If Valve took a 10% cut of Steam games’ revenue, instead of 30%, then Garry’s Mod and Rust developer Facepunch Studios would be more than $50 million better off. That comes from developer Garry Newman himself, who shares the information on Twitter after Epic Games and Apple’s public falling out reignited the conversation around revenue share between publishers and developers.
“I’ve never really had a problem paying Valve [its] share, I owe everything to the opportunities they gave me,” he says in a follow-up tweet. “It’s also nice to keep in mind that before Steam came along, PC gaming was pretty much dead. And yes, $50 million more would have been nice. Is 30% fair? It’s what we all agree to when adding our games to Steam. Minecraft didn’t agree, and they did fine. Just make a game as good as Minecraft and process all the payments yourself then sell it for two billion then block me on Twitter.”
Newman’s string of Tweets follows on from Fortnite developer Epic Games’ fallout with Apple. The battle royale game was booted from the iOS App Store after Epic set up a direct payment system to bypass Apple’s 30% cut of all purchases on the platform.
In response, Epic has filed a lawsuit against Apple that alleges the App Store constitutes an unlawful monopoly. The developer is also mobilising fans with a “Free Fortnite” campaign that kicked off in-game with a cinematic. Dustin wrote a rundown of the whole thing, so you can check out his Free Fortnite article to get caught up.
The conversation around how much a game publisher should take from a developer comes and goes at various points in time. Epic Games initially kicked off the Epic Games Store to take on Steam with the promise of only taking 12% of a game’s revenue.
If Valve only took 10% instead of 30% Facepunch would have made over $50,000,000 more
— garry (@garrynewman) August 14, 2020
The Fortnite developer also offers a financial incentive for exclusivity to its storefront. While some fans have raised objections to this, the extra financial help has led to more security for indie games like Ooblets.
While Epic’s lawsuit with Apple should have a significant impact on mobile gaming, it’s currently uncertain if it’ll have a knock-on effect on the PC store front. Regardless, it’ll be interesting to find out.