Free games on the Epic Games Store will now “periodically” require that two-factor authentication be activated on users’ accounts before they’re able to be claimed.
In an update published on Tuesday, Epic said the change was introduced to encourage players to take steps to strengthen their Epic account security.
“We understand that this is a minor inconvenience for some, but we want to provide the best possible solutions to protect your Epic account,” the company said.
According to one cybersecurity company, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting entertainment services as their popularity and demand skyrocket due to social isolation measures.
Nintendo recently confirmed that as many as 160,000 of its user accounts might have been illegally accessed and also encouraged users to activate two-factor authentication.
Video game platforms have seen a significant spike in usage in the past month after countries around the world introduced isolation measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Proofpoint cybersecurity strategist Adenike Cosgrove said that attackers were likely following the trend and targeting entertainment services.
“As people around the world are being asked to remain in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are turning to these streaming services for entertainment.
“Attackers will likely follow this pattern and increase their theft and selling of account credentials. We recommend that consumers take a few simple steps to protect their accounts and identify and remove any unauthorised users.”
The Epic Games Store’s weekly free game promotion, which launched alongside the storefront in December 2018, will run throughout 2020.
Epic Games recently launched its own publishing label with upcoming projects from Remedy (Control), Gen Design (The Last Guardian) and Playdead (Inside). Epic Games Publishing will offer “the most developer-friendly terms in the industry” so that creators can “focus on making great games”, the company said.