Developers, shockingly, prefer to make more money.
Steam, Valve’s digital distribution, is easily the largest digital storefront on PC. Only Good Old Games and the Epic Games Store really present it with competition. But that doesn’t mean developers like the way it does business. A GDC survey that gathered opinions from more than 3,000 developers found that most developers don’t think that Steam earns its 30% revenue cut.
According to the survey, only 3% think the 30/70 revenue split is justified, which is down from 6% last year. 43% of respondents think that a 10 – 15% cut would be more fair, while 3% strangely think storefronts should take larger cuts. For what it’s worth, many of the respondents to this survey were either North American or European game developers.
30% was the standard revenue cut for digital storefronts for a long time, but things have changed in the last few years. Both Google and Apple are playing with polices that would only take a 15% cut from developers that make less than $1 million a year. By far the leader here is Epic, whose Epic Games Store only takes a 12% cut, upending the industry standard. Microsoft announced that they would be adopting similar policies in August. Valve also introduced a tiered revenue sharing system in 2018, but it has come under fire for favoring bigger games.