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Valve adds revenue share tiers for developers

Other updates include confidentiality clarification to allow developers to share their own sales data

Valve announced today it has updated its Steam Distribution Agreement with a number of small changes as well as two much larger ones, including a new revenue share tier system that offers a higher revenue share to developers who meet certain sales thresholds.

Currently, Valve's revenue share for Steam developers is the industry strandard 70 percent to the developer, 30 percent to the platform. Beginning with sales on October 1, 2018, a new tier system will take effect. Games that make over $10 million in total sales (including games, DLC, in-game sales, and community marketplace game fees) will switch to a 75/25 revenue share for sales beyond that mark, and games that make over $50 million will switch to an 80/20 share.

"The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants," reads Valve's blog post on the subject. "Finding the right balance to reflect those contributions is a tricky but important factor in a well-functioning network. It's always been apparent that successful games and their large audiences have a material impact on those network effects so making sure Steam recognizes and continues to be an attractive platform for those games is an important goal for all participants in the network."

In addition, Valve has updated its confidentiality agreement to make it clear that developers are permitted to sell sales data about their own games with other developers, third-parties, or anyone else as they like.

Other, minor changes include clarifying language to reflect GDPR, and basic VR safety warranties.

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Latest comments (8)

Dariusz G. Jagielski Game Developer 14 days ago
The tiers should be exactly the other way around! Ubi, EA, etc. don't need that money. Indies do! Like being able to share sales data though.
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Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania14 days ago
@Dariusz G. Jagielski: It's not about need. You can think of it as a form of local tax-incentive for large factories. A way to make sure they come to your city and stay there.
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Dariusz G. Jagielski Game Developer 14 days ago
@Tudor Nita: They do so anyway and any large launch outside of Steam was a hot mess. Just look at recent Falout 76 debacle. I doubt they try an "out-of-Steam" release in future, incentives or not. The Steam is literally the only game in town (well, there's also GOG but it requires you to drop DRM and Ubi/EA/etc. will never do this). Origin access is a joke and so is Uplay.

Not only that, the big companies will STILL want more. They won't do any business with steam as long as they get anything less than 100% of the revenue.

Meanwhile, reversing the scheme would help struggling indies and would generate a lot of good publicity. Not to mention in all normal countries it is the rich who pay the bigges taxes.
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Show all comments (8)
Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania14 days ago
@Dariusz G. Jagielski: Yes, F64 was a mess. Would of been the same mess on steam quite frankly. On the other hand Epic did well, Blizz is making moves of their own, etc.

That's a segment you want to keep around and extract money out of. Yes they will want more but I do not see an issue with that. Eventually this will trickle down to the smaller, less interesting publishers. That is, if steam decides that it won't make shovelware even more of a problem.

Imho, indies still get good value out of steam.
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Dariusz G. Jagielski Game Developer 13 days ago
@Tudor Nita: Excuse me? Indies get good value out of Steam? Tell that to the devs of hundreds of objectively good games (bug free, fun and so on) that gets no reviews where asset flips and games by shady developers are getting the spotlight, not thanks in the least to SidAlpha and Jim Sterling. While I appreciate the work of both, I feel like they're doing way too little to highlight good, unheard of games.

And maybe Fallout 76 itself would be a mess on Steam, but at least wouldn't delete users' files and uninstall correctly!

Not to mention the only game that's is doing good outside Steam is Fortnite, but it's mostly because it's Fortnite. Other titles on Epic Launcher (UE4 excluded as it's an engine not a game) aren't doing that great. For example, few years back Epic decided to make an entirely new Unreal Tournament game. Some sites wrote about it, some maps were made and then the thing just died off silently.

And here's the kicker: Those objectively good games that gets no reviews and no CAU? Their developers are likely never to make other games while ilk of DigiHom gets to profit. These small creators needs every dollar they can get to stay in the business and make good games. And AAA games are a tripe nowadays anyway, maybe with the exception of CDPR.
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Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania13 days ago
@Dariusz G. Jagielski: Far from wanting to argue here but it's weird how devs. & consumers are roughly the same when it comes to asking for stuff.

3 years ago, to be listed next to The Elder Scrolls would have been the bees-knees. Granted, there are way more titles on steam now, but you still get enough eyeballs when compared to any other platform available today. Yes, it's not an instant success but the value proposition is there. It's up to the devs. to make something of it.

You, also, just hit the nail on the head. Shovelware would be the first to benefit from lower rates.

At the end of the day, Valve does what is best for its bottom line, as it should. It's not an indie store-front, it's a multibillion-dollar business. From that POV, this was a smart move.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tudor Nita on 3rd December 2018 8:33am

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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 13 days ago
Activison/Blizzard, EA, and Ubisoft have very reliable platforms to launch and patch their games. If Bethesda is behind then that is no argument for everybody to go back to Steam exclusivity.

The rise of Discord and the way it helps organize communities of all sizes is the best proof that beyond selling and copy-locking games all PC store fronts and platforms are hot garbage. Forget about patches to make games playable, without Discord, Teamspeak, etc. plenty of games would be very unplayable. Voice chat and group management is rudimentary at best, even in games designed to transition endgame players into highly social experiences. I am sure six months from now Bioware will be wondering why people quit Anthem after completing the solo content and resign to the fact that players are that way, when in fact the biggest hurdle to Anthem's success will be getting people to connect to Discord and helping them find a group of people to play with.

Jim Sterling's product is not helping indies who deserve to make more sales. His product is entertainment. Dressing in a skin-tight purple suit with face paint might give it away sometimes. So stop sending codes, dress in a shiny green skin tight suit and challenge him to a wrestling match determining the quality of your product.
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Lindsay Cox Games Programmer, Mediatonic13 days ago
@Dariusz G. Jagielski: The unfortunate fact is that there are so many lacklustre indie games going to the store that make Valve peanuts compared to these guys, so there is no business reason to give that end of the market the same treatment. Even with this cut, Valve are still gonna make a killing of Rockstar, Squenix, etc rather than Platform Jump Man 2

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Lindsay Cox on 3rd December 2018 11:05am

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