Epic Games is a company that lives up to its name. It’s best known for Fortnite, the biggest cultural phenomenon in gaming in the 21st century. And its Unreal Engine has brought to life legendary worlds from Final Fantasy to Game of Thrones to The Mandalorian.
But over the last year, its lesser known digital storefront, Epic Games Store, has been steadily gaining ground on category goliath, Steam. To accelerate that growth in a big way, and give something awesome back to players around the world, Epic joined forces with Battery to create an unprecedented global event celebrating the gamer community.
It all started by investing in the rights to some of the biggest games in the world — triple-A titles like Grand Theft Auto V, Civilization 6, and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Then, one by one, we set them free from a larger-than-life vault, revealing a new top-secret game each week, free for anyone to download and keep forever, with no strings attached.
To unleash this juggernaut into the world, Battery and Havas Media set off a frenzy of speculation about upcoming titles in the vault with an unignorable campaign in 20 markets across North America, LATAM, Europe, and APAC, for a four-week blitz. On the first day, the store traffic was so insane that we had to pump the brakes on advertising because the site crashed in the first two minutes after getting 40 million requests per second, far beyond any of our projections. Overnight we saw 4x the number of new account sign-ups, and in that first week after we announced GTA 5 we drove a 245% increase in PC players.
The campaign blew all expectations out of the water, pushing the Epic Games Store to an average peak concurrent user count of 13 million, and its monthly active user total to more than 61 million. After four short weeks, that historic growth rate puts it within striking range of Steam, which if we’re keeping score has been around 15 years longer. And it’s been a boon to PC gamers, who have scooped up some of the most sought after titles for free. With that kind of fan love, the Epic Games Store is now living up to the outsize expectations of its name.