Sharing the details with GameDaily.biz, Epic revealed that the Epic Games Store (EGS) made $680 million in sales from a user base totaling at 108 million players in its first year of being active. EGS attracted many developers by offering a more favorable revenue split of 88/12. For comparison, Valve offers a 70/30 revenue split on Steam. EGS was also popular with smaller developers because they offer a less crowded storefront in general. EGS was not able to best Valve’s Steam revenue which made over a billion in sales, but Steam has been dominant in PC sales since its inception in 2003.
“On the metrics of account growth and revenue, we are ahead of our early expectations,” Steve Allison, Epic Games Store GM, remarked to GameDaily. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney speculated that offering a weekly free game was a boost to the popularity of EGS. It is planned for EGS to continue offering a weekly free game as 2020 continues. “108M is the total number of Epic Games accounts which have specifically obtained the PC version of at least one product, whether free or paid,” Tim Sweeney told GameDaily.biz. EGS had over 300 million registered accounts across all available platforms.
The year was not always an easy ride for EGS and Epic Games. Epic Games received some backlash for its strategy around claiming exclusivity deals with game developers and publishers. Epic cites the exclusivity as one of the tools that helped EGS be the success it is and Epic plans on using the strategy in the future. EGS initially was missing some key features such as a search engine and a shopping cart, making navigating the site challenging for customers. Finally, the large stakeholder and Chinese business partner for Epic Games Tencent was accused of conducting espionage on Chinese citizens. However, the accusation levied against Tencent involved a popular app called Wechat, not a property of Epic Games itself.
Currently, Epic Games plans to stay the course with their business model around EGS, and claims to have a large host of upcoming games that’ll be exclusive to EGS. Epic may have a chance to expand the reach of EGS as it is rumored that Xbox Series X will have a “Windows mode,” which will run Windows 10 and both Steam and EGS can be used in that mode.