GamesIndustry: Google has no plans to lower its 30% cut on Google Play, "It's been the industry standard"

ghostcrew

Spooky
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
7,824
United Kingdom
They could give it a whirl since Fortnite isn't on the play store at all IIRC
That's kinda what I meant... Fortnite isn't on the Play store (because of the 30% Google cut apparently) and they still don't seem to care enough to lower it. It'd have wider reaching implications that just games for Google, I guess. Its their standard cut for every app, every mtx, their music store etc. Fortnite's big but Google Play and Google's wider digital stores are a big deal too.
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,414
For example, I could see it happening in the console space in the transition to next gen. The market becomes liquid again in these transitions. A hungry competitor might stake a flag here on a lower cut. (i.e. I could see Microsoft doing it). The walls around closed gardens are fairly low in the first year or two...
I seriously doubt Sony/Nintendo/MS would shoot themselves in the foot with a lower rate. Things will change once publishers all launch streaming services and can opt out of console publishing.
 

justiceiro

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,493
The fact that this cut is unsustainable and that any raise of price is passed onto the customer.
As I said, the missing 18% are going somewhere indeed: Passing the cost on customer when the payment fees are slightly higher than usual for Epic or skipping on the service altogether.

Why do you think Epic wants to shutdown competition ?
Yeah, I totally felt the extra cost in super meat boy, subnautica and axiom Verge.

Also, timed exclusives shut down competition now?

But if bothers you too much:
#goItchIO
Somehow a storefront with a variable cut manages to be sustainable.
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,920
That's where you're wrong when you're putting the overall expense in relation to the use of PSN/XBL.
Do they have bigger expense than Valve overall ? Yes. But these arent related to what they're doing with their store...
Of course it relates to the market for the digital store. Every single consumer on that store (be it the apple app store, or PSN or XBL or the Nintendo eShop, or whatever) was brought into these markets via vast hardware and marketing reach-out. These are extremely capital-intensive, logistics-intensive operations that those gatekeepers are taking on, on behalf of software developers who want to sell to those end users.

The profitability of those activities in and of themselves (e.g. hardware profit) is not really that relevant (and it varies across a device lifecycle). They are big-spend, risky activities conducted by those gate keepers that enables huge digital commercial activity for devs/pubs - they're activities of the scale that even the biggest publishers wouldn't do by themselves. It is a (big) service for those pubs and developers. To look at the appstore or the XBL store in isolation, as 'just' a piece of software or storefront, and ignore the rest of the chain or view the rest of the chain as irrelevant to digital store activity on those platforms, is missing the bigger picture.
 
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shadowhaxor

EIC of Theouterhaven
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
855
Claymont, Delaware
I knew Epic Games would factor into this, which is why I added them to my recent piece. Seriously folks, the same thing that applies to Steam, applies here. There's so much more than just a storefront here. The number of services and infrastructure in place, this is crazy. I'm all for developers making more money, but the stuff that is provided cannot be undersold.

I really want to see how Epic Games store status is in a few years out. When (if) Fortnite's success drops and they finally roll out all the missing features they said are coming. They're going to need to invest heavily and I would like to see their transparency when it comes to that. Hell, working at an MSP, I see how much infrastructure costs and that shit ain't cheap in the least bit. Not to mention people top maintain it, constant updates, coding changes, etc etc.

Yep, it's going to be interesting for sure.
 

water_wendi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,428
Supply chain logistics, warehousing, physical boxes/manuals, storefronts, retail space, employees, overhead.. gone. The cut remains the same in the digital distribution future though.
 

JD3Nine

The Fallen
Nov 6, 2017
1,746
Pflugerville, TX USA
I would be pretty shocked if Epic manages to change anything. Maybe a few percentage points, but companies like money so I doubt it. If anything, Epic’s 12 percent cut is going up.
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,920
I seriously doubt Sony/Nintendo/MS would shoot themselves in the foot with a lower rate. Things will change once publishers all launch streaming services and can opt out of console publishing.
I could see Microsoft making a play for the sake of positioning themselves as the developers' friend, with the knock-ons that might have. But we'll see indeed.

But yes, absent that kind of competition, it'll be the disruption of the 'hardware service', or 'consumer infrastructure services' that these platform holders provide for publishers - via streaming or whatever - that long run would be the biggest threat to those revenue shares.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,182
Yeah, I totally felt the extra cost in super meat boy, subnautica and axiom Verge.

Also, timed exclusives shut down competition now?

But if bothers you too much:
#goItchIO
Somehow a storefront with a variable cut manages to be sustainable.

Actually, Itch.io's owner say they barely manage to break even.
And yeah, no cost with freebies. Duh.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,182
Of course it relates to the market for the digital store. Every single consumer on that store (be it the apple app store, or PSN or XBL or the Nintendo eShop, or whatever) was brought into these markets via vast hardware and marketing reach-out. These are extremely capital-intensive, logistics-intensive operations that those gatekeepers are taking on, on behalf of software developers who want to sell to those end users.

The profitability of those activities in and of themselves (e.g. hardware profit) is not really that relevant (and it varies across a device lifecycle). They are big-spend, risky activities conducted by those gate keepers that enables huge digital commercial activity for devs/pubs - they're activities of the scale that even the biggest publishers wouldn't do by themselves. It is a (big) service for those pubs and developers. To look at the appstore or the XBL store in isolation, as 'just' a piece of software or storefront, and ignore the rest of the chain or view the rest of the chain as irrelevant to digital store activity on those platforms, is missing the bigger picture.


Right, so as I said, you're putting unrelated costs to the addition as I said.
 

Sho_Nuff82

Member
Nov 14, 2017
5,830
Everyone will say that 30% can't be negotiated until they lose enough marketshare to make it negotiable.

This is going to be as painful as the SNES -> PSOne transition.
 

shadowhaxor

EIC of Theouterhaven
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
855
Claymont, Delaware
Yeah I fully expected Google not to budge they could care less.
Except they said they would keep watching the trends. They never said no, they said not right now.
For Google to change to their stance, there needs to be a super duper player in the game to challenge them and there isn't. Nor will there be. Google owns the keys to the kingdom, so they can pretty much do as they please. This isn't the PC gaming space, more like a walled garden similar to the console space is.
 

Vanillalite

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,240
As an Android developer I'm fine with it. Google does a shit ton of work for me. Not that I don't wish Android Studio would get another complete overhaul, but I'm cool with it.

It's more of a side gig for me beyond my regular programming day job though.
 

Windu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,041
breaking: company that has majority market share and no incentive to lower prices announces they will in fact, not lower prices. more news at 11.
 

mephixto

Member
Oct 25, 2017
167
The 12% cut Epic is doing is unsustainable, the EGS is bare bones so probabably makes sense right now but as soon as they start adding new features and increasing customers that's % is going up.
 

gofreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,920
Yes. Because Apple dont hand them for free. It has jackshit to do with their online storefront cut.
So if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that if Apple is at all profitable in other parts of the chain, it's not reasonable that they should argue for credit for the creation of the whole chain in the storefront link of the chain.

We'll have to agree to disagree on that. IMO the storefront and the market attracted wouldn't exist without the rest of the chain.

(Side note: in terms of the cost or profit of the rest of the chain to Apple vs others, consumers or developers, none of the rest of the chain costs devs anything (if we exclude their registration fee, or macos dev hardware requirements, which i would agree they should drop). The store is the main place they ask for value from devs for the chain they've created, and that chain is more than the store.)
 

shadowhaxor

EIC of Theouterhaven
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
855
Claymont, Delaware
The 12% cut Epic is doing is unsustainable, the EGS is bare bones so probabably makes sense right now but as soon as they start adding new features and increasing customers that's % is going up.
This is what I'm waiting to see. As it's either going to come down to either those promised features don't come, they do come and Epic takes a lose or the uptake forces them to up the cut %. Fortnite is the only real thing they have, outside of licensing the Unreal Engine (as far as non-store income) and that's not going to last forever.
 

neon_dream

Member
Dec 18, 2017
2,901
Of course it relates to the market for the digital store. Every single consumer on that store (be it the apple app store, or PSN or XBL or the Nintendo eShop, or whatever) was brought into these markets via vast hardware and marketing reach-out. These are extremely capital-intensive, logistics-intensive operations that those gatekeepers are taking on, on behalf of software developers who want to sell to those end users.

The profitability of those activities in and of themselves (e.g. hardware profit) is not really that relevant (and it varies across a device lifecycle). They are big-spend, risky activities conducted by those gate keepers that enables huge digital commercial activity for devs/pubs - they're activities of the scale that even the biggest publishers wouldn't do by themselves. It is a (big) service for those pubs and developers. To look at the appstore or the XBL store in isolation, as 'just' a piece of software or storefront, and ignore the rest of the chain or view the rest of the chain as irrelevant to digital store activity on those platforms, is missing the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is profitability. You're right, looking at the endeavor in isolation is wrong. Which is why the platform holders profits from all activities is important.

These mythical gatekeepers make plenty of money from more than just digital store sales. The console holders make licensing fees. They make money from hardware sales. They make money from selling cables, controllers, and online subscription fees. Those profits are significant, as Xbox Live, PS+, and Switch Online sales success has shown.

Platform holders aren't doing this on behalf of developers. They're doing it on behalf of themselves. And in a market with numerous platforms and numerous companies who'd be happy to break into the market as a major platform, overall profitability and operating costs of digital platforms and profit margins on services are all of interest to the consumer.
 
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qrac

Member
Nov 13, 2017
454
This is the thing that seems not to be understood by a lot of people, developers included. The rate covers for the services and infrastructure offered by the distributor, it's not just the store fee.

Epic might charge 12% but offers much less and some issues with the payment processing, customer support, localizations, QA are already popping up to prove that point.
Epics shortcoming are because they are new and have rushed the launcher. What will the excuse be when epic has the same features as other launchers, and still only take a 12% cut?
 

KingSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,549
Epics shortcoming are because they are new and have rushed the launcher. What will the excuse be when epic has the same features as other launchers, and still only take a 12% cut?
We shall see that when they will actually make something beyond a very basic storefront. For now it's mostly empty promises like that about how they are testing all the game released on their store.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,182
Epics shortcoming are because they are new and have rushed the launcher. What will the excuse be when epic has the same features as other launchers, and still only take a 12% cut?


What will be the excuse when they dont ? Because they already said they dont plan to match Steam in term of features.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
2,733
Epics shortcoming are because they are new and have rushed the launcher. What will the excuse be when epic has the same features as other launchers, and still only take a 12% cut?
They have the monopoly of the games and prices. Is means no more sites like GreenManGaming or Humble Bundle, or even sales like Steam.

They can improve all they want, costumers will remain losing.
 

Vanillalite

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,240
What does Google do to justify this cut?

You've been awfully talkative lately!
Access to their market, Android studio, all of their API work, payment processing etc... are stuff I use as a developer.

Like I said though. Android development is a side deal for me vs my main job.
 

karnage10

Member
Oct 27, 2017
772
Portugal
Epics shortcoming are because they are new and have rushed the launcher. What will the excuse be when epic has the same features as other launchers, and still only take a 12% cut?
Here are some "excuses":
  • Epic has had their launcher for a few years before their store yet it rarely improved. Why should i believe their store will be treated differently?
  • Epic has a lower cut yet the prices of the games are higher in epic then other steam competitors. Why should i care about the store as a costumer if i'm treated worse.
  • Epic store has been live 3 months and i haven't seen a major sale yet. I wonder if there will be aggressive sales like steam.

Personally epic is just worse in every aspect for me as a costumer. Why should i care about it?
 

tuxfool

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,613
No I said apple does a lot more to faciliate iOS software getting into people's hands. They own - build, scale, market - the entire chain from dev to user.

Valve only fills in a part
And they charge a shit ton to make a profit from selling that "facilitation". Given their margins on "facilitation", why do they deserve to charge 30% on their store?
 

BronsonLee

it me
Member
Oct 24, 2017
14,191
If we wanna compare amount of 'major' stores per platform (I'm spitballing here)

Apple: 1
Sony: 1 (maybe count GMG?)
Microsoft: 1
Nintendo: 1 (you can count Humble too, I guess?)
Android: 4 (being very generous here)
PC: 10+

Devs are always gonna want more gwap, and they're gonna target those last two first because they can actually negotiate more, meanwhile with the others it's basically yes or no
 

tuxfool

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,613
If we wanna compare amount of 'major' stores per platform (I'm spitballing here)

Apple: 1
Sony: 1 (maybe count GMG?)
Microsoft: 1
Nintendo: 1 (you can count Humble too, I guess?)
Android: 4 (being very generous here)
PC: 10+

Devs are always gonna want more gwap, and they're gonna target those last two first because they can actually negotiate more, meanwhile with the others it's basically yes or no
Of course. But we as consumers should be winning from the latter 2. The Epic store is not adding to that "win". The Epic store seems to regard consumers as a piece of meat, not something that has any agency in this transactional chain.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,546
USA
Nobody said 30% wasn’t common. Doesn’t make it a fair cut for developers. I’m rooting for this to change. Doesn’t have to be 12% like Epic, but lowering it is good for sure.
 

Toriko

Member
Dec 29, 2017
2,954
That's what Valve did. Developers like Epic pronounced PC gaming dead while Valve invested in it.



Is that the developers' argument or yours? I haven't heard any developer argue that Apple or Sony earn their cut. Have you?
What does Valve do that earns the cut anymore than Sony or MS? Is it because they do 'PC gaming'


You do have a choice, there are other competing closed platforms on the market. They also compete with open platforms for the same software sales.
This. Dont like it.. dont buy the platform. Plenty of choice everywhere.
 

Bricktop

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,853
"It's been the industry standard" Is just a stupid, lazy argument. Many things that were standard have eventually changed. It's more like, "we don't have to change" than anything, If the day eventually comes when they do have to change this "industry standard" shit won't mean much.
 

BronsonLee

it me
Member
Oct 24, 2017
14,191
Of course. But we as consumers should be winning from the latter 2. The Epic store is not adding to that "win". The Epic store seems to regard consumers as a piece of meat, not something that has any agency in this transactional chain.
How did this Google Play Store article go all the way back to Epic/Valve anyways
 
OP
OP
texhnolyze

texhnolyze

Self-Requested Ban
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
11,543
Indonesia
Nobody said 30% wasn’t common. Doesn’t make it a fair cut for developers. I’m rooting for this to change. Doesn’t have to be 12% like Epic, but lowering it is good for sure.
If we really want to go full pro developers, we really should go full digital. Digital give developers more revenue than physical games.

This is something we, the customers, can actually do. Not rooting at a corporation and hope for the best.
 

kubev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,088
Pacifica, CA
This is the thing that seems not to be understood by a lot of people, developers included. The rate covers for the services and infrastructure offered by the distributor, it's not just the store fee.
Exactly. Frankly, I don't think there'd be nearly as many apps available on modern devices had it not been for the ease at which you can publish apps on these platforms. No need to worry about payment processing, bandwidth, etc.
 

Kill3r7

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,484
If we wanna compare amount of 'major' stores per platform (I'm spitballing here)

Apple: 1
Sony: 1 (maybe count GMG?)
Microsoft: 1
Nintendo: 1 (you can count Humble too, I guess?)
Android: 4 (being very generous here)
PC: 10+

Devs are always gonna want more gwap, and they're gonna target those last two first because they can actually negotiate more, meanwhile with the others it's basically yes or no
.
 

Vanillalite

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,240
Is that the developers' argument or yours? I haven't heard any developer argue that Apple or Sony earn their cut. Have you?
I think Xcode is better than Android studio. I wish it wasn't locked to MacOS. I'm also more of a C guy so Swift is nicer (to me than Java).

They also have done a ton of work like Google in terms of APIs and giving me as a mobile developer access to a shit ton of new features each and every year. Plus they do the usual of handling payment processing and distribution.

Like I said my only gripe is Xcode being locked to Macs. I like their language, APIs, and tools though as a mobile dev.

*Shrugs*
 

Htown

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,096
Nobody said 30% wasn’t common. Doesn’t make it a fair cut for developers. I’m rooting for this to change. Doesn’t have to be 12% like Epic, but lowering it is good for sure.
Here's my question, because I don't think I've ever seen an actual argument for it, but what makes it an unfair cut? Why exactly is 30% too much, besides "i don't know it seems like it could be less?"