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Microsoft Store matches Epic Games' 12% store fee in a bid to compete with other digital retail platforms

At the start of December 2018, Valve announced a modest change to their 30% fee revenue model. Though EGS didn't announce its entry into the digital games retail space until a few days later, it seems likely that Valve knew of EGS' impending store launch announcement and EGS' planned low store fee, and wanted to get ahead of it with some positive PR about their own fee system.

 

Now, Microsoft are joining EGS in setting their store fee at just 12%, potentially putting more pressure on other platforms to follow suit.

 

 

Microsoft shakes up PC gaming by reducing Windows store cut to just 12 percent

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Microsoft is shaking up the world of PC gaming today with a big cut to the amount of revenue it takes from games on Windows. The software giant is reducing its cut from 30 percent to just 12 percent from August 1st, in a clear bid to compete with Steam and entice developers and studios to bring more PC games to its Microsoft Store.

 

Though Microsoft Store is probably many people's last choice to make a purchase from (or is even non-eligible for consideration of a purchase), their move to a 12% cut will encourage more publishers to list their digital goods on Microsoft Store, and the trend created by EGS and MS both taking just 12% could give publishers some leverage to seek lower fees from other platforms.

 

 

While that's a good thing for the industry, it doesn't save Microsoft Store from having a garbage design, as if it were designed by people who never used a computer before and so didn't have a faint clue of what constitutes coherent, easily-navigable and configurable design. At least Microsoft now allows Win32 programs on their storefront. But it's too bad that games previously released as UWP are likely to remain as UWP.

 

Microsoft does say that Microsoft Store will be getting an overhaul in the future - though, there's no specific mention of addressing usability and design issues:

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Microsoft finally started supporting traditional win32 games in its store a couple of years ago, but this change alone hasn’t helped the Windows store compete with Steam. The 12 percent cut might tempt more developers into listing their games in Microsoft’s store, particularly if the company can improve the poor experience for end users.

 

Booty is promising just that, with “improved install reliability and faster download speeds over the next few months.” Microsoft is also reportedly working on an overhaul to its Windows store that could pave the way for developers to be able to submit any Windows application to the store — including browsers like Chrome or Firefox. These store improvements may even allow third-party commerce platforms in apps, which would be a big shift alongside this 12 percent cut.

 

“We know that we still have a lot of work to do, but based on the response from both PC gamers and PC game developers, we think that we’re headed in the right direction for this community with the investments we’re making,” says Booty. Microsoft still has more to share on its PC plans and general Windows improvements in the coming months. Booty teases a promising second half of 2021 “when our work across the entire PC ecosystem has the potential to come together in a way that propels the industry forward and brings great games to more gamers around the world.”

 

 

And now to Tim Sweeney for comment:

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cool! maybe everyone could do this?

please, pm me if you would like to contribute to my gpu bios database (includes overclocking bios, stock bios, and upgrades to gpus via modding)

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30 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

And now to Tim Sweeney for comment:

Wow! haha what a great reaction.

But in a more serious note, throughtout this I personally have had a bit of a more negative view of Epic, they have seemed like a butt-hurt child who isn't getting moey and just greedy. This news, however, makes me slighlty re-think my view. They're efforts are having some effect. Granted it's the Microsoft Store (who uses that?) but it's still Mircosoft, they are a big company. I'm curious how this all continues to unfold.

Edited by Dominik W
Fixed the spelling of a word.

Dominik W.

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Good. Epic store having a positive impact on the industry. More money for developers, less for middle men. 

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Is this the Microsoft App Store on PC that nobody uses? They aren’t reducing the Xbox fees. And you can just download games directly from the publishers. I’m confused.

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33 minutes ago, Dominik W said:

This news, however, makes me slighlty re-think my view. They're efforts are having some effect. Granted it's the Microsoft Store (who uses that?) but it's still Mircosoft, they are a big company. I'm curious how this all continues to unfold.

Its the home of gamepass, and of the gamepass game discounts. so Id say a fair few people

1 minute ago, Jet_ski said:

Is this the Microsoft App Store on PC that nobody uses? They aren’t reducing the Xbox fees. And you can just download games directly from the publishers. I’m confused.

the ms store as in the one that comes with windows, yeah. But its still the home to gamepass, and the place to get the gamepass deals like the game disconts

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Interesting, shame the Microsoft Store is horrible. I hate that it locks my game to the HDD it installs to and if I reinstall Windows then I have to reinstall the game, it can't just detect the game again like Steam can (or most other digital stores).

 

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Good news.

Wish it was Steam that did this though. Not a fan of the Microsoft store and it has very limited amount of games on it, but good news nonetheless. 

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That's nice but I feel like this won't make as many devs move to the platform as they'd hope. Since Epic takes the same cut, it would be a better choice because it's more popular and has more users, no?

Make sure to quote or tag people, so they get notified.

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This is great news for developers and may potentially lower the price of games, but I doubt many will suddenly switch over to the Microsoft Store since it's still a bit of a mess as mentioned in the OP. Though with that said, if Microsoft is indeed planning on properly improving the app (like better download speed, overall stability, better search engine etc), it might actually work out. Still at the moment, I'd much rather use EGS than the Microsoft Store. Hopefully other platforms who still have a high percentage will lower their fees from devs eventually.

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This doesnt realyl change much for the industry. Prices arent goign to go down because of this. Analysts have gone over why Steam can't match this price point. (The features they offer and all their upkeep costs means they would run in the red if they tried to match) and if they tried to go lower but didn't match Epic can take that and use it as marketing against Steam.

Theres a reason the EGS still doesnt have basic features. The upkeep costs would continue to climb higher and higher and they're already running the store itself at a massive loss. People can think this is Epic tryign to do good for the industry but in reality its them trying to make valve take a hit to revenue and back them into a corner.

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5 hours ago, Middcore said:

Good. Epic store having a positive impact on the industry. More money for developers, less for middle men. 

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Im wondering what sacrifices are there needed for one to reach 12% or even if theres any? Can you even go lower?

yeet!

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11 hours ago, AdmiralMeowmix said:

Analysts have gone over why Steam can't match this price point. (The features they offer and all their upkeep costs means they would run in the red if they tried to match)

Source?

 

I'm skeptical of this claim because we don't know Valve's finances since they aren't a publicly trading company.

I am also skeptical because I don't know which feature Steam offers that would result in dramatically higher operational costs compared to let's say Epic game store.

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20 hours ago, HelpfulTechWizard said:

Its the home of gamepass, and of the gamepass game discounts. so Id say a fair few people

the ms store as in the one that comes with windows, yeah. But its still the home to gamepass, and the place to get the gamepass deals like the game disconts

That is speperate from the Microsoft Store on Windows, however, as I said, they are a big company, and in no doubt have influnce over markets.

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1 minute ago, Dominik W said:

That is speperate from the Microsoft Store on Windows, however, as I said, they are a big company, and in no doubt have influnce over markets.

no its not. its eiother through the xbox app, which uses the windows store for its functionality (as it since the ms store doesnt work for me the xbox app doesnt) or the ms store.

please, pm me if you would like to contribute to my gpu bios database (includes overclocking bios, stock bios, and upgrades to gpus via modding)

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1 minute ago, HelpfulTechWizard said:

no its not. its eiother through the xbox app, which uses the windows store for its functionality (as it since the ms store doesnt work for me the xbox app doesnt) or the ms store.

But that's it. It's like using IE to download Chrome.

Dominik W.

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10 minutes ago, Dominik W said:

But that's it. It's like using IE to download Chrome.

no its not. Its like using chrome for windows 64bit to download chrome for windows 32bit.

you can wither use gamepass through the ms store, or a app that you can get on the ms store that uses the ms store on the back end.

please, pm me if you would like to contribute to my gpu bios database (includes overclocking bios, stock bios, and upgrades to gpus via modding)

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My beautiful, but not that powerful, main PC:

prior build:

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Microsoft Store has other bigger issues than the cut they take. It's the clumsiness of the platform, clumsiness of installation, clumsiness of reinstallation and it being this weird closed format isn't helping. It's just terrible to use as whole.

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19 hours ago, SlimyPython said:

Im wondering what sacrifices are there needed for one to reach 12% or even if theres any? Can you even go lower?

Just up the price of the game 

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4 hours ago, RejZoR said:

Microsoft Store has other bigger issues than the cut they take. It's the clumsiness of the platform, clumsiness of installation, clumsiness of reinstallation and it being this weird closed format isn't helping. It's just terrible to use as whole.

Rumors has it that Microsoft are currently reworking the store so that it no longer has restrictions like "all programs must be packaged as .appx packages" and such.

Who knows, it might become good in the future. I think that even if it becomes good, people will not give it a chance because it has sucked for so long.

 

Microsoft doesn't seem to get that they can't just release half-baked products and then improve them over several years to a decent state. It has to be good right out of the gates or else will people be left with a bad taste.

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The breakdown of how fees are charged in various instances may be needed.  It could very well initiate a price war though.  Apple for instance reduced fees on companies making a million dollars in fees on the App Store, which was something like 90% of all app creators for example.  So there apparently are tiers. Tiers are not discussed which makes me wonder what the specifics are.

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@LAwLz

The thing is, Microsoft Store feels like it hasn't really improved or changed since day 1. It has always been this same terrible thing to use. I use it for MusicBee and Paint.NET so they auto update because doing manually is a bit annoying, but for the rest I don't even consider it. And most apps on it meant for Windows of various functions are just trash. They are mostly ugly, badly designed, out of date crap.

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I would think this only changes anything if the Microsoft Store was competitive. Which it's not. Everyone is still going to use Steam / Blizzard / Origin etc. Hardly anyone uses MS Store. 

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32 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

@LAwLz

The thing is, Microsoft Store feels like it hasn't really improved or changed since day 1. It has always been this same terrible thing to use. I use it for MusicBee and Paint.NET so they auto update because doing manually is a bit annoying, but for the rest I don't even consider it. And most apps on it meant for Windows of various functions are just trash. They are mostly ugly, badly designed, out of date crap.

I think it has gotten better. Way better in fact.

Sadly it started out at "holy shit this is actually 90% malware and so limited no serious developer uses it" to "wow this is bad and pointless".

 

If the rumors are true then I think the store might actually be good. It will become more like a repo than its own system with special packaging requirements and the like. Some even say that it will be based on Winget. If that's true then I actually have high hopes for it. I don't think it will take off even with all the improvements though because Microsoft has poisoned the "brand".

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