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GTA: How did the EGS free distribution improve viewership?

GTA: How did the EGS free distribution improve viewership?

Epic Games Store has long been well-known among all the lovers of freebie games. But recently, the store presented everyone with a free copy of GTA V. How did this affect the popularity of the game on Twitch? It seems in a positive way.

Grand Theft Auto V was released back in 2013. At that time, the game became a real hit and stirred a lot of hype. Throughout the later years, the developers of GTA were not forgetting about their creation, regularly releasing new content so that the fans would have no chance to get bored.

Over the past year, the game has managed to attract lots of attention not once, but twice. At first, there was a roleplay mode boom, one that accepted by the total majority of western streamers with universal acclaim. During several months everyone was immersed into a virtual city in which hundreds of streamers lived, each creating a unique character – and thus new content for their viewers.

The free distribution from EGS was the second time the game went big. It's no secret that the rumors about the new installment of the Grand Theft Auto saga have long circulated the web. It seems that the developers have decided to use the free distribution of the fifth installment of the franchise in order to attract the attention of the gaming community, but did it work out?

Statistics indicate the positive trends of this particular venture. We've examined the situation regarding the number of Twitch viewers and channels in the scope of two weeks, as well as after two weeks since the moment the game's free distribution has started.

First, let's talk about the peak viewers. For the selected period, the peak number of viewers has increased, but the same wasn't true for the peak number of channels in the category, given that the first week after the free distribution has turned out to be the most popular.

When looking at the average viewers, the situation is quite similar. The average number of Twitch viewers was on a steady weekly rise, with the second week after the free distribution becoming the most popular one. As for the average number of channels, it has stopped growing during the first week after the free distribution, showing a decline afterwards.

The dynamic shown by the hours watched is similar to the one shown by the viewercount. The second week after the game's free distribution has improved the indicators by almost 25%. This is quite noteworthy given that the number of channels broadcasting this week has actually decreased.

As it can be understood, the idea of distributing a game freely for the sake of attracting attention is quite interesting. It is safe to say that the developers of GTA V did not suffer large financial losses, given that all the fans and followers of GTA series have acquired their own copies of the fifth installment of the franchise long ago. We also shouldn't forget about the presence of microtransactions in this game. The ability of players to purchase the in-game currency for real money represents yet another source of income for Rockstar Games.

Therefore, we should conclude that the game's free distribution by EGS definitely had a positive impact on the GTA's online player presence, but also at the viewcount. While within such a short timespan the state of affairs may be still ambiguous, it does make us more optimistic regarding the future of the Grand Theft Auto series.

This certainly won't be the last free distribution of a major game title from the Epic Store. The next freebie after the GTA was the legendary TBS franchise: Sid Meier's Civilization (or rather, its sixth installment). As of today, the OVERCOOKED is known as the latest gift presented by the store.

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