The Epic Games Store, self-proclaimed rival to Steam and that place you keep getting free games, has yet to make a profit. This news comes as part of the first day of the Epic vs. Google trial, which has been brewing for some time now. Despite this pretty damning news being made public, Epic seemingly has no plans to stop paying for free game giveaways and exclusivity deals, as this is all part of the plan.
The Epic Game Store burst onto the scene in December 2018, with the aim of taking some marketshare away from Steam. Valve’s marketplace is by far the most dominant force within PC gaming, and squats across the entire space, with barely any room for competitors. Epic thought the success of Fortnite would give it some space to start expanding into that share though, and planned to take Valve on with a mixture of time exclusivity deals, while also tempting gamers over with a glut of free game giveaways, all paid for by Epic itself.
To say this has been a failure so far is underestimating it. While many have gleefully accepted the free games, few have made the jump to the Epic Game Store as their primary sales platform. Part of that comes down to how Epic has treated the Game Store. On launch, it didn’t even have a shopping basket and many of the features most consumers would expect, making it a tough sell immediately.
However, this is apparently all going according to plan. Epic’s previous court case against Apple made it clear Epic doesn’t expect to see any profit from the Epic Games Store until 2027, so there’s still some time before the experiment is officially deemed a success or failure. Until then, it’s likely Epic will continue throwing cash at its current strategy, so make sure to keep an eye on the Epic Games Store for free games.
The case against Google centers around Epic attempting to avoid the 30% cut that Google takes from purchases in the Google Play Store. That applied to games like Fortnite, and Epic is trying to argue that this is unfair. Epic is getting its day in court, so we’ll have to see how it turns out.