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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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69 comments
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Segata Sanshiro 1 December 2018 at 5:55 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

Super good idea. It could also be platform-specific incentives as opposed to the whole cake, ie. they take their 25% cut for Windows sales but only 15% or less for Linux. Something like that might actually tip the balance and would cover the port costs presumably.

All in all though, I think this is a great move. I see a lot of developers like Bethesda with their much maligned Fallout 76 and CDProjekt with Gwent just releasing themselves since they make the money lost in sales back from not giving Valve anything. This is a good way of getting them back on Steam.

That said, they might need to think of a way to curb "review bombing" since that's another thing people fear on Steam. Though a lot of the time it's justified and calls certain companies out on anti-consumer bullshit, a lot of the time it could just be the result of some YouTuber anger bandwagon which sees a game panned on mass for being "too politically correct" or some other petty reason.
kuhpunkt 1 December 2018 at 5:56 pm UTC
DuncThat's why abandoning game development to concentrate on Steam was a mistake.

What are you talking about?
stretch611 1 December 2018 at 6:20 pm UTC
This seems to be a good move on Valve's part. In addition to the discounted rate being used to keep the bigger developers from leaving steam for their own store, it may also be a way to keep them from becoming a windows store exclusive as well. Lets face it, most sales are on windows, and why pay to support and ship out patches to two different stores if they both cost the same... and one in particular does not need the end user to ever download a software package to use the store.

And yes, the small developers have to pay more. While I strive for fairness, the fact is that support costs per sale go down as the sales go up. While bandwidth costs increase proportionate to the number of sales, other things such as initial setup, review, even accounting costs stay relatively flat regardless of whether one copy is sold or 1000.

While $10 million in sales is quite a lofty goal, it is far from impossible. Ludeon Studios has done it with Rimworld, and Wube has done it with Factorio; both are indie developers with just a single title that went on to sell over 1 million copies.
Thormack 1 December 2018 at 6:22 pm UTC
I am still waiting for my Steam key for Albion online.


Bought the game when it was a standalone client.
Upset about being unable to migrate account.
M@GOid 1 December 2018 at 6:46 pm UTC
While other companies may like having their own online store, things aren't always rosy for consumers. Having to install several clients on your computer is a shore, and the experience outside Steam for me was terrible. To this day I still get angry at the idea of installing Ubisoft's client to play their games, such bad piece of software that was. EA's one also can't hold a candle near Steam in terms of resources.

While for some Steam may come as a prison, for me is a very nice and organized place to organize my collection.
danniello 1 December 2018 at 6:57 pm UTC
I'm quite surprised by this announcement. I thought that it is standard NDA contract with AAA publishers - they always pay much less than Indie developers. It is the only reason why they still are on Steam (only one big publisher abandoned them - EA). All others, still are present on Steam, even they could bundle games with their own game stories (Ubisoft Uplay, but they are kind enough for Valve and they do not allow to play games bought via Steam without Steam client started). Even Microsoft is selling some of their not XboX/Metro exclusive games via Steam - it doesn't make sense without very big "NDA promotion".

Perhaps it is some kind of even bigger NDA promotion - Valve will take much less than usual from AAA publishers, but even if - why such information is announced publicly?

Perhaps it is "strike ahead" before some kind of "disaster"... Perhaps some very big publishers will soon abandon Steam (ZeniMax? Ubisoft? Take2?)... It could make some gamers very upset, so Valve gave such information that it is not their fault - publishers are too greedy...
pb 1 December 2018 at 6:57 pm UTC
TBH I've always thought that bigger publishers got lower fees by the rest of individual negotiations. Maybe they did and now Valve just wants to make things simpler and more transparent.
liamdawe 1 December 2018 at 7:11 pm UTC
ThormackI am still waiting for my Steam key for Albion online.


Bought the game when it was a standalone client.
Upset about being unable to migrate account.
Literally nothing to do with this or Valve. Take it up with the developer.
ElectricPrism 1 December 2018 at 7:36 pm UTC
The best way to survive is not to charge less money but to make people NEED you, and know that you are the only one they can get what they want from.

Bill Gates knows this well.

Their cut adjustment strategy seems fair but they should really push hard on developing their console that way they can own their own mountain of gamers giving their store even more value than it currently has as the major PC platform.

STEAM MACHINES 2.0 - LET IT COME.

Edit: The 5% of 10 Million is $500,000. So 10% of 50 Million is $5,000,000 on some single AAA games. I am not sure how much money would be necessary to deploy Steam Machines 2.0 but I imagine that a 20 million - 100 million dollar investment should be able to setup a Linux Platform that serves as a "Walled Garden" for consumers who really just want to go down to best buy and buy a thing to play games with 0-extra-effort or intellectual admin skills.

Until Valve fortifies its own platform they will not be a real estate owner of the gaming space, they will only be a player battling with other stores over a shared market.


Last edited by ElectricPrism at 1 December 2018 at 9:57 pm UTC
yokem55 1 December 2018 at 7:38 pm UTC
dannielloI'm quite surprised by this announcement. I thought that it is standard NDA contract with AAA publishers - they always pay much less than Indie developers. It is the only reason why they still are on Steam (only one big publisher abandoned them - EA). All others, still are present on Steam, even they could bundle games with their own game stories (Ubisoft Uplay, but they are kind enough for Valve and they do not allow to play games bought via Steam without Steam client started). Even Microsoft is selling some of their not XboX/Metro exclusive games via Steam - it doesn't make sense without very big "NDA promotion".

Perhaps it is some kind of even bigger NDA promotion - Valve will take much less than usual from AAA publishers, but even if - why such information is announced publicly?
At a minimum it sets a new floor for the NDA negotiations to go from. Valve can say, well by default you get this rate, by all means, take that deal if you want. If you want more, here are the following provisos you have to fulfill (back catalog titles on the platform, sale participation, Linux port or supported Proton implementation, etc.).
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