Thanks to the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Epic, the subject of app stores has become controversial. While app stores provide tools and a platform for developers to distribute their software to more users, the often ridiculous fees charged for using these services can result in wasted money. ‘a significant portion of the potential income of developers. (You could argue that these developers might not have had this income without the visibility these stores provide, so both parties have a compelling case to make in this regard.)
Microsoft appears to be taking a different approach to how the company will run its Windows store (which will now include Android apps from Amazon’s app store), as it will allow developers to keep 100% of the revenue they earn, provided they use their own or a third-party payment system and not Microsoft’s. It’s a really good incentive to get developers to use the Windows app store and get them to support it.
However, there is one very big caveat to this deal and that is that it will not apply to games, as Microsoft revealed to The Verge. That last part looks a bit unusual, although it ties into a previous announcement by the company where they revealed that all Xbox games will still see the company collect 30% of the revenue, while PC gaming cuts have been reduced. 30 to 12% off during the Xbox App Store. However, it is not clear what Microsoft determines to be a game and whether these charges only apply to games sold through its Xbox store or also Android games that will not be listed in the store.
As to why game developers always have to pay fees that other developers don’t, Microsoft did not specifically say. But just as it has to recoup fees on Xbox games to sell Xbox consoles at a loss, with costs rising as Microsoft sinks into things like cloud gaming and its DirectX software to provide better graphics tools for developers, it will have to get that money from somewhere. It’s not ideal, but at least 12% is less than 30%. This is unfortunately also a testament to the high development costs involved in game development in general and which see no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Last update: June 25, 2021