Epic spent at least $ 11.6 million on free games and got 5 million new users in return

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A new document released as part of Epic’s legal battle with Apple has revealed how much Epic paid developers to give their games away for free after the launch of the Epic Games Store in December 2018. The document, that was spotted by writer Simon Carless, includes the 38 games that will be given away for free between December and September of the following year. We already know that Epic spends millions on its giveaways, but the new document shows how much that translates per game.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney previously revealed that the company pays a flat fee to each developer to give away their games, rather than paying per download. In the period covered by the document, Epic paid a total of more than $ 11.6 million for the games. In response to the deals, nearly five million new users have signed up to the store, which translates to Epic paying $ 2.37 for every new user it signed up during this time. That’s money the company would theoretically recoup if each new user bought just one $ 20 game, based on the 12 percent commission Epic takes on new purchases.

A table showing how much Epic paid for each free game.
Image: Epic Games

After the ten months discussed in the table, Epic says it has acquired a total of 18.5 million new users through free game giveaways, and that about 7 percent of them, or about 1.3 million people, make a purchase .

A summary of the total number of users who have attracted Epic’s giveaways.
Image: Epic Games

There is a huge difference between how much Epic paid for each giveaway. On the upside is the $ 1.5 million it paid to give away the Batman Arkham trilogies, but it also paid significant amounts for Subnautica ($ 1.4 million) and M.utant Year Zero ($ 1 million). In comparison, the company paid a lot less for indie titles such as Super Meat Boy ($ 50,000), Jackbox Party Pack ($ 60,000), and Did ($ 75,000).

With only 38 titles, the list covers less than half of the 100+ games Epic has been giving away in its store since launch. It also doesn’t cover one of Epic’s biggest giveaways as of May 2020 when it was created GTA 5 for free in his shop. Rockstar’s title proved so popular that the store went offline for hours while everyone tried to claim their free copy.

In addition to paying to give away existing games for free, Epic has also paid for upcoming games to be released exclusively in the store. Another document released as part of the legal process and found by Carless reveals that Epic paid an advance of $ 146 million for a deal inclusive Borderlands 3 exclusivity.

The new songs were made public as part of Epic’s legal battle with Apple. The Fortnite developer accuses Apple’s App Store of having a monopoly, arguing against the 30 percent commission that Apple charges for many in-app purchases. With the trial in court starting this week, you can expect more of the inner workings of each company to be made public in the coming days.