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Epic Games Store is buying goodwill with free games, and that’s OK

If you’re a regular reader, you know that Epic Games Store keeps giving away free games. Throughout 2019, they had been giving out weekly freebies. During the holiday season, it has been a daily freebie.

Ever since the platform launched in December 2018, Epic has encountered resistance from PC gamers. With each new Epic Games Store timed-exclusive came a swift, fierce, and often disproportionate online backlash. The response, if you ask me, was often unreasonable.

So what do you do when your potential customers are up in arms? You give them free stuff, naturally.

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The weekly (and now daily) freebie program is clearly intended to smooth things over with fans. Basically, Epic has resorted to a perfectly legal form of old-fashioned bribery in the same way that a fast-food chain might offer free food to lure in new customers or as an attempt to rectify an unpleasant experience. They’re saying, “see? We’re not that bad.”

And truth be told, they never were bad. The Epic Games Store infused some much-needed competition into the PC gaming space. Steam’s domination – and its ability to demand a 30% cut of developer revenue – was bad for the industry. And although Steam has improved its policies over the years – for instance, finally offering refunds – it has only done so at a glacial pace.

Yeah, Epic Games Store’s free games are basically an attempt to buy goodwill. And that’s okay. Having healthy competition is good for consumers, good for developers, and good for the overall industry.