Steam revenue share and Steam sales data are changing according to an announcement from Valve on the Steamworks developer group.
Much like any other digital store, Steam revenue share is a percentage of the sales for any product on the platform. Valve provides a number of services for developers including hosting files, distributing patches, providing Steam Community access, and more. Steam revenue share is going to be changed for some of the most successful developers alongside a change to how devs will be able to disclose Steam sales data.
For most developers, the Steam revenue share will remain at a 30% cut. Developers who do really well and make $10 million or more will see that percentage reduced to a 25% split. If a developer has a blockbuster hit on their hands earning $50 million or more, Steam revenue share will go to its lowest-ever level of 20% of a game's earnings. While these numbers are certainly an improvement, notable industry veteran Tim Sweeney believes that they can make it work with 7-8%. But hey, an improvement is an improvement.
Recent years have seen titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Fallout 76 debut on their publisher's respective platforms; these changes are geared towards big developers staying on the platform rather than retreating to one of their own. The new numbers are taking effect as of October 1, 2018. Any sales made before that date - even if they were over the threshold - will still have to pay Valve a 30% cut.
Steam takes a cut of pretty much everything on the store including DLC, microtransactions, and the like; this reduced revenue share for more popular developers will also apply to these revenue streams. Perhaps one of the biggest points is that this will also apply to the Community Market game fees, further enhancing the post-launch prospects for companies to keep bringing in the dosh.
As for the Steam sales data, a number of developers faced a conundrum when it came to some of the legal documents they had to sign. Valve concedes that confidentiality requirements for Steam sales data may have been a little bit unclear, putting developers in a ridiculous situation where they can't tell people how much their own game sold. The confidentiality agreement is being updated to allow game devs to share Steam sales data as they see fit.
Aside from these big changes, a couple of other small adjustments are being made to the backend. New language for GDPR compliance is being added and some safety warnings for VR games are making their way onto Valve's digital distribution service.
The changes to Steam revenue share and Steam sales data seem to rectify two issues that developers of games big and small have been having for years. It remains to be seen whether these will be enough to turn the tide and keep games from permanently running off to other platforms.
What do you think of the changes to Steam revenue share for highly-successful developers? Do you like the changes to Steam sales data for developers? Let us know in the comments below!