IGN: Steam's 30% Cut Is Actually the Industry Standard

AHA-Lambda

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,047
Because for some god forsaken reason this actually has to be clarified now; it's not just "greedy evil Valve"

Last year the Epic Games Store swooped in and started hoovering up game exclusives like they were Pokemon cards, offering PC publishers an alternative to Valve's 30% cut on Steam by taking just 12% from the games sold through its new platform. Since then, the cuts game retailers take and the effect it has on both players and developers alike have been a hot topic - and, as it often goes with the internet, a lot of misinformation can get mixed into those conversations.


We reached out to nearly half a dozen sources within the games industry (as well as the game retailers directly) in order to get the actual numbers on what cuts most major retailers take. While many of these sources prefer to remain anonymous, they paint a picture that could be surprising to some players, one where Valve’s now infamous 30% cut isn’t actually out of the norm. In fact, it's pretty much the industry standard.
And in a "if you really think this was just about PC gaming then i've a long bridge to sell you" moment

Despite the relative ubiquity of this 30:70 ratio, a source told IGN that there is currently tremendous pressure across the industry to lower the cut stores take. Ubisoft recently called Steam’s business model “unrealistic” after making the jump to the Epic Store last year, though clearly Steam isn’t the only store using this scale.
More choice quotes within.

 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
9,943
This isn't news? The whole point of the EGS was precisely to lower standards. I mean this in two ways.
 

selfnoise

Member
Oct 25, 2017
383
The console makers cut is going to survive a lot longer than Steams. It's a very different situation because they have a captive audience.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,371
"Report"


But yeah, incoming "Hey now, console makers sells hardware for a profit, so they deserve a higher cut because they charge for an online paywall"

The console makers cut is going to survive a lot longer than Steams. It's a very different situation because they have a captive audience.
Steam's cut already decreased.
 

Adam Sadler

Member
Nov 9, 2017
1,224
I thought this was known by people who were concerned about this. Honestly i feel like only physical retailers should have 30%
 

closer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,192
doesn't everyone already know this? isn't a lot of the "monopoly" talk based around how steam's standard is a de facto industry standard, where if steam made the cut more developer friendly others in the pc sphere would need to follow suit due to how large steam is as an entity in the sphere?
 

OmegaX

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,112
We know. Epic doesn't care. They want to lower it to fuck with Valve. I say, let them fight.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,371
By the way:
"One source said their takeaway from a physical retailer at the end of the day is often between just 10-15%. "

I wonder if we'll hear about people wanting to kill physical sales now ?
 

inpHilltr8r

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,268
The difference is that Steam does not have hardware lock in, and has to play in the free market. It's not that their 30% is unreasonable, but it is poorly defended against a well funded assailant.

Meanwhile, iOS, XBox and PS play in a walled garden, with a moat, with fricken sharks with laser beams.
 
Last edited:

Cactuar

Member
Nov 30, 2018
2,187
Who wasted their time with this? Epic's entire deal is that they take LESS of a cut than industry standard.
 

Patitoloco

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,149
By the way:
"One source said their takeaway from a physical retailer at the end of the day is often between just 10-15%. "

I wonder if we'll hear about people wanting to kill physical sales now ?
Seeing NPD and UK charts (+ Gamespot results, plus every publisher saying the same) I would say physical is already in the path to the graveyard.
 

Nanashrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,201
I thought this was known? The whole point in lowering it was to create disruption which could lead to others doing the same.
 

Mesoian

Member
Oct 28, 2017
8,524
I mean yes, which is why EGS can use it as a selling point towards developers.

This isn't news.
 

Nappael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,460
This was always known. It's just that certain outlets liked to not mention that.

Steam doesn't even take 30% across the board any more, so their split can actually go lower than the industry standard depending on unit sales.
 

Delusibeta

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,316
mildshock.gif

But yeah, if I was a betting man, I would wager a decent chunk of money that the console manufacturers aren't budging this console generation. Where would the likes of Ubisoft go, making their own console? El oh el.
 

Maintenance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,710
That's some breaking news.

Spoiler: most of the talks about cuts is just fanboyism with a shield of "won't somebody think of the poor devs". You will rarely see the same guy arguing that about physical sales, or console companies. A very small few do, and that's great, but the majority of the time it's all tribalism garbage.
 

Luckett_X

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,070
Leeds, UK
User banned (4 days): drive-by trolling, previously banned for similar behaviour in a related thread
Keep expecting to see "Advertorial - Paid For By Gaben" somewhere in there, but can't find it? 🤔
 

Hektor

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,445
Deutschland
That's some breaking news.

Spoiler: most of the talks about cuts is just fanboyism with a shield of "won't somebody think of the poor devs". You will rarely see the same guy arguing that about physical sales, or console companies. A very small few do, and that's great, but the majority of the time it's all tribalism garbage.
listen to this person
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,371
And with that 30% cut what has Valve accomplished? More DOTA skins? Lol.

A far more solid online ecosystem than any other platforms. At no fee for the user.
A robust, deep and versatile remapping tool.
Steam Proton which made a load of games compatible with Linux seamlessly for the user.
Free cloud save storage.
Actually made playing on PC convenient nowadays with Big Picture Mode and Steam Workshop for mods.
A hardware agnostic VR platform.
Dedicated servers for devs.
 

elyetis

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,954
To be fair it is ( sadly ) something worth to report ( thought it seem to be missing the fact that it might not be true for key seller ), both because the whole messaging about EGS cut has been about pitting it against Steam, and because often the gaming press was full of misinformation ( let's not forget jeuxvideo.com saying something along the lines of "it's pretty secret but Valve take between 30-40% of a game sale." )
And with that 30% cut what has Valve accomplished? More DOTA skins? Lol.
Last time I tried to somehow answer that question ( and how valve stagnated or not compared to say, Uplay or Origin ) was with this post, might still be missing stuff ( old or new ).
I had to do some googling to check some of the store timeline, so Uplay was released July 2012 ( and June 2011 for Origin ) .

Since, the stagnating Valve introduced :
Aug 2012 - Steam Greenlight
Dec 2012 - Steam Market
Sept 2012 - Steam Big Picture
May 2013 - Steam Trading cards
Sept 2013 - Steam Family Sharing introduced
Nov 2013 - User review system
May 2014 - Steam Home Streaming
Sep 2014 - Discovery Update introducing the Curator system
Jan(?) 2017 - Steam Input
Jun 2017 - Steam Direct
Aug(?) 2017 - OpenVR
Mai 2018 - Steam Link for Android
Aug 2018 - Proton

I didn't take time to add some smaller stuff like the second Discovery update giving users more control over what titles they want to see or ignore within the Steam Store, the updated review system, the refund policy ( europe(?) didn't give them much choice ), smaller-ish update to SteamVR ( steam home and the like ), on the friend list, etc.. might have forgotten some things thought ( or valve did nothing but swim in their pool of money during 2015-2016, which is a possibility ).

In comparison, I'd like someone to list what Origin and Uplay did other than release their own exclusive titles to their store. I'll be honest I use them so little I wouldn't even know where to start.
 

AshenOne

Member
Feb 21, 2018
696
Steam offers a lot of features for its each game for it to lower their cut, lower than 25% unlike other stores which are barebones features wise. The only improvement steam can make is to lower the cut for not only big publishers but also for indie devs. A low ass cut like 12% isn't sustainable at all for a service like Steam. It invests too much into its features for customers and devs. to go very cheap in cuts.

Epic's outcries for stores to lower their cuts would only be legitimately heard once they start offering services and features to consumers and devs that is on par with steam and are still able to sustain this deep cut. I wouldn't want steam to compromise on features and services they give out to consumers and devs just so they can lower the cut.

Those people who keep saying that Valve do nothing and remain stagnant are talking out of their ass completely. They do churn out features and services but are slow and have been doing so for the PC gaming community for YEARS.
 
Last edited:

Browser

Member
Apr 13, 2019
395
1 - Its funny to say something is industry standard when its the industry that sets the standard.
2 - EGS at 12% is trying a new structure to see if it works for them, if t does, maybe valve was taking more then they needed for higher profits all along? Which is ok until you have someone else that shows a different way, then you need to adapt, not try to further justify it.
 

Fabtacular

Member
Jul 11, 2019
57
This is hilarious because for more than a decade the conventional wisdom has been that platform holders (Steam, Sony, MS, etc.) take a 30% cut.

It would be "surprising" if the report revealed that this wasn't any longer the case.
 

SirBaron

Member
Oct 27, 2017
503
Steam charges more but it gives a fuck ton more back in return compared to the other storefronts on PC, and slightly more in comparison to the Consoles.