Microsoft is shaking up the world of PC gaming today with a big cut to the amount of revenue it takes from games on Windows. The software giant is reducing its cut from 30 percent to just 12 percent from August 1st, in a clear bid to compete with Steam and entice developers and studios to bring more PC games to its Microsoft Store.
“Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms,” says Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft. “A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.”
These changes will only affect PC games and not Xbox console games in Microsoft’s store. While Microsoft hasn’t explained why it’s not reducing the 30 percent it takes on Xbox game sales, it’s likely because the console business model is entirely different to PC. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo subsidize hardware to make consoles more affordable, and offer marketing deals in return for a 30 percent cut on software sales.
Microsoft’s new reduction on the PC side is significant, and it matches the same revenue split that Epic Games offers PC game developers while also putting more pressure on Valve to reduce its Steam store cut. Valve still takes a 30 percent cut on sales in its Steam store, which is reduced to 25 percent when sales hit $10 million, and then 20 percent for every sale after $50 million.
Let’s be clear – it’s still taking 12% of everything it has put virtually no effort in to making. All it does is hold up an electronic store front on some servers. And the point the article is making: that it’s cheap compared to the seeming “industry standard” 30% shows really that there is and has been a price cartel between the tiny amount of major players in the electronic market place.
This is the kind of monopoloy I have been talking about since the beginning of 2019.