Epic Games hosted a panel at Unreal Fest 2023 focusing on the state of the Epic Games Store and the future plans for the platform.
During the livestreamed panel, director of product and content strategy Kyle Billings explained that Epic is 100% committed to the store as a relevant part of its business and that commitment is "unwavering."
He also mentioned that the average number of new users per month in Q3 2023 was 2.4 million. 50% of the monthly players play only third-party content not developed by Epic (IE: they're not there for Fortnite). 67% of the monthly players play both third-party games and Epic's.
The target for the end of the year is to hit 70 million monthly active users.
Epic is engaged in an ongoing effort to improve launcher performance and the wishlist. Expanded search is coming in Q4 2023, and third-party subscription support is coming in Q1 2024. Moving beyond that in 2024 and 2025, there are plenty of initiatives planned to improve the EGS, as you can see in the slide below.
Speaking of promotional initiatives for the future the Free Games Program will continue through 2023 and beyond.
On top of that, on October 16 the store will launch Epic First Run and Now on Epic.
Epic First Run is an optional exclusivity program and was actually announced at Gamescom. It asks developers to release their games exclusively on the Epic Games Store for six months. During these six months, they will receive 100% of the revenue. Epic will start taking its 12% revenue share only after that period has passed.
Now on Epic asks developers to launch their older games on EGS and the economics are the same as First Run. The developer gets 100% of the revenue for the first six months. To be eligible developers need to either bring three older games to EGS or their whole catalog if they don't have three.
These initiatives embody the fact that Epic wants developers to bring all of their PC games to the EGS.
Interestingly Billings explained why developers should feel encouraged to focus their marketing and communication on the Epic Games Store rather than on other PC stores (he's looking at you, Steam). the 12% revenue share means that every customer who buys the game on the EGS is more valuable to a developer's bottom line than one who buys the game on a store with a higher revenue share.
Billings also shared that, as the EGS continues to scale, the goal is to contribute 30% of each game's unit sales, which would result in over 40% of revenue.
In other Epic Games Store news, the Epic Rewards program went live earlier this year.