The Epic Games Store is making progress. Epic announced today that its PC gaming portal has reached 61 million active players per month on PC. It also had an average maximum number of players on the PC. This happened when Epic gave away free games as part of the “The Vault” promotional event. Free games included Grand Theft Auto V, Ark: Survival Evolved, Civilization VI and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection.
The vault was an important event for Epic and his shop. Not only was money spent to purchase the games' gift rights, but it also had a huge marketing budget. You can find ads for the free games on websites, podcasts and more. And it looks like it paid off.
To build the Epic Games Store as a competitor to Steam, it is crucial to attract a large number of active gaming fans. Until then, Epic had been trying to do this with timed exclusive products. In other words, Epic paid developers to keep their games off Steam for a period of time. Epic doesn't share exact numbers, but it seems more effective to give away free blockbuster games.
However, all issues of Epic are made with the goal of turning the Game Store into a self-supporting platform. This is where active users come in.
For comparison: Steam had 95 million active players per month in 2019 fluctuates between 14 and 20 million players at the same time every day. These gigantic numbers make Steam the standard leader in PC games. If you have a new game and you want it to reach the largest potential audience, Steam is your first (and often only) choice.
But now, for at least a month, Epic is within a 9-iron range of Steam's numbers.
If the Epic Games Store can keep this momentum going, it could further peel Steam's support through head-to-head competition. This is especially true because Epic only generates 12% less sales, while Steam needs 30% up to a certain threshold.
Does Epic Win?
Epic's stated goal is to force Valve to cut its cut. Put The In other words, Epic wants access to the Steam audience without having to pay Valve's set price. If the Epic Games Store continues to grow, Valve may feel this pressure. But that's hard to imagine at the moment.
While Epic gave away games, Electronic Arts returned to Valve after years of trying to build its own Steam competitor in Origin. You can now download games like FIFA, Titanfall 2 and Mass Effect 3 on Steam.
Titanfall 2 is even experiencing a revival in engagement Thanks to the Steam audience. And while players stormed into the Epic Games Store to get GTA V for free, would the audience at the Epic Games Store step up into a $ 10 shooter from 2016 just because it suddenly appeared on Epic? That still seems unlikely.
To do justice to Epic, competition with Steam no longer seems as absurd as it used to be. Obviously it is serious to fight this struggle for years. And if it continues to provide millions of dollars in resources for promotions like The Vault, it might be able to buy the audience that Steam has built over the years. And Epic wants to raise $ 750 million from investors.
But Epic's real opponent here isn't Valve – it's time. The video game industry is volatile and is constantly changing. Services such as Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Now and EA Access are currently trying to switch a significant portion of consumer spending to a subscription model. With Spotify and Netflix, few people buy music or movies, and the same thing could happen while playing. And when that happens, Epic's fight with Steam doesn't matter.