In 2020, I posted about the enormous amount of money that is being made in the gaming industry. Video gaming is thriving and COVID-19 only served to prosper it further. I’ll admit that I’ll be the first to discuss the numbers that indicate just how much revenue organizations such as Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and CD Projekt Red are pulling in. But it would be inappropriate to neglect the fact that 2020 was also one of the most generous years in gaming history. It was so ridiculous that when I created this blog, I put a “FREE GAMES” section within the main menu links because I wanted to share the knowledge of all the available freebies.
I just want to say thank you to all of the companies that were involved in adding to my gaming collection without me having to pay for anything in 2020. Epic Games was the biggest culprit as even before the company’s 15 consecutive days of free games in December, at least one free game was given away every week on its platform. Dissenters can try to explain the generosity away by saying it was because of how much money they’ve made with Fortnite or it was due to the organization seeking to be self-serving in relation to its public image. But the fact is that Epic Games didn’t have to give away free games at all.
Please look through my Epic Games transaction history above to see why I am pointing this out. You will find a whole list of games that I have acquired through the application since November 2019. I found out about the Epic Games app because The Messenger was being given away for free. So I signed up. Since then, I have built a collection that only has three games that I have actually purchased from the platform. It was to the point that purchasing Immortals: Fenix Rising was the least I could do for everything Epic Games has provided throughout the year.
I definitely want to also give a nod to GOG, IndieGala, Itch.io, Bethesda, Steam, and Ubisoft for the free content they provided on the PC platform over the past 365 days. The Witcher Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut, Metro Redux Last Light, and Hitman Absolution were the highlights from GOG. Bethesda benevolently released Quake 1-3 on its application. Steam always has loads of free games on its client but gave away Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, Deponia: The Complete Journey, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game, and several others. IndieGala featured many titles from its military-sim collection throughout the year. And Itch.io continually provided plenty of indie games to check out.
Ubisoft is one of my favorite publishers and I possess a fondness for their games regardless of the genre. I purchased Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Immortals even though I had initially only planned to buy the newer Watch Dogs game. When I invest in their games, I know that I am going to savor the content, have tons of replayability, and more than get my money’s worth. Their giveaways this year included Assassin’s Creed II, Child of Light, Rayman Legends, Trials Rising, The Division, Anno 1701, Watch Dogs, and Watch Dogs II. That was very generous of the company to provide those games free of charge.
Lastly, major props to Sony for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey being added to my library for free during its “Stay at Home” initiative. With Uncharted, you’re talking about three excellent titles that will give you a thrill ride that lasts many hours. Journey provides a contrast to the action-packed Uncharted games as it takes place in more of a calmer setting with significantly less chaos. They are all highly regarded and recommended titles.
So while 2020 was certainly a challenging year, gaming companies really went out of their way to soften the blow for gamers and I commend them for it. Whether the games were the ones you preferred or not, it can’t take away the compassionate efforts of the organizations. I grew up during an era where NO MONEY = NO GAMES. Giveaways like what we saw in 2020 were unheard of in the 1980s and 90s. So I have loads of gratitude for what was provided for us, especially during a tough time.
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