The deep sea survival game Subnautica is free for a limited time through the Epic Games Launcher. This follows closely on the heels of Epic's announcement of an Epic digital distribution service that begins with their launcher. And even better? Epic says they will be releasing a free game every two weeks until the end of 2019!
Subnautica debuted to the world four years ago as an Early Access title through Steam. After years of additional development, the seafaring title released fully in January of this year. The game places players in a dire survival scenario: Their spaceship has crashed, seemingly with all hands either lost or dead. Players end up having to fend for themselves on an uncharted ocean world. Securing resources, salvaging gear, upgrading equipment, researching upgrades, and constructing a base of operations all become engrossing activities. It only recently launched on consoles, and unfortunately the free version seems to be exclusive to PC for now.
Announced via Epic Games, the company has launched its year-long free game service with Subnautica, an offer which will disappear on December 27 to be replaced by a new free title. The service itself is free - all that you need to do to download the free biweekly game is to download the Epic Games Launcher and download the free title from there. From that point on, it's yours to keep with no strings attached. While a schedule of the games coming to the platform have yet to be announced, we do know that the next game heading to Epic users for free will be Team Meat's classic platformer Super Meat Boy.
This move to distribute free games doesn't come out of the goodness of Epic Games' heart, however. The company is making an effort to capitalize on the 200 million people who play Fortnite through their service, a number that absolutely dwarfs juggernauts of the industry like Steam, which boasted a record 18.5 million users in January of this year. If even 10% of Epic's user base begins to use Epic Games as their go-to digital platform of choice, things could really begin to shake up in the slowly crowding digital distribution market. Undoubtedly, the allure of free games for an entire year will keep people opening up the Epic Games platform and building a collection of titles that could potentially include a few games they picked up on the storefront beyond the free games. It's a perfect way to rope in people who are already playing Fortnite and bring in new blood who want free games.
Overall, this will likely accelerate some degree of competition between the biggest digital storefronts like Steam, Good Old Games, and Origin. With free games bringing in users and a better cost sharing arrangement than other platforms, Epic really does have a shot at securing a spot as not one of the most used but the most used digital games platforms in the world. This could be the beginning of an entirely different digital ecosystem.
Be sure to grab Subnautica on PC before December 27!
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