Epic Games Store Vs. Steam: The Numbers Game

Epic Games Store has been around for a couple of years, whereas Steam has spent more than a decade to become the largest digital marketplace for PC games. Steam has enjoyed an exclusive stature that has never allowed any other similar platform to even think of competing on the same levels. However, Epic Games Store has now done the impossible. The new digital storefront has managed to produce numbers that hardly anyone was expecting in all fairness.

Total Registered Players of Steam and Epic Games Store

Steam reportedly crossed 1 billion registered accounts in April 2019, a month after the Epic Games Store was confirmed to have surpassed 85 million registered accounts. Both milestones were obviously impressive in their own ways. The latter though having more significance because the Epic Games Store reached those figures in less than four months after being launched.

In January 2020, Epic Games officially confirmed its digital marketplace to have amassed 108 million registered accounts. Within the same month, it was discovered that Steam actually had 667.7 million registered accounts. The earlier billion report was based on how Steam accounts are sequentially created; until it was ousted that nearly 2.5 million accounts were missing, meaning that they were either never created or were deleted.

Take note that the number of registered accounts are never indicative of the number of active players. Those registered accounts always include a decent number of inactive, alternate, or bot accounts.

Total Active Players of Steam and Epic Games Store

Steam officially recorded an average number of 90 and 95 million monthly active players in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Epic Games Store shied away from revealing its active number of players until recently when the digital marketplace was officially confirmed to have crossed over 61 million monthly active players.

Furthermore, as of March 2020, Steam reached a record peak of over 22 million concurrent users in a single day, which also included users who were logged into their clients but were not playing. Within the same month though, Steam reached a record peak of over 7.25 million concurrent players actively playing games in a single day. The last record held by Steam was from January 2018 where over 7.2 million concurrent players were actively playing in a single day.


Steam vs Epic

On the other hand, as of June 2020, Epic Games Store has recorded an average peak of 13 million concurrent users. However, there has been no clarification if those numbers include actively-playing users or not.

The Ground Reality

The word average here though is subjective for both Steam and Epic Games Store. Steam saw an enormous boost in player-counts in the past few months due to global lockdowns and self-isolations being imposed on part of COVID-19. Epic Games Store likely witnessed the same, except that the digital storefront also ran a lucrative campaign, dubbed The Vault, which gave away several major games for free such as Grand Theft Auto 5, Civilization 6, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, and Ark: Survival Evolved, with more to come.

To say that Epic Games Store has started to make Steam sweat would be foolhardy. To undermine Epic Games Store though, would also be impulsive. Steam remains the crowned king of digital marketplaces for PC games due to its immense reach as well as its household games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Epic Games Store has Fortnite which has over 350 million registered players alone. It also remains to be seen how the storefront tries to retain its player-base which goes beyond monstrous giveaways. While surpassing Steam will still be a great challenge, other digital marketplaces have just seen a two-year-old platform leave them in the dust.

Saqib Mansoor is a managing editor at segmentnext.com who has halted regime changes, curbed demonic invasions, and averted at least one cosmic omnicide from the confines of his gaming chair.