May 29, 2023
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Steam’s parent company Valve has recently announced a new revenue split for its online video game marketplace late Friday evening, with the change in its distribution agreement giving developers more money as the number of unit sales increases.

Normally, Valve takes around 30 percent of all game sales on Steam, with some exceptions for games for smaller developers in its Steam Direct program. That will remain the case for the first $10 million in sales a game maker or publisher earns. For all sales between $10 million and $50 million, the split goes to 25 percent. And for every sale after the initial $50 million, Steam will take just a 20 percent cut.

“The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants. Finding the right balance to reflect those contributions is a tricky but important factor in a well-functioning network,” the company wrote in a statement on the Steam Community page. “It’s always been apparent that successful games and their large audiences have a material impact on those network effects so making sure Steam recognizes and continues to be an attractive platform for those games is an important goal for all participants in the network.” Valve is also letting developers be more transparent about game sales with an update to the confidentiality clause of its agreement.

This updated agreement marks the most substantial change to Steam’s financial terms in the store’s 15-year history, and it seems clearly designed to entice more developers to stick around, instead of self-releasing games or going with the growing number of competing online game distributors.

Valve took in $4.3 billion in Steam revenue alone, not even counting micro transaction and downloadable content, according to game analyst Steam Spy.


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