A couple of weeks ago, Epic announced that it was launching a digital storefront that would compete with Steam, the giant of PC gaming. One way Epic is hoping to tempt developers and publishers over to its own store is by offering a better revenue split than Steam does, only taking 12% of each game’s sale as opposed to Steam’s 30%. Today, Discord is throwing its hat in the ring by announcing that its own game store will soon offer an even better revenue split than both Steam and Epic.
Beginning in 2019, Discord will implement a revenue split that sees 90% of a game sale go to developers and publishers while it only keeps 10%. That’s pretty close to the 88/12 split that Epic Games is already offering for its own store, and far better than the 70/30 split Steam offers.
Valve recently announced revised revenue sharing tiers that start at 70/30, dropping as low as 80/20 when games reach more than $50 million in sales. That model is certainly better than sticking with a flat 70/30 split for everything, but really only the biggest games will see the benefit of Valve’s diminishing cut. Even when Valve’s cut hits its lowest level, the revenue sharing models Discord and Epic have announced are still better.
So far, Discord’s game store has been a small collection of titles that were curated by staff, but that’s changing next year too. Discord says that it will roll out tools that allow developers to self-publish their games on the store, so it sounds like the floodgates will soon open. In a blog post today, Discord even says that it will look at decreasing the cut it takes from game sales further, so we may even see its 10% cut go lower in the future.
So, it seems the war of the digital game stores is on. It’ll be interesting to see if Epic, with its piles of money, decides to match Discord’s new revenue sharing split, and we’re particularly interested in what Valve’s response will be now that a second competitor is trying to undercut it. Stay tuned, because we’ll be watching for a response from both companies.