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Valve have adjusted their revenue share for bigger titles on Steam

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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.

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69 comments
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MayeulC 1 December 2018 at 4:10 pm UTC
In their defense, though, their content distribution system is nothing to scoff at (plus handling the financial aspect, and some support), and sort of justifies their cut (the service is especially interesting for small, indie studios, I guess, plus there are some non-recurring costs to each game, such as storage space on the CDN, that probably get amortized at some point). The client could use some love, though (and it looks like it's getting some).

What would be interesting for them is to take a (slightly) lesser cut if the game is cross-platform. Everyone would be happy about this, I think, especially bean counters
Liothe 1 December 2018 at 4:16 pm UTC
MayeulCWhat would be interesting for them is to take a (slightly) lesser cut if the game is cross-platform. Everyone would be happy about this, I think, especially bean counters

This could also be used as an argument to offset some of the extra costs associated with supporting another platform
Termy 1 December 2018 at 4:26 pm UTC
MayeulCWhat would be interesting for them is to take a (slightly) lesser cut if the game is cross-platform. Everyone would be happy about this, I think, especially bean counters

now that is one of the best ideas i've heard in a while to boost Linux-acceptance among the devs...too bad valve is not looking into this comments xD
liamdawe 1 December 2018 at 4:27 pm UTC
Termy
MayeulCWhat would be interesting for them is to take a (slightly) lesser cut if the game is cross-platform. Everyone would be happy about this, I think, especially bean counters

now that is one of the best ideas i've heard in a while to boost Linux-acceptance among the devs...too bad valve is not looking into this comments xD
I know for a fact a few people at Valve do read stuff here now and then
Kimyrielle 1 December 2018 at 4:28 pm UTC
What can I say? It's consistent with non-digital businesses. Large corporations get tax breaks and subsidies. Small companies get lots of red tape and will be milked by the taxman. By making the rich richer, Steam is just doing what everyone else does.
qptain Nemo 1 December 2018 at 5:16 pm UTC
It's a shame they didn't actually tie this to Linux / SteamOS support and it doesn't apply to smaller devs but oh well, it's quite understandable in the light of lots of AAA companies moving to their own stores.
ageres 1 December 2018 at 5:20 pm UTC
So, big AAA publishers will pay a lesser share than indie developers? Nice move, Volksvagen, very fair. Epic Games lowered their cut for selling UE4 assets from 30% to 12%.
micha 1 December 2018 at 5:21 pm UTC
Most certainly a move to keep AA/AAA titles from Ubisoft, Square Enix, WB Games, .. on Steam.
Dunc 1 December 2018 at 5:33 pm UTC
QuoteConsidering Epic's launcher is the only place on Windows to get Fortnite, they could have a pretty huge pull
That's why abandoning game development to concentrate on Steam was a mistake. Valve leveraged the draw of Half-Life 2 to establish Steam in the first place. It's understandable that they thought simply carrying everyone else's games on the platform would be enough to keep it afloat, and, to be fair, so far it has; Steam's taken a few punches lately, but it's still the 800lb gorilla. However they should know better: if they could do it, why can't Epic, if it has a big enough exclusive? I hope, for their sake (and for the sake of freeing PC gaming from Microsoft) Artifact is just the beginning of a new Valve.
etonbears 1 December 2018 at 5:34 pm UTC
KimyrielleWhat can I say? It's consistent with non-digital businesses. Large corporations get tax breaks and subsidies. Small companies get lots of red tape and will be milked by the taxman. By making the rich richer, Steam is just doing what everyone else does.
True, but it is more a reflection of the balance between costs and value. If big publishers could ship XBox and PlayStation titles direct without paying MS and Sony they probably would.

Valve probably charge more than their service is worth to a large developer, but are quite valuable to smaller concern.
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