Recap: Earlier this week Epic Games released their 2021 Year in Review. The release, which provides no shortage of self-reported usage and sales statistics, points to an overall increase in the platform's use. But feedback from the gaming community questions if the increase is due to more users joining the service for the content or simply stopping by for the store's free games.
Epic's Year in Review 2021 highlighted an overall growth trend across the year, adding 34 million new users since 2020 and increases in daily, monthly, and concurrent user counts. The publisher's growth is the result of their own efforts to grow the platform as well as the explosive growth of PC gaming and hardware sales in 2021.
In 2021 the Epic Games Store gave away 89 free titles valued at $2,120, which added up to a hefty 765 million copies claimed across the year. Epic's announcement confirmed the company will continue the free game giveaways in 2022 to attract new users and provide quality content to existing customers. The free titles are made available to the store's users on a weekly basis and are a permanent part of their game library once claimed.
Despite how it might sound, the "free" games that are given away are hardly free to Epic. The company is still responsible for paying game developers for the right to make it available to their users at no cost. Epic looks to continue offering these games in hopes of continued user base growth and increased spending on future exclusives. While it might seem like a losing proposition, the free games have been a big driver in Epic's ability to gain some ground against services like Steam.
The company's announcement highlighted several other developments coming in 2022, including expanded social and community features, game hubs, and Epic Games Store application enhancements. Fans and critics alike can follow Epic's planned and upcoming content and enhancements through the Epic Games Store Roadmap on Trello.