The Epic Games Store has started 2024 by continuing its tradition of offering free weekly games. The latest free titles hint at upcoming releases and provide some clues into Epic’s content strategy for the year.
Two Free Games Now Available
As of January 2nd, there are two free games available on the Epic Games Store:
- 20 Minutes Till Dawn – a roguelike survival game with action-packed horde defense battles. It will be free until January 5th.
- Escape Academy – a unique puzzle game that tasks players with escaping elaborate rooms. Free until January 5th.
These two games showcase different genres and appeal to a wide gaming audience. 20 Minutes Till Dawn is fast-paced and challenging, while Escape Academy offers a more methodical co-op experience.
Sources indicate that Epic plans to continue offering free games each week in 2024 as a way to drive more users to its platform. The free games program has proven successful, with Epic reaching over 500 million Epic Games Store users in late 2023.
Leaked List Hints at Future Freebies
A leaked list suggests some of the titles Epic is considering for future giveaways this year:
- A Plague Tale: Requiem
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Slime Rancher 2
- Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus
This list contains major titles across genres like action, adventure, strategy, and family-friendly games. If accurate, it means Epic is willing to give away recent premium games instead of just older catalog titles.
Analysts say this shows Epic’s commitment to making the storefront as attractive as possible to compete with rivals like Steam. The free games also incentivize gamers to use and engage with the Epic client.
Impact on Steam and Store Competition
Epic’s free game strategy puts pressure on dominant digital storefront Steam to offer better discounts and perks. For example, Steam held a winter sale with record savings on popular games in response.
While Steam still enjoys a majority PC gaming market share exceeding 80%, Epic continues to chip away thanks to exclusive titles and consumer-friendly offers.
The competition has widely been seen as a benefit for gamers. Both stores need to aggressively court players with lower prices as they vie for market position.
The free games in particular make the Epic Store an appealing option for players looking to expand their libraries without spending money. As Epic tries to build its ecosystem, freebies help onboard new users.
What’s Next for Epic Games Store
In 2024, industry watchers expect Epic to keep investing in more free game giveaways and new exclusives. Support for modding and achievements are rumored to be on the horizon as additional ways to improve feature parity with Steam.
While Steam maintains dominance, the Epic Games Store is steadily making progress. Tactics like weekly free titles help introduce new gamers into the fold. With over half a billion users to date thanks to promotions and exclusives, Epic has shown it can successfully challenge even entrenched gaming services.
The free games model has paid dividends and all signs point to this consumer-friendly strategy expanding. As Epic and Steam vie for market share in 2024, gamers stand to benefit from this intense competition via discounts, giveaways, and additions to their ever-growing backlogs.
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