.

This turned out to not work that well. People who go there for free games are not buying things.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If it’s free then you are the product. Your data gets sold to data brokers.

Epic Games Launcher at least used to be very intrusive with their software monitoring your system at any second and shit

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s pretty simple – engagement with the platform. For example I have a reminder in my calendar to come back for the free game every week. Then I might look at the store, buy another game, or play some games I already have.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They get people to register, same with having extra deals. I was really mad with Steam version of Assassin’s Creed games forcing to run two launchers AND only giving you russian version of Unity (I am in Ukraine), so I took their coupon and bought next game in series at the time (Odyssey) on Epic.

I don’t even need their launcher, I can run it from Ubi client but unlike on Steam, EGS versions were international… Also, IIRC, Pillars of Eternity from Epic is DRM-free. I got it without paying and then bought second game on Steam, so it works both ways, it’s good for games to be in multiple places and us having options.

Anyone who hates Steam having a competition is delusional, you don’t want ANY brand to have a monopoly. Corporations aren’t your friends.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The idea was that it was a quick way to gain customers invested into the Epic ecosystem. However, that hasn’t panned out and Epic is losing money on the store. It’s a cost-sunk fallacy at this point.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2023/11/07/tim-sweeneys-epic-games-store-is-still-losing-money-after-five-years/?sh=75bdee36568e

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a bribe to get you to stop using Steam for everything and start using the Epic Games Launcher more often so that you will hopefully start buying games from them instead of from Valve.

Anonymous 0 Comments

So, the entire idea is for it to be a “loss leader.” A loss leader is something intentionally sold or given away at a loss, but it gets attention and gets people to browse your store. The idea being it gets them interested, so they’ll be more likely to shop there or buy more.

Costco does this with the rotisserie chickens. It and the meat department are at the back of the store. So, you have to pass by the entire stores aisles and contents to get there. They sell the chickens at a slight loss, but it gets you to walk all the way past stuff in the aisles. And there’s a good chance you’ll see a few things you wanna try or get on the way in or out.

EGS has been doing the same with the free games and exclusives on it. But the difference is that it isn’t working and hasn’t been for a long time. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars annually funneled into a bottomless pit to try and claw market share from steam.

Part of the issue for them is that EGS was absolute dogshit to use for the first couple of years. No support forums for games, no shopping cart, no ability to gift games, etc. On top of data breeches of consumer info. Meanwhile, they’re spending 9 figure sums every year to try and get people to use their store. A store they can’t even be bothered to get working with features internet shopping had in 1995.

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is how corporations work. They take a loss to break into a market.

Think Netflix, unlimited people could use the account. Cheap monthly fee. No ads…

Then once they broke into that market, they start adding all the bullshit to recoup their costs.

As a consumer, the best play is to take advantage of corporations doing this and then get out once they start going bad.

So for this example, take all the free games you can get. Because if they can successfully put a dent into steam, they will absolutely stop this free game thing.