Steam’s in the Holiday Spirit, Gives the Gift of Less Rev Share

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Steam announced they will be adjusting their terms for their Steam Distribution Agreement fees, mostly going to affect larger game developer studios it is a great shift that may eventually benefit some of you game developer readers who make it to that point in the future.

Perhaps they may be feeling the competitive pressure of larger studios seeking to make their own distribution platforms to save on this exact fee, such as EA Origin, Ubisoft Launcher and a growing list of developers that are looking for long term efficiency gains. Only time will tell but it is an interesting move that will hopefully result in some benefits for other devs outside of the multi-million dollar studios one day.

Today, we updated the Steam Distribution Agreement with several important changes. Actual Authority members can review all the terms and details with their next login in to Steamworks but we wanted to highlight a few of the changes\additions in this note.

The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants. 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.

With that in mind, we’ve created new revenue share tiers for games that hit certain revenue levels. Starting from October 1, 2018 (i.e. revenues prior to that date are not included), when a game makes over $10 million on Steam, the revenue share for that application will adjust to 75%/25% on earnings beyond $10M. At $50 million, the revenue share will adjust to 80%/20% on earnings beyond $50M. Revenue includes game packages, DLC, in-game sales, and Community Marketplace game fees. Our hope is this change will reward the positive network effects generated by developers of big games, further aligning their interests with Steam and the community.

They also added in this little tidbit to hopefully allow for more transparency when it comes to game sales on Steam for devs to discuss the topic openly. We’re definitely excited to see more developments on that to help give more developers grounded expectations, better estimates for financial planning and more realistic figures when prepping work for publisher or investor pitches:

We’ve also made a change to the agreement regarding confidentiality of your sales data. We frequently get questions from partners who want to talk with other developers\third parties or publicly about the sales of their games on Steam. We’ve heard you, and we’re updating the confidentiality provisions to make it clear that the partner can share sales data about their game as they see fit.

If you’d like to read the full release that had some other items check it out below:

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