The battle for market share between Epic Games and Steam has been really heating up since Epic launched their storefront back in 2018. Thanks to their ongoing dispute with Apple, Epic Games have given us a remarkable insight into just what it takes, to try and claim a slice of the PC gaming pie.
So let's take a look at the latest figures, and see how these two companies are doing.
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The makers of Fortnite have been embroiled in a pretty ugly lawsuit with Apple. This means that a huge amount of data has become available. We've learned that Epic have spent an astronomical $444 million on exclusivity deals in 2020, designed to bring games to the Epic Games Store, with the guarantee they will stay off Steam for at least a year. That's an enormous financial commitment, which in 2020 saw a return of $265 million on third party games. That's against overall sales of $700 million, and an increase in monthly active users from 32 million in 2019, to 56 million in December 2020.
While these are some impressive numbers, the Epic Games Store is set to operate at another loss in 2021. According to documents (via Ars Technica), Epic's storefront chocked up a $181 million loss in 2019, with the company projecting to lose $273 million and $139 million on the Epic Games Store in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
They also stated that they have over 160 million Epic Games Store PC users. Daily active users are 31.3 million, an increase of 192 percent, with a peak of 13 million concurrent players in 2020. This was up from 7 million in 2019. These are some impressive growth figures from Epic, but how do they stack up in comparison to Steam?
Valve, meanwhile, in their own review of 2020, reported 120 million monthly active users, so just over double what Epic Games reported. This was up from 95 million in 2019. They also stated they had 62.6 million daily active users, and peak concurrent users of 24.8 million in 2020,around 7 million users more than the previous year. They highlighted 50.7% more hours played, and 21.4% more games purchased. Which is understandable, in the midst of a global pandemic when everyone was locked up at home.
While these are great headline figures, there are concerns around Steam's retention rate in recent years. This will undoubtedly be tested once again by the release of exclusive titles for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This in addition to Epic Games continuing to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into securing exclusive titles at Steam's expense.
There is a long way to go in this battle between Steam and Epic Games. Both companies delivered some impressive figures across 2020. Given that Epic Games Store has only been available for two years, they have rapidly gained traction, albeit after enormous investment.
The ongoing Apple vs Epic trial over the App Store is continuing to give us more details about Epic and its storefront, so we'll be sure to update this with any new information that gets released.
This was undoubtedly helped by the amount of time everyone was staying at home during this period. We've taken a closer look at the respective storefronts for each of them here. Take a look, and decide for yourself which one is a better fit for you.
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