Microsoft To Improve Revenue Share For Games Developers
Written by Lucy Black   
Friday, 30 April 2021

Microsoft has announced that from August 1st it will reduce the amount of revenue it takes on PC games in the Microsoft Store from 30 percent to 12 percent. There are also new tools and greater discoverability to encourage devs to the platform.

News of the new revenue share was shared in a blog post  by Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft.

He wrote:

Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms. That’s why today we’re announcing that we’re updating our Microsoft Store terms for PC game developers. As part of our commitment to empower every PC game creator to achieve more, starting on August 1 the developer share of Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88%, from 70%. A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.

This change, which won't take place for another 4 months and only affects PC Games sold via the Microsoft Store, will bring Microsoft in line with the Epic Games Store. 


Microsoft share for Xbox console games will continue to be 30% but what about non-game apps? Last November Apple cut the percentage it takes from the App Store from 30% to 15% for  those who don't earn more than $1 million per year across all their apps, a move which Google announced last month that it was going to match from July 1st, In fact Microsoft has only taken at most 15% from Windows 10 non-games apps since March 2019.

It was May 2018, at Build, that Microsoft announced it was offering devs a revenue share of up to 95% for creating and selling apps for Windows 10 - with "Games" being specifically excluded. It took until March 2019 for the new terms and condition to take effect and the deal under which devs kept 95% was very limited it scope and very short lived - it was withdrawn in January 2020, leaving devs with an 85% revenue share (i.e. Microsoft keeps 15%).

The original announcement of the more generous share of revenue for PC games was included in a more wide ranging post on Linkedin about greater opportunities for PC Games by Sarah Bond, Head of Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem. It also mentioned improved development tools, referring ti the recently released DirectX 12 Ultimate for PC game creation and the newly announced DirectX 12 Agility SDK, which in combination are intended to help developers create great graphical experiences. 

She next turns to Azure-related facilities explaining how the Azure PlayFab back-end platform makes it easy to bring  multiplayer, data analytics and LiveOps into games and how the upcoming ID@Azure program will give gamel creators, both studios and individuals, full access to Azure’s cloud infrastructure, technologies and services for games built for any platform (game console, PC, iOS, Android), with any game engine (Unity, Unreal and more). 

For greater discoverability Bond refers to Xbox Game Pass for PC which she says:

 gives developers the opportunity to be part of a curated library of high-quality PC games on Windows 10.

The figures do suggest this is worthwhile:

With Game Pass, players spend 20% more time playing games, play 30% more genres of games and play 40% more games overall, including games outside of the subscription. Based on a recent survey, we found that more than 90% of members said they played a game that they would not have tried without Game Pass.

But do bear in mind that Microsoft will still takes a 30% cut of revenue from  Xbox games sales.


More Information

Continuing Our PC Gaming Journey in 2021 and Beyond

App Developer Agreement

Empowering PC game creators with new tools, greater opportunity

Related Articles

Google Matches Apple's App Store Cut

Apple Is Playing With Us - App Store Tax Cut To 15%

Microsoft Offers More Revenue To Developers 

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