Although the Epic Games Store had over 160 million customers in 2020, up from 108 million the year before, spending remained flat. Gamers reportedly spent $700 million in 2020, $265 million of which was spent on third-party titles.
In 2019, customers spent $680 million, with $251 million on third-party games. 90% of the sales came from the Epic Games Store time-limited exclusives. Despite adding 52 million new customers last year, overall spending increased by just $20 million, or $14 million for third-party games. The numbers are surprising, to say the least, in a year when gaming thrived as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The figures, in part, reflect Epic Games Store’s strategy in 2020. The company gave away 103 games, totaling $2,407 in value, which were downloaded over 749 million times. In 2019, 73 free games were given away, totaling $1,455 in value, and were downloaded over 200 million times. In essence, many gamers only visited the store for weekly free games last year, rarely spending any money on other titles.
Epic also reported that its daily active user count went up to 31.3 million, a 192% increase from 2019. In addition, its peak concurrent player count rose to 13 million in 2020, nearly doubling its 7 million peak in 2019. The storefront faces stiff competition from Steam, which had 25 million concurrent players after the release of Cyberpunk 2077, the biggest game launch of all time based on digital revenue and digital units sold.
In 2020, Steam had 120 million monthly active players, with 62.6 million daily active players. Game sales also increased 21.4% year-over-year, with the total number of hours played on Steam increasing 50.7%. This year, Valve plans on officially launching Steam China, while “filing down the rough edges” to make buying, installing, and playing games on the platform easier.
Meanwhile, the Epic Games Store Epic hopes to improve its numbers in 2021 by adding new features to its platform, including player profiles, game achievements, and a social overhaul, which aims to improve the storefront’s speed and stability of service.
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