Epic Games Store Year in Review

A post on the Epic Games Website discusses how the Epic Games Store performed in 2021. Epic continued to give away free games throughout the year as a way of building an audience. The post puts that program into some very large numbers, even co-opting the term "snag" from our forums as the appropriate term to describe collecting a freebie:
We’re proud to be part of a growing community of developers, publishers, players, and creators who made 2021 another humbling year for us. There are now over 194 million Epic Games Store PC users, an increase of 34M from 2020. Daily active users peaked at 31.1M, and peak concurrent users reached 13.2M. December’s monthly active users peak reached 62M users, an increase of 11% from last year’s peak of 56M.

Players bought more games and played them for longer in 2021. We now have 917 titles for sale on the Epic Games Store, nearly doubling what we had available to customers in 2020. About $840M was spent through the store in 2021, up 20% from 2020. Third-party games represented 36% of all sales with more than $300M in player spending, a 12% increase from 2020.

We continued to give away free games each week. Many developers and publishers collaborated with us over the year to give away 89 free games worth $2,120. Over 765 million free games were claimed by players, bringing those titles to a new audience. 76 free games broke their peak concurrent user records on PC, with an average of 13 times their all-time records! That’s incredible engagement.

This year's holiday sale was bigger than ever. Over 31M people participated in the event, snagging over 159 million items during the event, a 14% increase over Holiday Sale 2020.
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40 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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40.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 31, 2022, 18:18
40.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 31, 2022, 18:18
Jan 31, 2022, 18:18
 
I don't see anyone boycotting Spotify because they acquired exclusive rights to Joe Rogan's third party podcast.
I'm a smoldering volcano of virility. At least, that's what I tell myself.
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39.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 30, 2022, 07:31
39.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 30, 2022, 07:31
Jan 30, 2022, 07:31
 
Jagacademy wrote on Jan 29, 2022, 15:33:
People be defending anti consumer actions cause it's "profitable" lol.

Well, as we established already and straight from the horse's mouth: The EGS won't be profitable until at least 2024. Whether timed exclusives are anti-consumer is up for debate. I do not feel antagonized by Epic. I have a choice. Buy now on EGS or wait a year. So far, I have almost always waited a year because I am more interested in a polished and more content/feature complete game anyway. No problemo at all.

And they are one year "for now", it always starts like this.

You mean the timed exclusivity of one year? I don't think that will change for 3rd party games. It would become way more expensive for Epic to buy a longer exclusivity period. More expensive would delay the profitability of the store way beyond 2024.

However, we are in stage 1 of launching the EGS now. They are building the business and creating a user base. Stage 2 is already in the works and it is called Epic Games Publishing. Those games will probably be all-out exclusives to the EGS. People who are hoping for timed exclusivity of games under the Epic publishing label are in for a rude awakening in my opinion. The first major game franchise that will probably be 100% exclusive to Epic is Alan Wake 2.
Since Epic is funding the project it is theirs to do with what they wish (like all of Valve games are 100% Steam exclusive) but I'm sure the anti-Epic crowd will find reasons to keep crying.

Anyone who thinks Epic is going to continue 10% commission when their shareholders finally start demanding profitability don't understand how any of this works.

The commission is 12%. Yeah, it may change at any time but then Epic may also have to deal with less business coming their way. Publishers/developers have a choice where to publish or inquire for publishing (3rd party stores = Steam, GOG, EGS, Origin, MS Store etc.). As a fallback there is always Steam who will sell anything, regardless of quality or ethics, as long as it makes them money.
38.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 17:53
38.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 17:53
Jan 29, 2022, 17:53
 
RogueSix wrote on Jan 29, 2022, 12:09:
The exclusives are working great for Epic.
They're also not anti-consumer. That would be Steam's monopoly position and clauses like Most Favored Nation it includes in its contracts preventing other stores from having lower prices.
I'm a smoldering volcano of virility. At least, that's what I tell myself.
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37.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 17:06
37.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 17:06
Jan 29, 2022, 17:06
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 29, 2022, 00:09:
FloodAnxiety wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 23:48:
What is the story behind 'snag' and our forums? If Epic is co-opting it, then there must be quiet the story.
Tim said it all started here when i snagged Super Meat Boy. https://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threadid=196267&id=1206499

Subnautica was the first freebie but it appears that was before my snagging days as I only sweeted it https://www.bluesnews.com/s/195953/subnautica-free-on-epic-store
Tim said? Am I to infer that you know Tim? o_O
36.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 17:04
36.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 17:04
Jan 29, 2022, 17:04
 
Jagacademy wrote on Jan 29, 2022, 15:33:
People be defending anti consumer actions cause it's "profitable" lol. Well no crap. Doesn't make it right. And they are one year "for now", it always starts like this.

Anyone who thinks Epic is going to continue 10% commission when their shareholders finally start demanding profitability don't understand how any of this works.
With regards to your aversion to the Epic games launcher, anti-consumer, it is not. Too much of a burden, it is not. It is not like Epic is locking titles off of a PC or a console. The false equivalence fallacy, yada yada. Average person reading your post will just assume that you either A) have a bias against Epic, or B) a Steam store bias. Average person has Steam, Epic, and probably Origin installed and probably prefers one vs others but ultimately just cares about the games.

Please tell me you defend Apple in the Apple vs Epic cases too. That irony would be too delicious.
35.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 15:33
35.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 15:33
Jan 29, 2022, 15:33
 
People be defending anti consumer actions cause it's "profitable" lol. Well no crap. Doesn't make it right. And they are one year "for now", it always starts like this.

Anyone who thinks Epic is going to continue 10% commission when their shareholders finally start demanding profitability don't understand how any of this works.
34.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 12:09
34.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 12:09
Jan 29, 2022, 12:09
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Jan 29, 2022, 03:37:
It's just anecdotal, but judging by the 1,000's of reddit comments many posts about it generate, going with the anti-consumer exclusivity strategy was a PR disaster for Epic. Although they generate revenue from it, it's hard to quantify the end result given the fact you have to compare it to how much they pay for the exclusive rights in addition to how many consumers chose to permanently boycott their platform because of them.

Epic is investing. The losses are calculated. As Sweeney pointed out before, he does not expect the EGS to turn a profit before 2024. They are in the building a business phase and, whether people like it or not, they have been very successful at it so far.

Look at GOG for comparison. GOG has been around since 2008 and it has almost 6,000 games from over 800 partners on sale. Their annual revenue is usually about $40 million (it was ~$80 million in 2020 only because of Cyberpunk - see page 35) and GOG post losses.
GOG has launched the Galaxy 2.0 client not too long ago but that has apparently had a near zero effect on their revenue. GOG are having sales all of the time and, while not weekly, they are giving away games on a regular basis, too.
GOG does not seem to report the split between CD Projekt and 3rd party sales anymore but here is a chart up to the year 2017. Their 3rd party sales are maybe $25 million to $30 million of the $40 million total revenue at most.

If we compare this to Epic who have launched their store in late 2018, a good decade later than GOG, and who have a catalog of only 917 titles (about 15% of GOG's) while they make 3rd party revenues that are now at least 10x as much as GOG's, well, what does that tell us? Their third party exclusivity strategy and their entire marketing campaign is a smashing success, like it or not.
The vocal minority of Redditors is vocal and minor. The vast majority of gamers buy their games when they want to play them from whatever source is offering the game. Epic would never even be close to their reported numbers without their exclusives and coupons. They'd probably be smaller than GOG because they have the smaller catalog, a less feature-rich client and no 10 years+ of experience running a storefront. Why would they be bigger than GOG after only three years if they did not have the exclusives? There is no reason. The exclusives are working great for Epic.
33.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 08:06
33.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 08:06
Jan 29, 2022, 08:06
 
The Half Elf wrote on Jan 29, 2022, 08:02:
it's Snagged™ (alt + 0153 on your 10 key).
The ™ is short for Tim, Tim Sweeney to be exact.
- At this point, Windows is the OS equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome. -
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32.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 08:02
32.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 08:02
Jan 29, 2022, 08:02
 
it's Snagged™ (alt + 0153 on your 10 key).
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31.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 05:24
31.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 05:24
Jan 29, 2022, 05:24
 
Kudos to Tim Sweeney.
He had the audacity and imagination to bet much, taking maybe the only path to fight a Goliath like Steam.

----- Who gained, nearly every one:

- Developers, or they wouldn't have opted for the timed exclusivity deals.
*Some will have survived*, upgraded their game beyond previous plans and means, even began developing another, only thanks to the EGS.
And that is good for gamers also.

- Gamers with hundreds of free titles, some of them AAA blockbusters.
You didn't play any? Tens of thousands did (prudent guesswork).
Also the sweet recurring 10 dollar coupon on sales.

----- Who lost:
Some impatient gamers, up to a whole year time. Oh the suffering !
And then got the game on Steam fully reviewed, cheaper, and more polished.

- Disclosure:
Love Steam, bought 42 games so far in the Lunar New Year Sale (jan 27 to feb 3).

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30.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 03:37
30.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 03:37
Jan 29, 2022, 03:37
 
Prez wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 18:08:
I will say that Epic is doing right by the free giveaways, and wrong by the timed exclusives. In my opinion anyway.

Agreed.

It's just anecdotal, but judging by the 1,000's of reddit comments many posts about it generate, going with the anti-consumer exclusivity strategy was a PR disaster for Epic. Although they generate revenue from it, it's hard to quantify the end result given the fact you have to compare it to how much they pay for the exclusive rights in addition to how many consumers chose to permanently boycott their platform because of them.

I have no problem whatsoever supporting an underdog, especially since competition is often advantageous for consumers, so would buy from their platform in return for some free games. I buy new games from gog.com sometimes just because I appreciate the classics they list for sale for example. But that anti-consumerism model took it too far so screw Epic.
29.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 29, 2022, 00:09
29.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 29, 2022, 00:09
Jan 29, 2022, 00:09
 
FloodAnxiety wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 23:48:
What is the story behind 'snag' and our forums? If Epic is co-opting it, then there must be quiet the story.
Tim said it all started here when i snagged Super Meat Boy. https://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threadid=196267&id=1206499

Subnautica was the first freebie but it appears that was before my snagging days as I only sweeted it https://www.bluesnews.com/s/195953/subnautica-free-on-epic-store
- At this point, Windows is the OS equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome. -
Burrito of Peace
Avatar 58135
28.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 23:48
28.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 23:48
Jan 28, 2022, 23:48
 
What is the story behind 'snag' and our forums? If Epic is co-opting it, then there must be quiet the story.
27.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 23:02
Kxmode
 
27.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 23:02
Jan 28, 2022, 23:02
 Kxmode
 
RogueSix wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 18:38:
Kxmode wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 17:49:
I think they're saying there was a 12% increase for 2021 in the number of purchases of third-party games, representing a 36% slice of the total $300M spent. So, if my math is correct, Epic made $114M from TP purchases in 2021.

I don't think this is correct. They are saying $840 million total (up 20% from 2020 when they reported "over $700 million") and 36% of ALL sales, i.e. of the $840m total are 3rd party sales, representing "more than $300 million" in 3rd party sales.
36% of $840 million = $302.4 million so that would seem about right.
These "more than $300 million" was 12% more than 2020, though that doesn't seem quite right, as they reported 3rd party sales amounting to $265 million last year. A 12% increase over $265 million would be $296.8 million so they either slightly understated the increase or overreported last year. Or they suck at math.
You could be right.
"The present is a veil between anticipation and horror. Lift the veil... and madness may follow." source
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26.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 22:56
26.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 22:56
Jan 28, 2022, 22:56
 
Jivaro wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 22:52:
We know where it started. That's what is important.
Jivaro has spoken.

Just rewatched both seasons of the Mandalorian. So good.
I'm a smoldering volcano of virility. At least, that's what I tell myself.
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25.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 22:52
Jivaro
 
25.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 22:52
Jan 28, 2022, 22:52
 Jivaro
 
We know where it started. That's what is important.
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24.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 22:23
24.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 22:23
Jan 28, 2022, 22:23
 
Sempai wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 12:24:
the next time some asshole from marketing utters the word "engagement" i hope a piano drops on his dumb fucking face.

You are just being absurd. I think it is highly unlikely that any individual from marketing was a Morris Marina and even less likely that it was a talking Morris Marina!
"Remember when you were stalking Charles Kuralt because you thought he dug up your garden?"
"Well, something did!"
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23.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 20:16
23.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 20:16
Jan 28, 2022, 20:16
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 11:53:
'even co-opting the term "snag" from our forums'

Thank you very much.

I think we're being watched Worried
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22.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 18:41
22.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 18:41
Jan 28, 2022, 18:41
 
Kestral wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 15:05:
I have claimed every single free game they've given since Subnautica,
Epic: Mission Accomplished!
I'm a smoldering volcano of virility. At least, that's what I tell myself.
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21.
 
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review
Jan 28, 2022, 18:38
21.
Re: Epic Games Store Year in Review Jan 28, 2022, 18:38
Jan 28, 2022, 18:38
 
Kxmode wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 17:49:
I think they're saying there was a 12% increase for 2021 in the number of purchases of third-party games, representing a 36% slice of the total $300M spent. So, if my math is correct, Epic made $114M from TP purchases in 2021.

I don't think this is correct. They are saying $840 million total (up 20% from 2020 when they reported "over $700 million") and 36% of ALL sales, i.e. of the $840m total are 3rd party sales, representing "more than $300 million" in 3rd party sales.
36% of $840 million = $302.4 million so that would seem about right.
These "more than $300 million" was 12% more than 2020, though that doesn't seem quite right, as they reported 3rd party sales amounting to $265 million last year. A 12% increase over $265 million would be $296.8 million so they either slightly understated the increase or overreported last year. Or they suck at math.

Kxmode wrote on Jan 28, 2022, 17:49:
I wonder how many of those were exclusives, and people would have chosen to buy elsewhere given a choice between platforms (e.g., simship).

Excluding UbiSoft titles (since they aren't exclusive to EGS), the vast majority of the sales probably came from 3rd party exclusives. Without 3rd party exclusives, the 3rd party business of the Epic Store would probably be just as insignificant as GOG's 3rd party sales which are not even chicken shit.
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