The near infinite cash reserves of Microsoft have caused another major shake-up as they reduce their cut of PC sales from 30% to 12%.
Each of the different console manufacturers have their own specialities and weaknesses, but Microsoft’s secret weapon has always been the amount of money it can afford to lose. Sony and Nintendo simply don’t have the cash to keep up with Game Pass and now Valve will be struggling to match Microsoft’s latest attempt to dominate PC sales.
The move involves something many gamers may not be aware of: the cut in revenues that PC digital stores take from a game sale. For Steam (and Apple) that’s 30%, which many developers consider too much – especially after Epic Games reduced it to just 12% on their store.
Now Microsoft has done the same on the Windows Store, which although far less popular will put intense pressure on Valve to follow suit, greatly eating into their profits.
Steam has made some small changes to how it operates, as a response to Epic Games’ rivalry, but they only reduce their cut to 25% for publishers who have created over $10 million in revenues on Steam, and to 20% for over $50 million.
‘Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms’, wrote Microsoft’s Matt Booty in a new PC-orientated Xbox Wire blog.
‘A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.’
Despite those comments though no change will be made to how Xbox console game revenues are shared, making it clear this really is just a fight against Steam and Epic Games Store.
In what may not be a coincidence the announcement came just a day after a survey by The Game Developers Conference (GDC) found that only 3% of developers think the 30% revenue cut is fair.
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