Everything is about money these days which is why the latest decision made by Valve was expected. The creator of the Steam distribution platform decided to adjust the method of sharing profits with developers. The new policy is inclined towards “big game” and, therefore, big developers.
This is how things will work in the future – Valve will decrease their revenue percentage to 25% for all games that make more than $10 million in sales. In case of games over $50 million, that percentage will be further reduced to 20%. For any games that remain below the $10 million mark, the old 70/30 split will still apply. This policy change affects any sales made through the platform from October 1, 2018.
Valve isn’t even trying to hide the fact that this is supposed to help the “big game developers.” They admitted this in their Steam announcement and pinpointed that the reason for this move was the overall positive effect it will have on the platform. There is no doubt that big companies can support Steam reputation, but there are many indie developers working with the platform.
For them, this move is considered a slap in the face. Greg Lobanov, the developer of Wandersong, revealed that he hoped players will stop buying indie releases via Steam and find an alternative channel.
“Their goal seems to be to harm experimental and niche games,” said Lobanov.
He also emphasized that Steam already didn’t treat “less popular” games properly and now, on top of that, their developers are expected to pay more. The colleagues mostly agreed with him, pinpointing that indie devs are doing wonders with tight budgets.
“The new plan for dividing revenue now literally means we will be paying for the development of next Grand Theft Auto V or Fallout 76,” said Brian Buckley.
Rami Ismail, known for his work on Nuclear Throne, was even harsher and said that small companies and aspiring developers are now subsiding big productions. He also emphasized his belief Valve was doing this to prevent the competition from launching their game stores.
There is the other side of the medal, too, and it seems that Kevin Simmons from Asymmetric understands it. According to him, it is necessary for Valve to keep the “AAA games and audience” or the total number of sales and visits to Steam would decrease, which would affect everyone.