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Epic Games Reportedly Eyeing Subscription Launch in Race for Gamers’ Loyalty

As gaming consoles and game developers alike compete for consumers’ recurring spending, Fortnite parent company Epic Games is reportedly looking into launching its own subscription service.  

According to Game Rant, a new leak shows that the video game and software developer and publisher may soon announce a subscription service for its Epic Games Store, noting that it appears that the subscription would have monthly and annual plans as well as possibly the option to bundle the service with Electronic Arts’ EA Play. 

As it is, Epic Games already offers subscriptions specific to Fortnite, dubbed Fortnite Crew, offering exclusive in-game features and perks for $11.99/month, though it does not have any cross-portfolio subscriptions. 

Epic Games did not immediately respond to PYMNTS’ request for comment. 

More game developers are getting into subscriptions or fine-tuning their subscription offerings. A week ago, for instance, Assassin’s Creed owner Ubisoft relaunched its subscription program, combining two existing services under the name Ubisoft+ Premium and adding an Ubisoft+ Classics on PC option. 

Meanwhile, companies that made their name off of their video game console hardware are also targeting gamers’ subscription spending.

Microsoft-owned Xbox, for instance, has been spending more than $1 billion on content annually for its Game Pass subscription. In the tech company’s last earnings report, Microsoft shared that Game Pass growth contributed to a 13% year-over-year increase in Xbox content and services, and the content and services gains drove a $309 million increase in overall gaming revenue for the company.

Similarly, Nintendo Switch Online and PlayStation Plus each have tens of millions of subscribers.

Certainly, the demand is there, with consumers dedicating plenty of time to leisure. A PYMNTS Intelligence study of more than 4,600 consumers in July found that consumers spend an average of 4.7 hours per day, or 27% of their time, on leisure activities on a given workday, and that figure jumps to 6.9 hours on weekends.

Plus, the PYMNTS Intelligence report “Benchmarking The World’s Digital Transformation,” which drew from surveys of more than 15,000 consumers across 11 countries, found that 61% are highly digitally engaged when it comes to activities related to having fun, and another 17% are moderately engaged.

That being said, there is only so much money that consumers can dedicate to their gaming habits, according to findings from the PYMNTS Intelligence study “The One-Stop Bill Pay Playbook: Drivers of Consumers’ Bill Payment Priorities,” created in collaboration with Mastercard, which drew on a survey more than 2,100 U.S. consumers. 

The study found that 38% would cancel their digital media subscriptions if they were unable to pay all their bills. In contrast, only 22% said they would prioritize paying these bills in full over others. Plus, the same report revealed that digital media subscription payments are among the monthly bills that consumers are the most likely to skip payments for. 

As Epic Games considers the launch of its subscription service, it will need to navigate this highly competitive landscape, offering unique value, to hold its own against the stiff competition in the space.