Games being given away for free on the Epic Games Store feels like a given at this point. Invariably, I check in, occasionally go, “oh, neat,” and claim whatever thing I’ll probably never play. But we knew that Epic Games had to be paying quite a lot to be able to do such a thing. How do we know this, though? As you likely know, Epic is currently locked in a vicious legal battle with Apple and, when you’re constantly submitting evidence to courts, much of that becomes publicly available. Specifically, a document uploaded to Twitter contains information on the initial nine months of Epic’s endeavor to attract new users.
Long story short, Epic spent over $11 million USD in just the first nine months. To put that into perspective, the company has basically been giving away games nonstop for two-and-a-half years, meaning that the running total is certainly substantially higher at this point. Of course, the cost spent varies wildly based on the game. The document breaks down how much Epic paid to do the giveaways, plus how many times games were claimed. The document also goes into detail on how many of those claimants created new EGS accounts solely to get said game. It’s quite fascinating.
Everybody wants something for nothing
If you’re wondering what the largest amount for a single game is, it’s surprisingly for Subnautica. Epic Games spent $1.4 million USD to give that game out for free, and more than 4.6 million people claimed it. Of those 4.6 million, 800,000 of those accounts were brand new. No wonder they spent so much. Epic also paid out $1.5 million USD for the Batman Arkham Trilogy, which was claimed nearly 6.5 million times. Despite the higher numbers, that was nine months after Subnautica, so those only accounted for over 600,000 new accounts. Obviously, giving out free stuff really works. The tweet below contains the list, which is quite an intriguing read. It really makes me wonder how much Epic Games has spent so far.
Want to know how much $ the devs of those 'free' Epic Games Store games got, & how many copies were grabbed? Here's the first 9 months to September 2019. 👀 pic.twitter.com/5hkLb1VEjj
— Simon Carless (@simoncarless) May 3, 2021