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Epic Games Store users claimed 749 million free games last year

Epic Games Store users claimed 749 million free games last year


And Epic confirmed it’ll keep giving away games in 2021

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Epic Games Store released a bevy of stats to show off how its game storefront grew in 2020 compared to 2019, its launch year. It announced that there are over 160 million accounts now on PC, up from the 108 million users registered in 2019. It almost doubled in monthly active users from 32 million in December 2019 to 56 million last month. Epic also saw its daily active user count go up to 31.3 million, which the company claims is a 192 percent boost. Its peak concurrent player count hit 13 million in 2020, almost doubling its 7 million peak in 2019.

Unsurprising to no one, giving away free games each week is a nice way to keep people coming back to your storefront. (It also helps when your store is the sole provider of Fortnite on PC.) There were 103 free games last year, and gamers claimed over 749 million copies. And good news: Epic has committed to continuing this popular tradition of giving away titles in 2021.

Epic trails far behind Steam, but it’s growing at a steady pace

All of this to say that the Epic Games Store is growing. Gamers spent $700 million within the PC game store in 2020, with $265 million of that being the actual amount spent by gamers on third-party games not made by Epic (excluding the value of coupons and promos used on those games, as well as the value of Epic’s own funding of these developers).

Looking forward, Epic says it’s working to make it easier for developers to publish games on the Epic Games Store. For everyone else, it says it’s working on community-oriented features, including an overhaul to its social components, player profiles, and updates to its achievements and wishlist features. Perhaps, it’ll expand on its efforts to host more than just games, too.

Barring some totally unpredictable shift in tide in the next 10 years, Steam will always have bigger numbers than the Epic Games Store. But its solid performance in 2020 proves that there’s room in the industry for another competitor to keep growing. And it seems to validate that the ways Epic’s strategy differs from Valve’s (making deals for timed-exclusive games, paying developers more per game purchase) are still resonating with developers and publishers.