Nestled among the stats in the Epic Games Store 2022 Year in Review blog post (opens in new tab) that went up today is some expected but pleasant news: Epic isn’t done giving away free games.
“Our weekly Free Games Program will continue in 2023,” the company wrote.
It’s been 2023 for a couple months now, and Epic didn’t stop giving away free games (opens in new tab) each week—Kerbal Space Program was a highlight in early January—so we kind of already knew this, but it’s nice to get confirmation that the gravy train will chug along through at least the end of this year.
The blog post also includes some stats about last year’s giveaways. If you’d claimed all 99 games that were given away last year, you’d have $2,240 worth of games, according to Epic. All in all, “nearly 700 million” free games were claimed in 2022.
Epic also noted that 70 of the participating games broke their concurrent player records, which is not too surprising: Give people free games and they will play the free games.
Epic started giving away games in 2019 as a way to bring new users into the Epic Games Store, and along with exclusives and the continued draw of Fortnite, the strategy seems to be working.
“There are now over 230 million Epic Games Store PC users, an increase of 36 million from 2021,” says Epic. “This makes a total of 723 million Epic cross-platform accounts. In 2022 Daily Active Users peaked at 34.3 million and Monthly Active Users reached 68 million users, up from last year’s 62 million.”
Steam remains quite a bit larger, though: Where the Epic Games Store peaked at 34.4 million users active across a single day in 2022, Steam sometimes has over 30 million users active at the same moment in time. Its concurrent users record, according to SteamDB (opens in new tab), is currently 33,159,010.
Epic says its Epic Games Store development priority this year is to improve performance, but it’s also working on new features, including support for subscription services like EA Play. The biggest announcement of the day from Epic, however, is that it has launched its self-publishing tools (opens in new tab), allowing anyone with $100 to submit a game to the Epic Games Store.