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Epic Games Store starts its first big sale with a Stories Untold giveaway

It’s a busy day over on the Epic Games Store. On top of the expected fortnightly giveaway – this time the excellent horror-adventure Stories Untold – they’ve launched their first big sale. You can snag Stories Untold here for free, and I highly recommend it even if point & click (or even parser-based) adventures aren’t usually your thing. Developers No Code’s upcoming followup, the space-disaster AI thriller Observation, isn’t out until May 21st but pre-orders are down from £20 to a surprising £7.99/€8.89/$12.49 in this sale. Many games are similarly discounted until June 13th.

The discounts available in this sale are noteworthy. Epic are obviously trying to get customers in the door today, and putting some huge discounts (close to 75% in some cases) on just-announced or just-released games. The only games that don’t seem to be discounted are the ones that haven’t announced prices on the store yet. It’s a bold move, and I can see these prices bringing in people previously wary of the store. Recent and rather nice souls-like Ashen is under half price at £13.99/€19.99/$19.99, and early access hit (updated yesterday, too) Satisfactory is down about a third to £16.99/19.99/$19.99.

Those who bought stuff recently aren’t being left in the lurch either. Epic’s director of publishing, Sergey Galyonkin, has stated on Twitter that if you’ve bought or pre-ordered anything on the Epic Games Store in the past two weeks, you’ll get the price difference refunded. A laudable move, but that’s not to say it’s all sunshine and lollipops in this sale. Regional pricing is still confusing and arbitrary. While the just-announced John Wick Hex is offering pre-orders for £4.39/€5.19/$7.99 (a slightly steeper discount in the UK than US), the excellent Hades is £13.94/€14.86/$6.99, which just doesn’t add up.

Update: The price on Hades (and possibly other games) has been straightened out – it was previously too high in the UK and EU, but is now £5.49/€6.61/$6.99.

This also seems to be a good deal for the developers involved. John Wick Hex lead dev Mike Bithell has stated on Twitter that “we get paid in full.. this is Epic paying towards your bar tab, not the drinks being cheaper”. While I’ve my doubts that there’ll be many more loss-leader sales like this in the future of the Epic Games Store, it seems like a strong play, and directly beneficial for the people making the games, too.

Stories Untold is free here on the Epic Games Store, and you can read John Walker’s glowing review here. Everything else on the store, pre-orders included, is discounted until June 13th.

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Dominic Tarason

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