Ubisoft’s vice president for partnerships and revenue Chris Early has hit out at Steam’s revenue share model, calling the arrangement “unrealistic”.
In an interview with The New York Times (thanks, GI.biz), Early said: “It’s unrealistic, the current business model that they have. It doesn’t reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution.”
The comment is perhaps not surprising given the French developer/publisher recently agreed to partner with Epic Games Store following the success of The Division 2, committing to launching more new titles, as well back catalogue games, on the new digital storefront.
Epic pays developers a revenue share of 88 per cent, compared to the 70 per cent that Steam currently offers, and waives the 5 per cent royalty fees for games built using its Unreal Engine. That means the company is taking less than half of the 30 per cent that Steam currently takes from the vast majority of its partners. According to Early, however, partnering with Epic made sense as Steam “would not modify” its revenue-sharing model for Ubisoft.
Broadly in line with the profit share tiers across other platforms like Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox, Valve roughly takes a 30 per cent cut of all game sales published on its PC digital platform. Now, however, Valve has agreed to drop its share to 25 per cent once revenue surpasses $10 million, and then down to 20 per cent for sales over $50 million. The changes – which came into force on October 1st, 2018 – also apply to all other revenue, too, including in-game purchases and DLC.
“Stores extract an enormous portion of game industry profits and are ripe for disruption,” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told The New York Times.