The Epic Games Store Holiday Sale once again features endless $10 off coupons for its duration. Combined with the sale’s price cuts, there are some deals here that raised my eyebrows.
Take Chivalry 2, my favorite game of the year: It’s $16.79 right now. Spooky card game Inscryption is $5.99. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is $38.99. Battlefield 2042, a game with very negative user reviews that I nevertheless enjoy, is $29.59 with the discount and coupon. (It’s also free for the weekend on Steam right now if you just want to try it, though.)
These are the prices you’ll see in your shopping cart (an innovative feature recently added to the Epic Games Store), but not on the store page, where the $10 off coupons aren’t factored in. It barely makes sense to call them “coupons,” really, because everything happens automatically: Any game that currently costs $14.99 or more will get a $10 discount when you check out. That’s true whether or not the current price is a discounted price; it just has to be $14.99 or more right now. (In the UK, the minimum is £13.99.)
There’s no limit to the number of $10 off coupons you can use, except for whatever limit is naturally imposed by the total number of games in the Epic Games Store that cost $14.99 or more. I’m not sure what that is, but the store has come a long way since it launched with a handful of games a few years ago. It’s well-stocked.
Epic is also giving away a free game every day for 15 days. Right now you can claim Shenmue 3, which released last year.
We didn’t really need to examine court documents to know this, but earlier this year filings in the Epic v Apple trial confirmed that Epic has been intentionally taking huge losses on The Epic Games Store in an effort to attract new users, particularly those who’ve spent years building libraries on Steam. The major expenses have been its free game giveaways and, controversially, the semi-exclusivity deals that are keeping games such as Chivalry 2 and Hitman 3 off of Steam for a year.
This user acquisition-and-retention spending spree was made possible by the billions Epic has made from Fortnite, so I guess we have Fortnite players and their unquenchable thirst for back bling to thank for Hitman 3 being $13.99 at checkout right now. It’s another of our favorite games of 2021.
Epic’s sale and coupons will be around for three weeks, ending January 6, so there’s no rush to take advantage of it. The Steam Winter Sale will start next week, and it will likely feature equivalent discounts on the games which appear on both stores—although Steam has not matched Epic’s $10 off coupons in the past.