Epic Games call for an end to Steam’s 30% Greed

The possibility of Fortnite making its way to Steam has been raised, contingent on a significant condition: the platform must eliminate its 30% revenue cut. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney outlined these conditions in response to a tweet, stating, “We’ll compete, and we’ll also put Fortnite on any serious store that gives all developers an awesome deal … the end of these ridiculous 30% fees is near.” Steam’s 30% cut has been a point of contention, with Sweeney’s statement being a clear challenge.

While there’s a touch of irony in Sweeney implying that Steam isn’t a “serious store,” it’s worth noting that his point isn’t entirely unfounded. A 30% cut is considered high, as indicated by a 2021 industry survey at GDC where only 7% of respondents found it justified.

If Fortnite were to join Steam, it’s likely that it wouldn’t be subject to the full 30% revenue share. Valve’s tiered system reduces the percentage for high-earning games, dropping to 25% past the $10 million mark and 20% past the $50 million mark. Despite criticism in the past, Valve’s market dominance has kept any backlash at bay.

While Epic Games faces challenges in reaching Steam’s level of popularity, it has an advantageous position in this debate. Epic’s standard revenue cut is 12%, and they offer programs granting developers six months of 100% profit in exchange for Epic Games Store exclusivity. While some may attribute this to Epic Games’ lower popularity, the numbers present a more generous offering compared to its competitors.

This isn’t the first time Sweeney has criticized Valve. In March, he accused Steam of causing a “real problem for the industry” with its multiplayer game setup, citing a lock-in strategy that favors their store. However, Valve’s promotion methods, such as algorithmic approaches or hand-curated spotlights, benefit both developers and consumers. Despite criticisms, Steam’s influence continues to grow, with its unique methods propelling indie games to popularity, though they also pose challenges for some studios in dealing with negative reviews.

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