When Games Go Free On Epic, They Sell More Copies On Other Platforms, Says Epic Founder Tim Sweeney

When Games Go Free On Epic, They Sell More Copies On Other Platforms, Says Epic Founder Tim Sweeney
Credit: Sid Meier's Civilization via YouTube

According to Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games, when a game goes from on the Epic Games Store, it benefits everyone. Obviously we know why it benefits the player. Players get to download and keep the game without opening their wallets. You literally couldn’t get a better deal outside of getting paid to keep the game.

What about the developers and publishers, though? What about the other sales platforms? According to Sweeney, the promotions act as a rising tide, lifting all boats. There are a few reasons for this.

If a player isn’t interested in a game, they’re not going to buy it. It’s that simple. If they’re curious, and the price is right, that might change things. But, if there’s just zero interest, it doesn’t matter what the price is. Unless, however, that price is free. That’s a different story.

Civilization 6  was free just recently, before being replaced by Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Those two games couldn’t be more different. If you’re a Borderlands fanatic, you clearly enjoy the fast-paced action gameplay that Borderlands offers and the Civilization series absolutely does not. However, if Civilization 6 is free, there’s no compelling reason not to grab it.

If you grab Civilization 6, why wouldn’t you play it? After all, you “bought” it, and it’s now a part of your library. And then – final question, I promise – what if it turns out you actually do like it?

Just like that, Firaxis Games and published Take-Two Interactive just secured a new fan, all thanks to one of their games going free on the Epic Games Store.

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

When these games go free, everyone suddenly notices their friends playing these games and they want a piece of the action. Most would probably head over to the EGS and grab their free copy. However, there are those who greatly prefer Steam over Epic’s platform, to the point where they’d rather spend the money to get the game on steam rather than grab it for free on Epic.

Then there are console games who don’t have access to the EGS and can’t get the free games. So what are they going to do? They’re going to buy Borderlands or Civilization 6 on their Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4. And just like that, the game that went free ended up raking in money for the publisher, developer, and other sales platforms.

The logic of it all makes sense and reinforces a a very important notion: free is great. More things should be free!