Fall Guys originally launched as a paid game in August 2020, costing $19.99 on PlayStation and Steam. In June 2022, it transitioned to a free-to-play model across all platforms.
Fall Guys Original Pricing
When Fall Guys first released on August 4th, 2020, the standard price was $19.99 USD on both PlayStation 4 and Steam (PC).
According to sales data from SteamDB, the all-time peak player count in the first month after launch was over 60,000 concurrent players. For a new IP, this was an impressive debut.
PlayStation Pricing & Players
On PlayStation 4 specifically, Fall Guys was offered as one of the free monthly PlayStation Plus games in August 2020. This promotion was a huge driver of initial interest and allowed PS Plus subscribers to download the game at no additional cost. However, it was not permanently free.
During its PlayStation Plus promotional period in August 2020, Fall Guys broke records by becoming the most downloaded PS Plus game of all time with over 25 million downloads claimed.
According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, Fall Guys generated over $185 million in revenue across all platforms in its first year. Of that, approximately $83 million came from the console version of the game. With most console sales being on PlayStation initially, the paid $19.99 price point likely accounted for a significant portion of revenue.
Steam Pricing & Players
On Steam, there were no free options – all interested players had to purchase the game for $19.99 to gain access.
Looking at public Steam data, Fall Guys peaked at over 34,000 concurrent players in August 2020 across its all-time high 60,000+ concurrent player peak mentioned earlier.
The game saw some discounts and promotions on Steam after launch, such as weekend deals lowering the price to around $15 temporarily. But the original $19.99 USD price held as the normal Steam price prior to going free-to-play.
Summary of Original Pricing
In summary, the original pricing for Fall Guys was:
- PlayStation 4: $19.99 standard, or free with PS Plus
- Steam (PC): $19.99 standard
There were sales and deals that discounted the price at times, but $19.99 USD was the baseline cost to purchase and play Fall Guys before it transitioned to a free-to-play model.
Transition to Free-to-Play
In March 2021, Epic Games acquired Mediatonic, the development studio behind Fall Guys. At the time, it was unclear if this acquisition would result in pricing changes.
In May 2022, Mediatonic officially announced that Fall Guys would become free-to-play across all platforms in June 2022.
On June 21, 2022, Fall Guys transitioned to a free-to-play model as promised. The game is now available to download and play at no upfront cost on Nintendo Switch, Xbox platforms, PlayStation, and PC via the Epic Games Store.
There are optional in-game purchases through the item shop and season pass, but nothing is required to download and enjoy the core game.
Driving Factors for Free-to-Play Shift
Based on Mediatonic‘s public statements and wider industry trends, here are some of the likely factors that motivated the shift to free-to-play:
- Increasing competition from free multiplayer games like Fortnite and Apex Legends
- Desire to further extend Fall Guys reach to new platforms like Nintendo Switch and Xbox
- Opportunity to attract new players that are hesitant about an upfront $20 purchase
- Ongoing revenue from seasonal battle passes and in-game cosmetic purchases
Making Fall Guys free removed barriers to entry while providing ongoing monetization through new systems. It was likely a strategic play to prolong the game‘s lifespan and relevance.
Player Base Growth
In the first two weeks after going free-to-play, Fall Guys doubled its all-time player count to over 50 million players. Removing upfront cost drove rapid user acquisition, especially on new platforms like Xbox that previously had no access.
The Epic Games acquisition and shift to free-to-play saved Fall Guys from a dwindling player base. It was likely a crucial move for the game‘s sustained success.
Legacy Pack for Previous Buyers
For players who purchased Fall Guys prior to the transition to free-to-play, Mediatonic provided the Legacy Pack. This includes:
- "Legacy" nickname
- Legacy nameplate
- Regal costume
- Veggie dog costume
- Feisty dwarf costume
- Free season 1 premium battle pass
The legacy cosmetics pay homage to early supporters who bought the game before the economics changed. The battle pass grant provides premium seasonal content to previous buyers.
Players who claimed Fall Guys temporarily through PlayStation Plus do not receive legacy status or rewards, since they did not directly purchase the game during the original paid period.
Was the $20 Price Point Fair?
Considering the fun factor, uniqueness, and depth of content, most fans agreed the $19.99 asking price was fair upon launch. However, ongoing pricing expectations can change quickly in the games industry.
For comparison, popular multiplayer shooters like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege launched at $59.99 USD and frequently go on sale now for $20 or less. Rocket League launched at $19.99, went free-to-play, and is monetized entirely by cosmetics.
Given the indie nature of Fall Guys and its launch timed with a PS Plus promotional boost, the $19.99 price made sense at the time. But as players consumed the initial 60 levels, the content offering felt lighter when compared to live service shooters.
Limited rounds and lack of progression likely accelerated the feeling that $19.99 was too high long term. Transitioning to free-to-play with battle pass monetization both lowered the barrier to entry and provided ongoing content unlocks.
Overall, the player community response to the pricing shift was very positive. Many welcomed the increased accessibility and influx of new players across all platforms. Phasing out the upfront cost helped revive interest in the game.
Hardcore early adopters had mixed feelings, but the Legacy Pack additions smoothed the transition. Making Fall Guys free-to-play was arguably an essential move to keep pace with player expectations.
Expert Tips for New Players
If you‘re jumping into Fall Guys for the first time now that it‘s free, here are some pro tips:
Learn Movement Fundamentals
- Master jumping, diving, and using the physics engine to your advantage. Momentum is key.
- Remap dive to an easy-to-reach button like L1 if struggling.
Study Round Types
- Learn the optimal paths and strategies for each race and minigame. Experience will give you an edge.
- Watch streamers and speedrunners for next-level techniques.
Equip Speedy Cosmetics
- Outfits like Fast Food and Ninja can provide subtle boosts to movement speed or jump height.
- The p-9000 robot skin reportedly makes you slightly thinner, helping squeeze through crowds.
Party Up with Friends
- Playing in a group makes earning wins way more fun. Coordinate to dominate team games.
- Chat and joke around while you bumble your way to victory together.
Enjoy the chaotic fun with these pro Fall Guys tips! See you on the fields as we stumble towards our next crowns.