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In a nutshell: The Epic v Apple trial continues to reveal secrets from both companies. The latest court document shows that the Epic Games Store's GTA V giveaway was a colossal success. They also outline Epic's plan to grow the marketplace's gross revenue through more of the same in what it calls "Operation Moonshot."
Last year when Epic was giving Grand Theft Auto V away in its game store, so many customers rushed to claim the freebie that it crashed the EGS servers. It was unclear how many claimed the uber-popular title that had already sold 120 million copies on multiple platforms. However, court documents from the Epic Games v Apple antitrust case reveal just how popular the giveaway was.
According to documents obtained by The Verge, more than 7 million users flooded the Epic Games Store to take advantage of the promotion. The game grab was bigger than any other EGS put out. The closest any other titles came was when Civilization 6 (2.5 million) and Subnautica (nearly 1 million) when they were free. A graph presented to the court shows just how much GTA V eclipsed all other free game offers (below).
Despite the boost to its monthly active users (MAU), EGS still has a long road ahead of it if it wants to catch up with the likes of Steam. When Epic announced its self-publishing closed beta this week, it revealed its current MAU count sits at 58 million, that's compared to Steams 120 million MAU.
As to that long road, the court document also revealed Epic's plan, dubbed "Project Moonshot," to achieve "$1 billion in gross revenue." The company looks to continue grabbing exclusives when it can and pushing free game promotions for the foreseeable future. However, it has recently struggled with a slowdown in growth.
Project Moonshot's goal is to fire a rocket ship of support that shoots the Epic Game Store past the 2020-22 years in current 5 year plan to $1BLN Gross Revenue by growing users & taking awareness well beyond much faster through investment in supporting the major beats that drive our business: Major launches, Free Games and Key Sale(s).
Last December, Epic reported its MAU count at 56 million. That means that in seven months, the EGS has only gained 2 million new users. In contrast, between December 2019 and December 2020, the count jumped by about 24 million MAU, an average of 2 million per month. So new converts have been substantially low for 2021 so far. It's highly unlikely EGS will add another 22 million by the end of the year.