Aiming their sights at bigger developers, Valve have adjusted how much of a cut they will take for bigger titles.
Once a game makes $10 million on Steam, the new revenue split will be 75% for developers and 25% for Valve. If developers manage to hit $50 million, they will get to keep an even bigger share at 80% for them and 20% for Valve. When talking about revenue, this encompasses everything like DLC, in-game transactions and so on.
It's a smart move, one I expected Valve to do at some point given how bigger studios and publishers have been leaving Steam for their own launchers. On top of that, I was sent a screenshot of Epic Game's new beta of their launcher and it looks a lot more like a store itself now too. Considering Epic's launcher is the only place on Windows to get Fortnite, they could have a pretty huge pull and I'm sure that and more has worried Valve to make a move like this.
This doesn't directly help smaller developers though, since their share will remain the same which is apparently 70% for the developer and 30% for Steam. The argument there though, is the network effect of keeping larger titles on Steam and attracting more might help smaller developers find more users too.
The other change is a good one for developers. Before, developers were quite scared to share detailed sales data from how their games sold on Steam. Valve seem to understand that developers want to share this information, so they're now allowing it. The important bit from that:
We've heard you, and we're updating the confidentiality provisions to make it clear that the partner can share sales data about their game as they see fit.
That's really nice to see, I always felt like any attempt to hide sales data would be Valve covering up issues developers might be facing on Steam. Pleased to see that be opened up too. So now, if any developer wants to share how their games sold on Linux, reaching out to us shouldn't be an issue at all.
You can see the full post on Steam here.
You could argue for other stores like itch.io, which allow you to set the share you wish to give back which is rather nice. However, itch has a dramatically smaller user base and so sales are likely to be lower anyway. The same story for likely any other store that takes a lower cut.