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Matching Epic, Microsoft is slashing what it takes from developers to 12%

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Microsoft is reducing the cut it takes from PC games sold on its store from 30 percent down to 12 percent.

The reduction comes into effect on August 1, and will mean that Microsoft takes the same cut of revenue as Epic—something which it's been using since the launch of the Epic Game Store to try and entice developers. Valve still takes the standard 30 percent cut of games sold on Steam, reduced to 25 percent when sales hit $10 million and then 20 percent after $50 million.

"Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms," Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty wrote in a blog post. (opens in new tab) "That’s why today we’re announcing that we’re updating our Microsoft Store terms for PC game developers. 

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"As part of our commitment to empower every PC game creator to achieve more, starting on August 1 the developer share of Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88%, from 70%. A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so."

Head of Game Creator Experience & Ecosystem Sarah Bond also wrote about the decision (opens in new tab) to reduce the PC sales revenue cut. "As we look ahead, we’re striving to open up opportunities for PC game creators across everything we do: through our technologies, publishing services and financial business models. All to help unleash creativity, drive innovation and delight gamers."

Bond said the aim of the 12/88 split is "to help reduce friction, increase the financial opportunity, and let game developers do what they love: make games."

The news comes off the back of a recent GDC survey (opens in new tab) which showed that only 3% of developer responses agreed that Steam's 30 percent cut is justified, with 44 percent saying a 10 to 15 percent cut would be more appropriate.

Both Booty and Bond's posts are very PC-centric, which is a refreshing change considering Microsoft's (somewhat understandable) focus on Xbox consoles over the last few years. It seems as though Microsoft wants to start including PC players more in its gaming decisions, and I'm all here for it. My first request: make Viva Piñata playable on PC again, I beg you.

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.