Giving away games is like promotion according to the Epic CEO.
The Epic Games Store launched at the tail end of 2018 and proved to be quite the disrupting force for the PC landscape. Not only did Epic Games employ third party exclusives for the storefront, something almost completely unheard of in the PC ecosystem, they also charged a lower cut for publishers than most other stores. Their other gimmick has been giving away free games on a weekly basis, and according to the Epic Games CEO, that’s actually helping everyone.
In an interview with Gamespot, Tim Sweeney said that giving away free games on the Epic Games Store has acted as a sort of free promotion for developers and that they have seen an increase in their sales on other platforms.
“Most developers who launch their games for free on the store found that their sales on Steam and on console platforms actually increased after they went free on Epic because of increased awareness and so it’s been a really positive thing and it’s brought tens of millions of new users into the Epic Games ecosystem and that’s been a wonderful thing for the company.”
It does make some degree of sense, of course, as people become more aware of a company they will seek out games of theirs elsewhere, especially since the Epic Games Store currently has a very limited selection. The store still gives out free games on a weekly basis, often more than one at a time. Right now Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and Sludge Life are available free of charge to redeem.