The Epic Games Store gave away nearly 586 million games in 2023, as 40 million new PC users joined the platform across the year

The Epic Games Store gave away more than 586 million games via its free games program in 2023, according to statistics revealed by the company as part of its year in review.

The free games program featured 86 games that were freely downloadable for Epic Games Store users in 2023, amounting to a total redeemed value of $2,055 if you claimed them all. Plenty of people took up Epic on at least some of these offers, with nearly 586 million free games being claimed across the year. 

Epic also notes that the average score across those free games was 75%, just in case you were thinking they were giving away a load of crap. The infographic doesn’t specify where those scores came from, but since the storefront sources review statistics from OpenCritic on its game pages, it’s logical to assume that’s where the figures derive from.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a platform giving away a shedload of games, the Epic Games Store gained quite a few new users across the year, with 40 million PC gamers joining the service in 2023. This brought total PC users of the Epic Games Store to more than 270 million, though cross-platform numbers are substantially higher at 840 million. As for how many people are actually using the service, Epic reported 75 million monthly active users in December 2023.

In terms of revenue, PC players spent $950 million on the Epic games store in 2023, up 16% from the previous year. Less than a third of that was spent on third-party games (ie, not Fortnite) which represents a fall in spending in this area by 13%, despite Epic adding 1,300 new titles to the storefront across the last year. Alongside Epic’s phenomenally popular battle royale game, the highest earning games on the store were GTA 5, Rocket League, Genshin Impact, and Dead Island 2, the latter of which launched exclusively on Epic in April last year.

It’s difficult to know exactly how these numbers compare to Steam, although there are estimates that Valve’s service had 132 million monthly active users in December 2023. What’s certain is that, from a user perspective, Steam remains the far superior service. Robin reviewed every major PC game launcher at the end of January, and gave the Epic Store a score of just 41%, calling it “a rubbish, underbaked, buggy launcher.”

“Countless basic features are missing, navigating the store or even your own library is a nightmare, and it’s only recently that it even added a cart function,” he said.

Epic has plans to improve the launcher in 2024, which include a new download manager, “significant improvements” to offline mode, pre-loading for pre-purchases and “subscription support”. The latter of these will apparently let developers and publishers with their own subscription services bring them to the Epic Games Store, as Steam has with EA Play.

You can view the full infographic below, and read Epic’s full outline for the storefront over the next year here. Frankly, Epic’s priorities these days seem to be less on being a competitor for Steam, and more on turning Fortnite into the first viable “metaverse”. We saw the launch of LEGO Fortnite in December, while earlier this month the company received a $1.5 billion investment from Disney to create a new “entertainment universe” within its hugely popular shooter.

(Image credit: Epic Games)

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