Steam takes a large chunk of the revenue from every sale. But is that so unfair? One indie developer is extremely happy with it.
When you buy a game through the Steam platform, it’s not just the developer and publisher of the game who benefit – Steam itself takes a big chunk of the purchase price too. Valve takes a whopping 30% each time a game sells. “Far too much,” some say, describing the approach as greedy. However, there are also developers who are very happy with the 30% – such as Bellular.
Why is Bellular talking about this? YouTuber and developer Bellular, known to many for his WoW analyses, released a game on Steam a few days ago. In a stream, he then talked about the sales figures and ideas about what could be done better next time. He was quite open about Steam’s data on his game and also addressed the “30% interest” that Steam takes on each sale.
What does Bellular say about this? In one of his latest videos, Bellular not only shows the sales figures for his game The Pale Beyond, but also addresses the question of whether Steam’s 30% share is justified:
The question many are asking: does Valve deserve that 30%? There’s a reason this is a very short section [in diesem Video] is. Because the reason is: Yes. From our point of view as an indie developer where Valve gets 30% and only then the rest of the money is distributed to publishers and employees – we are very happy with the 30% from Valve.
What may seem incomprehensible at first glance, Bellular explains a little more. Of course, 30% is a big percentage, but you have to consider more:
The amount of attention, the “click-through rate” and all [die anderen Vorteile] …they did take 30%. But it’s 30% of a much bigger pie.
Or to put it another way: the 30% is a lot, but the game is also seen and bought by many more people through Steam, so that in the end the developers still make significantly more money than if they did not advertise and sell on Steam. With this 30% you buy the reach and attention that ultimately leads to the sale of games.
Steam brings even more advantages: Bellular and his colleague Matt then discuss that Steam also brings other advantages. Because Steam is a platform that primarily takes care of the customers, who are always the top priority. Therefore, systems like “Refunds” would be particularly easy to enforce on Steam – such as the “2 hour” rule, with which you can return games if you don’t like them.
Even if developers lose some money here afterwards, that would be a good thing, because those who can easily return a game are less likely to write an angry, negative review afterwards.
From another side, Steam is always criticized for the 30%. For example, when the Epic Games Store launched, it aggressively advertised that it would take a much smaller share.