Epic Games’ goal of toppling Steam’s monopoly in the PC gaming world is a tall order. The neophyte digital storefront has employed aggressive strategies, from releasing time-locked exclusive games to offering developers a higher cut from sales compared to Steam’s margin. One of their methods, which has baffled most people, is giving away free games every week since their launch in late 2018 to convince users to try out their platform.
CEO Sweeney said in an interview that game developers had seen increased sales on other platforms after they’ve put their game up on the store as a freebie. Players can try out different genres that they might not have noticed nor willing to shell out money before. This increased awareness also benefitted other games in the same family as players looked for similar stories and gameplay.
While the program was supposed to end last December, Epic Games promised to continue the program throughout 2020. That is a blessing during a time when everyone, from students and professors to marketing executives and oral surgeons, is forced to stay inside due to the pandemic.
How to avail of the free games?
Anyone with an Epic Store account can avail of these free games. Users will be able to keep them forever after adding them to one’s library. Epic Games usually give away one or two free games every week, with new games coming in every Thursday at 8 PTD/ 11 ETD/ 16 BST. It has also been a requirement to enable two-factor authentications to help users increase the security of their accounts. This move comes at a time when privacy issues from other platforms are becoming an ongoing issue.
Even if users haven’t bought a game from Epic, they can build an impressive collection with the 73 games made available since the beginning. They’ve made games free from indie games like Celeste and Superhot to triple-A titles like Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto V.
Last week’s freebie games were 2D strategy-adventure game Pathway where players have to explore ruins, extract artifacts, and fight enemies in a turn-based squad combat. Escapists 2, an open-ended stealth prison break game, was supposed to join Pathway as a freebie, but the release has been delayed. There is no news yet when Escapists 2 will become available on the platform.
What are next week’s free games?
Gamers, though, can grab the following games this week:
- AER Memories of Old
If you’ve ever dreamed of flying through a gorgeous landscape, then this exploration game is for you. Players will follow the adventure of Auk, a girl with the ability to transform into a bird and try to unlock the secrets of the old gods by solving mysteries and puzzles. Different floating islands and ancient ruins hold the key to saving the world on the brink of disaster. The beautiful atmosphere and vibrant minimalist art style are two of the strong points of the game.
- Stranger Things 3: The Game
Fans waiting for the fourth season of Stranger Things can relive the events of the previous season through this old-school 16-bit art style. There are 12 playable characters in the game, which includes the main protagonists of the show and their friends, out to defeat the four bosses. Quick wit and unconventional means of fighting are rewarded in this game as opposed to charging full steam ahead.
Epic Games’ giveaways are proving to be a successful mechanism of tempting gamers to check out the storefront. Every week brings visitors to the platform.