Paradox Interactive, the developers behind PC games such as Crusader Kings II and Stellaris, have called out platform holders, such as Valve, regarding the way they treat developers. Fredrik Wester, the former CEO of Paradox Interactive and now the current executive chairman, said that he thinks the platform holders are taking way too much money.
“I think the 70/30 revenue split is outrageous,” he said, according to GamersIndustry at a Gamelab press conference. “I think the platform holders are taking too much money. Everyone in the press here, just quote me on that.”
Wester didn’t hesitate on his words when speaking about the massive ordeal the industry’s giants control. Platforms offer developers a small piece of the pie that is almost unethical.
“That was physical. It cost a lot of money,” he continued, according to PC Gamer. “This doesn’t cost anything. So Epic has done a great job for the whole industry, because you get 88%. Fantastic move. Thank you very much.”
Of course, platform holders have expenses in terms of running their businesses and keeping their platforms operational, but Wester believes 70 percent is taking way too much, compared to what developers obtain for providing the material that the platforms desperately need to thrive on.
And while we're discussing the fairness of revenue splits; who can blame developers going Epic Exclusive if given a great revenue split + guarantee. We're not planning to do any exclusives but jeez, show some understanding for those who do.
— Fredrik Wester (@TheWesterFront) July 1, 2019
These sort of platforms, such as Valve’s Steam, where over 100,000 users go to buy their PC games, need their developers to continue to build high-quality games in order to stay in business. That is what Wester is relaying, saying that the low appreciation towards developers is ludicrous compared to what platforms get. A 70/30 split itself shows the low gratitude these platforms have for their developers who supply the games users go to their site to buy them at.
He goes on to explain he doesn’t blame people for going Epic Exclusive because of the monopolized market these platform companies are running on.