There’s been a lot of commotion in the video game industry recently regarding store fees, mostly thanks to the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple. The standard across the industry is a flat 30% cut of sales that goes to store owners, leaving 70% to developers. But that is starting to change as Microsoft has reduced their store cut from the usual 30% down to 12% instead.
This is to match the Epic Games Store, which has already been only taking 12% revenue from developers in order to entice more creators onto their store. It’s a good move for developers, especially since it was recently revealed that only 3% of developers think Steam deserves the 30% cut, and 44% of developers believed a 10-15% cut is more appropriate.
“Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms,” said Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, in a recent blog post. “That’s why today we’re announcing that we’re updating our Microsoft Store terms for PC game developers.”
“As part of our commitment to empower every PC game creator to achieve more, starting on August 1 the developer share of Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88%, from 70%. A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.”
The reason for the reduced cut is apparently to “help reduce friction, increase the financial opportunity, and let game developers do what they love: make games,” according to Sarah Bond, the Head of Game Creator Experience & Ecosystem.
This is all part of Microsoft’s continued commitment towards PC gaming, and now all that’s left is for Steam to follow suit. Valve’s current strategy is to charge a 30% cut from developers up until the game sells $10 million worth of copies, which is then reduced to 25%, and then reduced to a further 20% if the total game sales reach $50 million.
It’s not great, but it’s a start for making a more fair playing ground for developers to create their games and sell them.
What do you think? Is this a good move from Microsoft? Do you think Steam will eventually follow in the same direction? How will this affect developers? Let us know your thoughts!