You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

During Gamelab 2019 at a panel hosted by, Paradox Interactive's former CEO Fredrik Wester (now the Executive Chairman of the Board at Paradox Interactive) talked about the cut "platform holders" take from sales and they're not impressed.

The one this always comes back to is Valve's store Steam, which has a standard 30% cut they take from developers. Although, they did tweak this for higher earning games in December last year so for games that earn $10 million it's reduced to 25% and 20% at $50 million and that does include money from DLC, in-game transactions, Steam market fees and so on.

Wester said "I think the 70/30 revenue split is outrageous", noting that it was likely established in the '70s by Warner Bros when distributing physical media like boxed VHS tapes and so on saying "That was physical. It cost a lot of money". Wester went on to say "This doesn't cost anything." and thanked Epic Games for what they're doing with their much smaller 12% cut.

Claiming it "doesn't cost anything" isn't quite right though, considering all the services Steam actually provides including things like Cloud Saving, Achievements, Leaderboards, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC), Inventory Services and quite a bit more. Valve also provide free keys to developers to sell on other stores like, Humble Store, Fanatical and many others (there's a huge amount of Steam key stores out there) of which Valve don't see a penny from. That's on top of various open source projects Valve fund too like DXVK, improving KWin and a ton more those are just two very recent examples.

Wester isn't the only one who has mentioned this of course, former Valve staffer Richard Geldreich said on Twitter back in April:

Steam was killing PC gaming. It was a 30% tax on an entire industry. It was unsustainable. You have no idea how profitable Steam was for Valve. It was a virtual printing press. It distorted the entire company. Epic is fixing this for all gamers.

The State of the Industry Survey done by GDC also noted how only 6% of developers asked thought Valve's 30% cut was justified.

What are your thoughts?

Hat tip to Mr. Doomguy in Discord.

Article taken from
Tags: Editorial
12 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
Page: «9/9
  Go to:

Tuxee 4 Jul, 2019
QuoteWhat are your thoughts?

That Wester is either an idiot or a hypocrite. I'd go for the latter.

I would more say that he is speaking from the viewpoint of his own company, it's of course in Paradox best interest to keep their own prices as high as possible while having to pay as little as possible to others like Valve. That is hardly being a hypocrite.

He said "This doesn't cost anything." Then he's an idiot. I can live with that, too.
Munk 5 Jul, 2019
MunkI will never buy your game on EGS, Origin, and likely not on GoG.

Careful, that exactly the message that Epic is trying to pass. Which is blatant lie.

The day Steam competitors offers the same/equally worth/better features, people will naturally buy games from there too. It's a matter of value proposition. There is people who doesn't like Steam and value more GoG for instance. Other people would likely be happy to buy from present day EGS if they were discounted the value of missing features from the front price. That is way nobody has tried before (ofc they don't, in the end it's all about raping customers, not about fair deals).

In case of Paradox for instance if they put together a service with friends, multiplayer, mods, save cloud, guides/forums, automatic updates and patch management and such I'd say they would already have a compelling case for them going by themselves (though I would still miss streaming in my case and controller profiles for niche games like Magicka2, I absolutely love how they used Steam Controller api in that game it's fantastic). Ofc all that stuff costs and so 12% (which already do not contain transaction fees in Epic implementation, so they do sell at higher prices) becomes a chimera.
I understand that you're talking about people in general, however, I was speaking specifically about myself.

With regard to Epic and EA, feature parity isn't the issue, it's that I believe these companies to be unethical in their practices and refuse to do business with them, ever. With GoG, they're trying to solve the most major problem I have, which is library parity (via GoG connect). I can respect GoG's attempt, but until a much more significant portion of my library is available through this feature as well as have a Linux client for GoG Galaxy, I'm simply not interested in the platform. I don't believe they'll ever do enough to win me away from Steam, especially as a Linux gamer. I just want all of my achievements, screenshots, saves, friends, comments, reviews, etc, all to be in the same place. I don't want a fragmented library, and it's going to take a lot to get me to switch.

Epic and EA have no chance at my money. GoG might, but they've got very long way to go.
Klaus 15 Jul, 2019
DedaleI have no idea what the "fair" cut would be. I would need to work in this business, know the actual numbers and crunch them.

But -for what it's worth- i recall posts i had read from BOOK publishers who explained why their ebooks were actually not cheaper than the paper ones. It was because the infrastructure to distribute them was more expensive. Networks of computer did cost them more than printing presses, paper and shipping. The computer people paid to maintain such infrastructure was more expensive than librarians.

But the public would have none of it. Downloading an ebook looks simple so they wanted the electronic versions of their books for cheaper !

ArdjeThat's true, if you use DRM. They have to pay DRM license, hosting at adobe and whatever kind of crap they pull to keep it locked down. It's false if your books are DRM free.
So I always buy DRM free. And they are indeed cheaper than physical books.

Plus, DRM harms the value of the book, as it is reduced from property to a license tied to some account and operator. It also doesn't really prevent piracy, as the DRM is easily removed. Also, you can't lend the book away.

Now that eBooks are established, I will usually prefer to buy a book as eBook over softcover, even if it were slightly more expensive. But asking for the same price at the beginning was really just asking Amazon to monopolize the market... Especially in Austria/Germany, where the publishers were used to releasing soft-cover versions with a one-year delay, and then tied the eBook prices to whatever was the highest price on the market.

Meaning that until Amazon Kindle became available, eBooks required additional hardware and were LESS convenient, due to having to mess with a DRM setup, while being sold at the premium price.

Established publishers tend to shoot themselves in the foot and then blame the ignorant customers.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.

Or login with...