The Epic Games Store has made a name for itself in the gaming community since debuting in 2018. Competing with the likes of Valve’s Steam platform could be seen as a daunting task, but the Epic Games Store found success in some rather unexpected ways.
Epic Games’ battle royale Fortnite was a huge success, and in-turn opened the company’s doors into the distribution market. Since then, it has managed to publish a huge number of games, although Epic Games has been criticized in the past for things like its exclusivity agreements. Nevertheless, another major reason the company is still a contender for dominant gaming storefront is the fact that the Epic Games Store is the best source for free video games.
Epic Games’ Strategies for Success
Many agree that the Epic Games Store is lacking in some basic functionality, and it typically isn’t preferred when looking for reviews or a community to connect with. However, Epic Games has three critical strategies that keep it downloaded and relevant for most PC users.
The first is Epic Games’ acquisition of popular games, such as Rocket League in 2019 and Fall Guys in 2021. Previously, both cross-platform titles were available on Steam, but now they’re exclusive to just the Epic Games platform. This could be seen as a negative for many, but the positive is that both are free-to-play for anyone. Fall Guys also recently became available on Nintendo Switch with cross-progression features, so its userbase can continue to expand.
While making previously paid games free can be tricky, Fall Guys did well when it was released as free-to-play, garnering 20 million players in the first 48 hours. Epic Games applied its second major strategy here to maintain interest, that being an abundance of crossover events. Fortnite is no stranger to collaborations with other franchises, and other titles under the company’s umbrella have begun following suit.
The also free-to-play Fortnite has seen team-ups with the superheroes of Marvel and DC universes to Naruto, all of which were well received. Such crossovers usually see purchasable loot, skins, and cosmetics that fans are willing to spend money on. Even more recently, Fall Guys did a limited-time collaboration with Pusheen, which saw adorable skins up for grabs.
The third strategy is most well known, that being the consistency with which Epic Games has released free games for its storefront users. From smaller indie titles to massive AAA games, Epic Games has surprised many with what games it has been willing to give away. The long list includes titles like Overcooked 2, Hitman, Nioh: The Complete Editionthe Arkham trilogy, and Subnautica.
For some time Epic was giving away two games per week, but recently it has cut back to one. For the month of August 2022, Epic Games has so far announced Lawn Mowing Simulator and Unrailed. Epic isn’t the only place where people can snag free games, as Steam is also known to have publisher’s promos, and GOG runs giveaways and sales often. However, Epic is the most reliable for giving away free games on a consistent schedule. Eventually, many players build up a large library, and thus have a solid reason to keep the Epic Games Store downloaded The storefront is expected to continue giving away games through the end of 2022 at least, which means PC users will likely have many more free indie and AAA titles to enjoy going forward.
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