Steam was launched in 2003, five years before its App Store debut. Valve has tried to streamline the process of updating his own games – in particular Counter-Strike – with software repair piping built directly into the client. The valve released steam with release Half time 2 in 2004 and 2005, the service began hosting a significant number of third-party games. By 2007, Steam had registered more than 13 million accounts and 150 games; in 2019 it had 1 billion accounts and tens of thousands of games. No other computer hub could compete, and few tried it.
Revenue sharing 70/30 has been part of Steam’s business model from the beginning. Neither Google nor Apple referred to Steam when they opened their respective app stores in 2008, but both launched the same revenue-sharing model, which was not very critical.
This rate is still the standard for Steam (and Apple and Google).
Only recently has Steam’s revenue-sharing model come under public scrutiny, simply because a new real competitor has finally entered the market. The Epic Gaming Store was launched in December 2018 and has billions of dollars on its back thanks to cash resources. fortna, Unreal Engine and investors including Tencent Games. It started with a bold promise for developers: revenue sharing 88/12.
The epic game store collected a handful of exclusives and kept these titles out of Steam, sometimes forever and sometimes in a confined window. In the classic monopoly regime, Valve did not respond.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney openly called on Valve to commit to higher revenue for developers, saying: “If Steam were committed to a permanent revenue share of 88 percent for all developers and publishers without large chains attached, Epic would quickly organize a retreat from exclusive companies (while respecting the commitments of our partners) and consider launching your own games on Steam. “
The valve did not respond.
It is so competitive that Apple has maintained the same 30% reduction for ten years. So competitive.
– DHH (@ dhh) 29 July 2020
Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered questions about the handling of content in the App Store, which could potentially compete with Apple’s own services, and whether it treats all applications equally. Developers, including Spotify, have filed unfair competition complaints against Apple. Basecamp CTO and co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson recently released their issues with Apple after its Hey email app was rejected in the App Store for circumventing in-app services. After a few flip-flops from Apple, Hey is live in the App Store with no IAP reduction and no 30 percent reduction.
“We treat every developer the same,” Cook said during today’s meeting.
In response, Hansson tweeted: “I think it must be the tallest cake for lying down yet?”
Asked about Apple’s revenue-sharing model, Cook said: “We’ve never increased commissions in the business since the first day it was up and running in 2008. There’s competition for developers as well as competition for customers. ”He then introduced competitors to the App Store such as Xbox, PlayStation, Windows and Android.
“Lol,” Hansson replied via Twitter. “Yes, we should have written HEY for PlayStation. That was our fault. “
This week, Sweeney also called on Apple and Google to have an “absolute monopoly” in app stores. Like Hey in the App Store, Epic tried to avoid Google’s ecosystem – and its revenue sharing – completely by creating a version of Android for fortna available outside the Play store at startup. However, many players have found that the solution is difficult to use and run Epic fortna earlier this year via Google.
Sweeney plans to eventually launch the Epic Games Store on Google Play and the App Store, but this has not yet been possible.
“They [Apple] they prevent the flooding of a whole category of businesses and applications into their ecosystem by foreclosing 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 supporter of independent developers. He officially entered the video game industry in 1987, at a time when Sweeney founder and Valve Gabe Newell were beginning their own careers in the industry.
“I had a better opinion of Gabe,” Miller told Engadget last month. “But the fact that it doesn’t adjust rates in favor of developers is disappointing, because it also has a background for developers. And Valve is a development company. Why is he no longer a pro-developer in the position he is in, and at least reduce it to 20 percent? “
Valve works in secret and has gained a reputation as too cool a company to do what it wants, according to its own schedule. Thanks to this strategy, it is a rock for hot fans. This, although Valve has not released a new game in most of its highly acclaimed, ridiculously popular franchises in ten years. Nevertheless, it refuses to communicate with developers and calls for more appropriate revenue agreements. Although he is in the habit of leaving some of his longest communities.
Valve did not respond to Epic’s ultimatum because Steam is as secure as the App Store. It’s big enough, it has a whimsical enough to ignore the needs of developers, players or competition.