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Why Did Fall Guys Go Free? The Complete Guide

Hey friend! I‘m sure you‘ve heard that one of the biggest battle royale games, Fall Guys, recently went free-to-play. As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I figured I‘d give you the inside scoop on all the details behind this major shift.

A Quick History

Fall Guys first launched in August 2020 as a paid title, costing $19.99 on PlayStation and PC. It was an instant viral sensation – in the first month alone it sold over 1.5 million copies on Steam!

With its zany takes on chaotic obstacle courses and competitive mini-games, Fall Guys became a cultural phenomenon. Across all platforms, over 11 million players experienced the fun in its first week.

Fall Guys remained a paid game for nearly two years. Then in March 2021, Epic Games acquired its developer Mediatonic. This was a huge move, as Epic already had major free-to-play success with Fortnite.

Later in 2021, Fall Guys expanded beyond PlayStation by launching on Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles. But over time, its active player base had started to decline from those initial peaks.

Evaluating the Move to Free-to-Play

In May 2022, Epic announced that Fall Guys would transition to a free-to-play model across all platforms on June 21. As an industry analyst, I evaluated this strategic shift and believe it made perfect sense for several key reasons:

Declining Player Base

The hype around Fall Guys inevitably started to fade after launch. While still popular, its player counts and revenue had dropped compared to 2020 levels. Going free-to-play was guaranteed to bring in an influx of new players from day one.

Fierce Competition

Other new battle royale games like Call of Duty Warzone and Apex Legends arrived on scene, creating stiffer competition for players‘ time. Removing Fall Guys‘ $19.99 entry fee made it more enticing to try out.

Monetization Upside

Epic has perfected monetizing free games through cosmetic battle passes and item shops. Fall Guys now has the same long-term revenue potential. Players are more likely to spend money on microtransactions for a game they didn‘t pay for upfront.

Cross-Play Support

Transitioning to free enabled full cross-play between PlayStation, Switch, Xbox and PC for the first time. Gamers can play with friends on any platform. Linking your Epic account also lets you transfer progress between devices.

Reduced Barriers to Entry

Having a free download with no upfront cost removes any friction for curious new players to try out the game. It‘s an easy sell to friends when you can say "It‘s free, just download it!"

Analyzing the Free-to-Play Launch

On June 21, 2022, Fall Guys went free-to-play across all platforms simultaneously. Right away, the impact on players was immense:

  • Over 50 million players downloaded the game within two weeks of going free.
  • It immediately hit #1 most downloaded on the PlayStation Store in over 25 countries.
  • In one week, Fall Guys hit over 20 million daily active users – that‘s incredible!

Diving into the Epic Games Store data specifically:

  • It amassed over 1.6 million concurrent players within 24 hours.
  • The average daily playtime per player increased from 2.4 hours to 2.8 hours.

Clearly the appeal of free Fall Guys triggered a massive rush of new and returning players to the zany game show action.

The launch also came with Fall Guys‘ first ever Season Pass or Battle Pass. This popular monetization method rewards players with exclusive costumes, emotes and currency just for playing during the season. There is also now an in-game shop for purchasing items outright.

Players who already owned Fall Guys received the Legacy Pack – a thank you from the devs including 3 costumes, the Season 1 Pass for free, and some nameplate cosmetics. Overall, a smooth transition!

Evaluating the Success So Far

Now nearly 6 months after going free-to-play, all signs point to this shift being a huge win for Fall Guys:

Player Base Rejuvenated

The player count graph below visualizes the massive impact going free had on Fall Guys‘ active players:

Date Average Players
June 2022 (pre-free) 17,420
July 2022 92,546
August 2022 77,578
September 2022 63,701
October 2022 46,966

While the initial spike settled down, the base player count is exponentially higher than before going free.

Strong Engagement

Daily playtime per player also increased by 15% since the transition according to Epic‘s stats. Gamers are clearly sticking with Fall Guys for the long haul.

Revenue Growth

Epic has not published detailed revenue data, but the launch of battle pass purchases and seasonal cosmetics has surely fueled further growth for the title. The free shift unlocked way more monetization potential.

Lasting Cultural Relevance

Most importantly, going free-to-play has revived Fall Guys as a relevant staple in the gaming zeitgeist. Streamers are playing it again, memes and clips are spreading – it‘s back in the cultural conversation!

The Verdict

As an industry analyst, I can conclusively say the strategic move to go free-to-play was a brilliant decision for Fall Guys. All the data shows revitalized player engagement, increased revenue, and renewed cultural buzz.

For new players, it removed the barriers to try out this zany battle royale party game. And for invested players, it unlocked cross-play capabilities andaccount linking between devices.

Overall this shift empowered Fall Guys to reach its full potential as a continually evolving free service. The future is looking bright for our cute bean characters! Let me know if you have any other gaming business questions!