The PC gaming landscape welcomed a new entrant in 2019 with the launch of Fortnite developer Epic Games’ digital store, the Epic Games Store. Epic shared new insight today that speaks to the enormous success of the store, which was driven in part by exclusives.
Starting with the numbers, Epic said the Epic Games Store has grossed a total of $680 million so far, $251 million of which coming from third-party games (which is 60 percent ahead of Epic’s projections). More than 300 million Epic accounts have been registered on all platforms, while 108 million accounts have downloaded at least one title from the store (either free or paid).
The $680 million in revenue is ahead of expectations, Epic Games Store GM Steve Allison told GameDaily.
One element that makes the Epic Games Store attractive is free games. Epic has so far given away 73 titles, and users have claimed 200 million of these games. In total Epic estimated the value of the 73 games to be around $1,455. Looking ahead to 2020, Epic will continue to release free games on a weekly basis.
The most popular games on the Epic Games Store so far are The Division 2, World War Z, Satisfactory, Dauntless, Untitled Goose Game, The Outer Worlds, Borderlands 3, Metro Exodus, and Control. All of these titles were timed-exclusives for the Epic Game Store.
The strategy to pursue exclusives has been controversial, but highly successful for Epic. Allison noted that these exclusives have “driven the majority of revenue” thus far on the Epic Games Store, though he noted that non-exclusives have also performed well.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said the company plans to continue to pursue exclusives, saying they are “critical” to growing the store. “Securing exclusives for Epic means we can significantly assist developers with product funding and invest in marketing and awareness knowing that these efforts bring in new customers to our store, rather than just sending more business to the incumbent,” he said.
Some of the upcoming timed-exclusives for the Epic Games Store include Magic: The Gathering Arena, Predator: Hunting Grounds, Auto Chess, Rogue Company, and Godfall, with even more exclusives to be announced later.
The Epic Games Store is theoretically attractive to developers because Epic only takes 12 percent of game sales, giving 88 percent back to the studios. This percentage is much more favorable than than traditional 70/30 revenue split that exists on Steam and other PC and console platforms, as well as iOS.
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