Valve makes changes to distribution agreement, lowers rev share for successful games

Valve makes changes to distribution agreement, lowers rev share for successful games

More strange news from Washington State now as Valve announced that it's changing the terms of its distribution service.

That's according a blog post, in which the PC games giant said that it was reducing the revenue share for projects that generate more than $10m on Steam. Before developers gave up a 30 per cent stake of revenue no matter how many copies they sold.

Games that make more than $10m will only be giving 25 per cent of revenue to Valve, while those that bring in over $50m see their contribution to Steam go down to just 20 per cent.

That's revenue overall, including DLC, microtransactions and so on.

There's some good news for smaller developers, too, with the revelation that studios can now share their sales figures publicly. 

"The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants," the company wrote.

"Finding the right balance to reflect those contributions is a tricky but important factor in a well-functioning network. 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."

in 2018, Steam has already become viewed by many as a platform that isn't working for smaller developers. Speaking to at Develop:Brighton this year, Auroch chief Tomas Rawlings referred to what he called 'the Steampocalypse', the notion that there are so many projects coming to Valve's platform now that it is much harder to find success as a smaller studio. The split between the successes and the failures has become much wider.

This follows Valve completely opening up the Steam platform to any games, so long as they are not 'illegal' or 'trolling'. Or adult games, too, apparently.

In addition, indie developers have been complaining about reduced traffic to their projects since October

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.