There are now more than 500 million Epic Games accounts

Over 6 million people have downloaded the Unreal Engine 5 'The Matrix Awakens' demo.

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Epic Games says there are now more than 500 million Epic Games accounts. Many of those are used to buy and play PC games, and accounts are also utilized on consoles and mobile devices for the likes of Fortnite and Rocket League.

Those who play Fortnite on console, for instance, don't need to create a full Epic account. Instead, they'll have a "nameless" Epic Games account that doesn't have its own display name or an email address attached to it. Fortnite had more than 350 million registered players as of May 2020, and those appear to make up a significant proportion of that 500 million figure.

The Epic Games Store hit more than 194 million users in 2021, an increase of 34 million from the previous year. The company said that "daily active users peaked at 31.1 million, and peak concurrent users reached 13.2 million," while there were 62 million monthly active users in December.

The publisher has invested heavily in its free PC games program, which will continue for at least the rest of this year. Documents that emerged from Epic's legal battle with Apple showed that it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the endeavor. Last year, Epic gave away 89 different titles and 765 million free games overall.

Offering Grand Theft Auto V at no cost brought in 7 million new Epic Games Store users in a single day, as The Verge notes. Giveaways for the likes of Civilization VI, World War Z and Subnautica led to smaller, but still notable spikes in new user numbers. Rocket League switching to a free-to-play model boosted user numbers too.

Players spent around $840 million in the store in 2021, an increase of 20 percent from 2020. Just over a third of that was spent on third-party games. The biggest third-party titles on the store last year were Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, Hitman 3, Far Cry 6, Genshin Impact, Darkest Dungeon, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Chivalry 2 and GTA V.

Meanwhile, Epic says there have been more than 6 million downloads of The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience across PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in two months. The tech demo, which is well worth checking out, shows off what UE5 can do. There was also a 40 percent increase in the number of Unreal Engine downloads last year, while Epic says 48 percent of announced current-gen games are being built on Unreal Engine.