While Epic Games has been embroiled in a lengthy legal tussle with Apple and Google regarding what it claims to be the unfair cut both companies take from every sale made on the respective stores, Microsoft has been quietly sitting in the corner probably evaluating whether it should change any of its policies. From the looks of it, it seems that Phil Spencer has opted to be a little more generous to those developers selling PC games on Microsoft Store as the company is dropping the cut it takes from 30% down to a mere 12%. From 1 August, developers will be pocketing more cash from sales made on games sold in Microsoft Store, which just feels good.
What about the Xbox Store? That probably won’t benefit from the same policy as software is often how console developers make up the cost of producing hardware. In that particular realm, Microsoft likely needs to keep the 30/70 split. Yet for folks on PCs, it’s not like Microsoft is selling them graphics cards. It can afford to take less money per sale because it’s not looking to cover the hardware costs of the PC market. Dropping its take to 12% puts Microsoft in line with the likes of the Epic Games Store which features the same split. Steam still takes 30% of all sales.
“Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms. That’s why today we’re announcing that we’re updating our Microsoft Store terms for PC game developers,” reads a blog post by head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty (great name!). “A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.”
If anything, this is a sign that Microsoft is looking to improve some elements surrounding its store which is a more than welcome venture. The PC version of the Microsoft Store is notoriously bad with a terrible UI, slow load times and consistentent connection issues. Let’s hope this first bit of attention is what gets the store where it needs to be.
Last Updated: April 30, 2021