Steam came out alive in 2003, five years before the App Store debuted. It was Valve’s attempt to streamline the process of updating its own games – especially Counterattack – with the pipeline pipeline built directly into the client. Valve has made Steam a must with the release The half-life is 2 in 2004 and 2005, the service began hosting a significant number of third-party games. By 2007, Steam had more than 13 million registered accounts and 150 games; in 2019, it had 1 billion accounts and tens of thousands of games. No other PC hub could compete, and few tried.
The 70/30 revenue distribution has been part of the Steam business model from the beginning. Neither Google nor Apple referred to Steam when they opened their app stores in 2008, but they both launched the same revenue sharing model, with little criticism.
This figure is still the standard for Steam (both Apple and Google).
Only recently has Steam’s revenue-sharing model come under public scrutiny, and only because a new, de facto competitor has finally entered the market. The Epic Games store went on sale in December 2018, and it has billions of dollars on its back, thanks to cash from Fortnite, Unreal Engine and investors, including Tencent Games. It began with a bold promise for developers: income distribution 88/12.
The epic game store has collected several exclusives, keeping these names from Steam, sometimes forever and sometimes for a limited window. In the classical monopolistic form, Valve did not answer.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has openly challenged Valve to take on a higher rate of return for developers: while fulfilling our partners’ commitments) and consider posting their own games on Steam. “
Valve did not answer.
It’s so COMPETITIVE that Apple maintains that it’s cut the same by 30% over the decade. So competitive.
– DHH (@dhh) July 29, 2020
Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered questions about content processing in the App Store, which could potentially compete with Apple’s own services, and whether it handles all applications equally. Developers, including Spotify, have filed complaints about unfair competition against Apple. Basecamp CTO and co-founder David Heinmeier Hanson recently unveiled their problems with Apple after its e-app “Hey” was rejected in the App Store for bypassing its built-in services to purchase applications. After a few triggers from Apple, Hey is sold in the App Store without having an IAP and without reducing 30 percent.
“We treat every developer the same,” Cook said at today’s hearing.
In response, Hanson tweeted, “I think you should take the top cake for a lie?”
Asked about Apple’s revenue sharing model, Cook said, “We’ve never increased commission in-store since the first day it operated in 2008. There’s competition for developers as well as competition for customers.” He then listed App Store competitors like Xbox, PlayStation, Windows and Android.
“Lol,” Hanson replied via Twitter. “Yes, we had to write HEY for the PlayStation. It was our mistake.”
This week, Sweeney also called on Apple and Google for having an absolute monopoly on app stores. Like Hey in the App Store, Epic tried to avoid the Google ecosystem – and its revenue was split – completely when it created an Android version Fortnite available outside the Play Store at launch. However, many players find the solution difficult to use, and Epic is launched Fortnite via Google earlier this year.
Sweeney plans to eventually launch the Epic Games Store on Google Play and the App Store, but this is not yet possible.
“They [Apple] prevent a whole category of businesses and applications from entering their ecosystem by excluding competitors from every aspect of their business that they protect, ”said Sweeney. CNBC last week.
Scott Miller is the founder of Duke Nukem 3D Realms and a longtime independent developer. He officially entered the video game industry in 1987, when Sweeney and Valve founder Gabe Newell were also embarking on their own careers.
“I used to have a higher opinion of Gabe,” Miller told Engadget last month. “But the fact that he doesn’t adjust tariffs in favor of developers is disappointing, because he also has experience for developers. And Valve is a development company. Why isn’t he more of a developer in the position he is in, and at least reduced it up to 20 percent? “
Valve works in secret, and it has earned a reputation as an overly cool company that does whatever it wants on its own scale. With this strategy, she gathered a horde of crazy fans. This is despite the fact that Valve hasn’t released a new game in most of its highly acclaimed, ridiculously popular franchises in decades. Despite the fact that he refused to communicate with developers who demand smarter revenue agreements. Despite the fact that he has a habit of leaving some of his oldest communities.
Valve did not respond to Epic’s ultimatums because Steam, like the App Store, is protected. It’s large enough, with a crazy enough fan base to ignore the needs of developers, gamers or economic competition.