Microsot’s digital console model might be about to follow in the footsteps of its PC counterpart.
Microsoft recently made the announcement that it would be increasing the revenue developers get from each game sale made via the Microsoft Store on PC to 88%, which means Microsoft’s own revenue per sale will go down to 12% from the standard 30%. 30% has been a standard for digital storefront in the industry for years, with everyone from Nintendo and Sony and Microsoft to Valve and Apple and Android’s Play Store sticking with that revenue share. Most notably, Epic Games announced a 12% revenue cut for their own Epic Games Store when the storefront launched in 2018.
Microsoft following in Epic’s footsteps in the PC space was a significant development, but it seems they have similar plans for their console side of the business as well. Documents submitted by Microsoft in the ongoing Epic Games vs Apple case detail their digital revenue share, as spotted by The Verge. Several of the document’s pages are redacted, but one particular page mentions that all games sold digitally via the Xbox Store on Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S will move to an 88/12 model instead of the standard 70/30 starting in the first half of 2021.
Given that Microsoft already made the announcement for their new revenue model on PC, it’s possible that a similar console-related announcement is coming soon as well. If it does happen, it would be a major turning point- with consoles being closed systems by definition, they have stuck to the 70/30 model for as long as they’ve been around, and haven’t had any reason to do things differently. It should be interesting to see if Sony and Nintendo follow in their footsteps as well, if they do end up going through with it.
For what it’s worth, Microsoft has said in a statement to The Verge that there are no such plans in place right now. “We have no plans to change the revenue share for console games at this time,” a spokesperson says. That might mean that the plans may have been put off- or perhaps plans have changed entirely. Either way, stay tuned, and we’ll keep you updated on how the story develops.