Ever since Epic started giving away free games, it started to become more popular than it ever was. The most significant growth occurred when they gave away Grand Theft Auto V for absolutely free. This was done as part of the Vault campaign by Epic Games Store which started on May 15, 2020, and went on till June 11, 2020.
In this campaign, major AAA games were available for free only after a certain time. This campaign started off with one of the most popular action games in the last few years, Grand Theft Auto V. Grand Theft Auto V was a very successful game and played by many in 2020, despite being released for PC in 2015. Still, many people wanted to get their hands on this game, who were not able to purchase it initially. So, when GTA V was made available for free on the Epic Games Store, so many new people joined that it ended up crashing the server for Epic Games Store.
The Vault event did not stop at Grand Theft Auto V. During this event, one AAA game was given away for free each week. After GTA V, it was followed by Sid Meier’s Civilization 6, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, and ARK: Survival Evolved. Thanks to this, Epic Games Store reached an all-time high of daily and monthly peak users. They got almost 13 million average concurrent players, along with a whopping 61 million monthly active users.
Steve Allison, the general manager of Epic Games Store said in a press release, that it was a huge success and that the results have exceeded their expectations. He also said, "In 2020, we’ve been growing at a historic rate." He also said that the peak concurrent user record for the store is now 13 million.”
Epic Games Store’s recent success has made it a tough competitor to Steam and has gotten really close to Steam’s numbers in regards to users. Epic Games Store is a digital game store and a standalone launcher created in 2018 by Epic Games Inc. The popularity of Epic Games Store was mostly due to Fortnite, one of the most popular battle royale games this generation. As mentioned before, another reason for its recent success is the AAA game giveaways. Another important thing to mention about Epic Games Store is that they take a lower share of the revenue from the publishers and developers. This makes it more profitable for the developers and publishers to launch their new games in here.