Epic Games paid developers about $11.7 million for the games they gave away for free on the Epic Store from December 2018 to September 2019
That's a lot cheaper than I thought it was. Comes out to $12/user for the whole campaign, and that's a pretty good CAC. They could sustain this without much effect on their bottom line for a while.
edit: for reference, Epic has revenues of 9.6b with 3.85b in profit, revealed in the same court case's discovery.
Yep. Up to now I had thought they would have been paying out something upfront and negotiating a fee per install/redeem, but if they just buy a license outright then it's a no-brainer. The holiday figures probably have a worse UA cost breakdown but surely it'd still be peanuts.
Make sure to click into the tweet and look at the actual chart taken from the document. There's a lot of interesting info to notice in there (my favorite: Celeste being the "worst" in terms of cost for new user acquisition).
A couple notes for the chart:
In general really popular games will fare worse right? Because they'll end up having to give out entitlements to lots of people who are already in the ecosystem?
KInd of, Kind of not. Batman Arkham was a pretty old but popular game, but it had the largest payout and the most "new to epic%" outside of Subnautica (the original free game). I imagine many factors goes into what hooks users.
I can only speculate, but I imagine Celest had some of the worst UA due to a mix of its cost ($20), PC sales (people already bought it), and overall presentation (while well acclaimed, its trailer to a randomly browsing eye would just see yet another indie pixel platformer).
Another possible factor, but I also looked into the release timeline and noticed that it released free DLC a week after this start date. I'm unsure, but did the EGS version allow you to download this DLC?
I wonder how much it cost them for titles like GTA V.