Microsoft will reduce the amount it charges to indie developers to publish PC games on its online store starting in August, the company said Thursday.
Developers will keep 88% of their game revenue, up from 70%. That could make the Microsoft store more appealing to indie studios than competitors like Valve’s game store, called Steam, which typically start out with a 30% cut. Epic Games store accounts for 12%.
“We want to make sure we are competitive in the marketplace,” said Sarah Bond, Microsoft’s vice president, who leads the organization of the gaming ecosystem. “Our goal is to have top revenue sharing and truly be a top platform.”
The portion of the revenue that developers keep has been closely monitored in the tech industry. Google and Apple have faced antitrust questions about the 30% fee they charge developers whose bots show up in their app stores.
Last year, Epic sued Apple and Google separately, claiming they violated antitrust laws by forcing developers to use their payment systems. Epic has tried to bypass the fees by allowing customers to pay for its Fortnite video game items directly through Epic. That prompted Apple and Google to launch Fortnite from their app stores.
Apple and Google have since reduced fees for some developers. Epic’s lawsuit against Apple will go to trial on Monday in US District Court in Oakland, California.