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

text, logo © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

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

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. Over the period covered by the document, Epic paid over $11.6 million in total for the games. In response to the deals, almost five million new users signed up to the store, which translates to Epic paying $2.37 for each new user it signed up in this period. That’s money which the company would theoretically make back if each new user went on to buy just one $20 game, based on the 12 percent commission Epic takes on new purchases.

graphical user interface: A table showing how much Epic paid for each free game. © Image: Epic Games A table showing how much Epic paid for each free game.

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