The Epic Games Store Has A Massive User Base

The Epic Games Store Has A Massive User Base
Image: Epic Games

While it’s obviously not going to be at the same level as Steam, the Epic Games Store has got plenty of fans of its own. Helped by a string of excellent free games throughout 2020, Epic has revealed some key figures in its official year in review.

The full breakdown offers the best public snapshot of Epic’s attempts to take on Valve’s juggernaut Steam, which has been the defacto digital PC gaming marketplace for almost 20 years. And so far, the battle’s going well. Epic also revealed that their monthly active users has soared to over 56 million, with more than 749 million free games claimed via Epic accounts over the last year.

When some of those free games include GTA 5 and Civilization 6, it’s no surprise so many people took advantage. But outside of the giant infographic, Epic revealed that their daily active users has risen to 31.3 million, with a peak concurrent users rising to 13 million from 7 million last year.

epic games
Image: Epic

By comparison, Steam has been enjoying peak concurrent users around the 23 and 24 million mark for most of this month. Epic’s peak concurrent users means it’s roughly at the point where Steam was at the end of 2016, so they’re not doing too badly at all. To put the 56 million monthly active users in comparison, consider this: The Switch has sold 68 million units worldwide, according to Nintendo’s latest figures. Purchasing behaviours are obviously hugely different when picking up a Switch versus using a PC, but it highlights the opportunity Epic has with their store design, algorithms and push notifications to encourage someone just playing Fortnite or GTA 5 to try another game.

Of course, what helps the growth and stickiness of Steam is the ability for developers to self-publish on the platform. That’s something Epic says they’ll have soon:

In 2021, we’re going to rapidly expand the catalog of new titles available on the Epic Games Store even further by providing developers with self-publishing tools for the EGS Platform and we’ll be releasing details on those specific plans soon.

What’ll be interesting to see for both platforms is whether the pandemic-induced spike in hours played and users tails off any time this year. So far, both platforms — and all forms of gaming — have surged into the stratosphere. As vaccines start to be rolled out worldwide, it’ll be interesting to see whether gaming’s newest audiences stay with the trend, or revert to pre-2020 behaviours.


  • The only reason I ever used this abomination was to play Satisfactory. Satisfactory is now on Steam. I have since not been back to the epic store.

  • I have a very large Epic games library, I have spent maybe $10 (and even then that was with a $20 discount code).

    Between Fortnite being free, and all the freeloaders, I think Epic’s stats aren’t exactly representative.

  • I have a huge library on EGS.
    I have spent ZERO dollars.

    I refuse to give them money… first because they didnt have prices in $AUD at the beginning, then when they did they were still Australian tax so despite claiming to give better returns they have NEVER competed in pricing to Steam. (Hell, JB Hifi sells Day 1 boxes of EGS exclusive games $15+ less then a digital store with no shipping overheads).

    If Epic was serious about being a market disruptor they would use their money to have a price war… not throw bribes at publishers and free games.

    • In most Epic sales, if you include the $10 discount coupon, it has been possible to buy the vast majority of games significantly cheaper on Epic than they have ever sold for on Steam. You can only make the case that Steam is cheaper if you completely ignore this extra discount off the list price.

      And regardless, a much larger percentage of your cash is going directly into the pockets of the people who actually made your game instead of paying for a few more litres of rocket fuel in Gabe’s private jet, which ultimately means more profitable developers and more and better games.

    • I have to agree with @angorafish here… EGS have absolutely competed in price with basically every storefront, and on more than one occasion.

      You ignoring their sales and the coupon/discount system they use during said sales doesn’t mean it fails to exist.

      • Even there best sale… I can still find it equal or cheaper. I am still amazed JB Hifi buying power can still beat a digital only store fronts on list platforms

        • No, just no.

          I bought Star Wars Squadrons a few weeks ago off EGS for $15, and Jedi Fallen Order for $21… And there were all manner of titles on sale in much the same way at the time. As there is during basically all of their sales.

          On their BEST day JB Hifi aint matching discounts like that. Hell, only shady key resellers could.

          You clearly have an issue with Epic and their store, as you’re blatantly ignoring things you don’t want to see or hear. That or you own a JB Hifi.

  • Large user base but how many paying users, especially for third party titles? The third party revenue is only around 30% of total and only about $1.60 USD per user over a year. That’s despite constant sales and $15 store wide (and sale stacking) coupons they hand out multiple times a year. It also follows them paying for exclusive access to a number of titles.

    It sort of reads to me they have a lot of people playing Fortnite and Rocket League, but the store in general may not be too healthy in terms of third party sales, with their user base snapping up free titles but not anything else.

    No doubt it’s a long term bet but that consumers will start splashing out more.

    • Hades. The first exclusive game on EGS… only found critical, commercial and award winning success 1.5 years later after they went Steam and Nintendo release. There is a doco of the devs, its odd to watch them get giddy about Syeam and Nintendo announcements.

      • Interesting. May be too early to say, but I’m curious how Hitman 3 is faring compared to other console platforms or even Hitman 2. Would be interesting to see if it spikes after landing elsewhere when the exclusive window lapses.

        • Hitman would be interesting, cause Hitman 2 user base was 100% Steam Key only PC hence the backlash.

          I always wanted to see Borderlands 3 numbers since they were a 6 month exclusive, and cause it was I believe Borderlands 2 was Steam Key only too.

          • Borderlands 3 is the only game I’ve played on Epic as I’m playing on a Mac and Steam aren’t selling the Mac version.

            Where I can I’ve gravitated towards GOG for DRM free copies of games.

      • Hades was on Steam for like 8 months before it came out of early access… Which is when it released along side the Switch version.

        The acclaim you speak of is far more about it’s full release than anything to do with Steam.

  • Like others massive free epic library. (x 4) A bit salty about Rocket League, however I do see myself buying something there one day. Less of the opinion everything needs to be on Steam these days. Pretty much means you can have several machines playing different games concurrently.

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