In recent years, we've been observing a progressive division of the digital game distribution market on the PC. The Steam platform is of course still the unquestionable leader, but the new products of Electronic Arts, i.e. one of the largest publishers in the industry, are nowhere to be found on it. For a long time now, it seemed likely that a similar move will be made by other market giants, who do not necessarily want to share their profits with the shop's owner. Up until now, Valve has operated on terms similar to those of Microsoft, Sony or Apple, charging about thirty percent of the price of each product sold. However, the company has officially announced a new and more flexible policy, which will result in Valve getting a smaller share of revenue for the most profitable gaming hits.
The share will be reduced individually, after looking at the total revenue generated by each title released on the store, starting from the 1st of October, this year. Not only the sales of a given title will be taken into account, but also its DLC and items available on the Steam market (e.g. cards and skins). If the game earns more than 10 million dollars, the Steam's revenue share will be reduced to 25 percent. After exceeding 50 million dollars, Valve will only take 20 percent.
The changes announced by Valve are undoubtedly aimed at the largest developers. Steam taking a smaller share will not make Electronic Arts return to the store, but it may help keep other publishers for longer. These include, for example, Ubisoft, which owns the Uplay platform, Activision, which has recently started to make games available through Battle.net, and Bethesda, experimenting with its own sales service. Potentially, Rockstar Games and Take-Two could also give up Steam without any problems, which would be a big blow to Valve. Grand Theft Auto V has been at the forefront of bestsellers for years, bringing the company millions of dollars. Taking into account the sale results on consoles, the PC port of Red Dead Redemption II would be a similar hit, earning money for a very long time. All the more so, if its multiplayer mode turns out to be a success comparable to Grand Theft Auto Online. Losing this title and other upcoming hits is something Valve cannot afford.
- Steam official website