Former Paradox Interactive CEO calls 70/30 revenue split 'outrageous'

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Paradox Interactive's former CEO and current executive chairman, Fredrik Wester, called the 70/30 revenue split used by platform holders like Valve "outrageous" at a Gamelab panel on Epic's revenue model last week. "I think the platform holders are taking too much money," he said. 

Before the cavalcade of exclusives, the Epic Games Store's more generous 88/12 split was its most notable feature. Wester, who was Paradox's CEO until he stepped down and joined the board as executive chairman last year, thinks the 70/30 split belongs in the past, before digital distribution became the norm. 

"That was physical. It cost a lot of money," he said. "This doesn't cost anything. So Epic has done a great job for the whole industry, because you get 88 percent. Fantastic move. Thank you very much."

It does still cost platform holders money, however, even if the physical, logistical obstacles and costs are no longer present. Steam provides an important service, and that introduces different expenses and problems that physical distributors didn't need to worry about. But does it justify the 30 percent? 

While Paradox Interactive has a long list of games on Steam, so far it looks like only Bloodlines 2, which is only available for pre-purchase, is on the Epic Games Store.

On Twitter, Wester clarified that he wasn't calling out Steam specifically, but just the split itself. He also defended developers who have opted to release their games on the Epic Games Store exclusively, though Paradox doesn't currently have any plans to go down that route. 

"Ask yourself 'Why do they choose to go exclusive?" and I'll give you a hint," he added, "it's not to f***k up your life and force you to use multiple launchers."


Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.