As part of its Windows 11 announcements on Thursday, Microsoft revealed a major policy change to encourage developers to build apps for the Microsoft Store: From July 28, whether a developer uses their own payment system or a payment system. third-party payment in its application, Microsoft will allow them to keep 100 percent of revenue. But the deal comes with an important caveat: It doesn’t apply to games, Microsoft confirmed to The edge.
This omission further blurs the ongoing debate over the differences between an app and a game and the app store policies around each – a distinction that is one of the main issues in the ongoing legal battle between Fortnite-Manufacturer Epic Games and Apple.
Microsoft is largely on the side of different apps and games because its results depend on it. During the Epic lawsuit, the company said it was selling expensive Xbox hardware at a loss and making a profit from the 30% cut it was taking on game sales and subscriptions. But it also seemed like Microsoft was saying PC games were different: the company recently announced that it will cut its revenue reduction from games in the Microsoft Store by 30% to 12% starting August 1.
It is not clear whether Epic CEO Tim Sweeney was aware of the warning when he tweeted that:
While the new 100% revenue sharing option does not apply to games, it is still a significant policy change – a change that Windows chief Panos Panay and Microsoft CEO have seen. Satya Nadella, made a big deal in their remarks at Thursday’s conference. Now it only remains for us to see if the new model is attractive enough to attract more developers to the Microsoft Store and if the pressure will lead other platform owners like Apple and Google to make similar changes.