The PC storefront scene is getting quite a bit of a shakeup lately. First, Epic announced that the Epic Games store would be shifting to a revenue split of 88/12, meaning that developers get 88% of the revenue from any sales, as opposed to the usual 70/30 split that is common on digital stores. The shakeups are continuing today, as Discord has announced that the Discord storefront will now share 90% of revenue with developers, meaning it will use a 90/10 revenue split.
In their new post, Discord had a lot to say:
Earlier this year though, we noticed a change happening in the game industry. We talked to a lot of developers, and many of them feel that current stores are not earning their 30% of the usual 70/30 revenue share. Because of this, we now see developers creating their own stores and launchers to distribute their games instead of focusing on what’s really important — making great games and cultivating amazing communities.
So, we asked ourselves a few more questions. Why does it cost 30% to distribute games? Is this the only reason developers are building their own stores and launchers to distribute games?
Turns out, it does not cost 30% to distribute games in 2018. After doing some research, we discovered that we can build amazing developer tools, run them, and give developers the majority of the revenue share.
So, starting in 2019, we are going to extend access to the Discord store and our extremely efficient game patcher by releasing a self-serve game publishing platform. No matter what size, from AAA to single person teams, developers will be able to self publish on the Discord store with 90% revenue share going to the developer. The remaining 10% covers our operating costs, and we’ll explore lowering it by optimizing our tech and making things more efficient.
Seeing Discord respond to Epic, Valve and the rest of the industry like this is fascinating. With Epic making big moves, Bethesda shifting their games to the Bethesda launcher (including Rage 2) and now Discord pushing for a bigger revenue split for developers, we’re seeing an increasingly-escalating war of PC storefronts. It’ll be interesting to see where this leads over the next few months.