What just happened? The Game Developers Conference (GDC) in its ninth annual State of the Industry Survey this week revealed that only three percent of polled developers believe the “standard” 30/70 revenue split with digital storefronts is fair. Soon after, Microsoft announced a major change to its revenue split program with devs.
The Epic Games Store bucked the trend when it launched in late 2018, offering to let developers keep a full 88 percent of the money made from their games. Now, Microsoft is following suit after the GDC report.
Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, said they are updating their Microsoft Store terms for PC game developers. Starting August 1, devs will take home 88 percent of their games’ net revenue, which is up from 70 percent.
“A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so,” Booty said.
Notably, the change only applies to PC games sold on the Microsoft Store, and does not impact console games.
Steam, the leading PC games distribution platform, updated its distribution agreement in late 2018 to allow developers with successful games to take home a larger cut when surpassing certain milestones. Apple in November 2020 said it would be trimming App Store commission fees to 15 percent for devs that make less than $1 million per year. Google last month said it would be slashing commissions in half for developers’ first $1 million in sales.