The litigation between Apple and Epic Games has just started and the documents provided in the trial are revealing several interesting details. One of them details the investment made by Epic to get the games it gives away weekly in its store with the intention of getting new users: more than $ 11.6 million in its first nine months alone, between December 2018 and September 2019. Apparently this information would not be public until later, but Epic included this documentation by mistake and it has been leaked.
Want to know how much $ the devs of those ‘free’ Epic Games Store games got, & how many copies were grabbed? Here’s the first 9 months to September 2019. 👀 pic.twitter.com/5hkLb1VEjj Simon Carless (@simoncarless) May 3, 2021
The information details the payment to developers or publishers, which varies from case to case. To obtain The End is Nigh Edmund McMillen’s were paid 200.000 dlares, while by What Remains of Edith Finch de Annapurna slo 125.00 dlares. Epic pag 350.000 dlares for Limbo a PlayDead y 800.000 dlares in order to Inside, while Remedy received 150.000 dlares for Alan Wake. The biggest expense of this period was the trilogy of Batman: Arkham, what a cost 1.5 million, while Subnautica stay in $ 1.4 million. The best deal for Epic was Metro 2033 Redux, which Deep Silver offered at no cost to Epic – the goal was to encourage players to buy Metro Exodus, which was released as a temporary exclusive in the Epic store.
This document also reveals the number of users each free game attracted. Developer Raimi Ismail says this shows indie games are a great way to attract audiences – big names like Arkham brings large numbers, but also Oxenfree, Hyper Light Drifter, Super Meat Boy Y Did, with the advantage of costing much less.
This also shows just how important indie games are in a store’s portfolio. Even tho’ the big hitters drive a lot of users, going through these numbers you can see that AAA doesn’t perform better on the dollar than a good indie strategy does. Having both is critical. Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) May 3, 2021
A few gifts without a big impact on purchases
Obviously a large majority of users have created their account in Epic Games Store to get free weekly games but, does it serve to increase purchases? The document indicates that only 7% of users who have purchased at least one free game have made a purchase in the store, a percentage that seems very small; PC users are still reluctant to buy from the Epic Games store.
The information does not cover the impact of the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 free and Epic Games Store, nor the cost of other major launches in the last year. In any case, the goal is to get users for the store and that has been achieved: more than 160 million by the end of 2020.