Report: Microsoft Could Drastically Reduce the Xbox Store Fees

Confidential documents submitted in the ongoing Apple vs. Epic Games case reveal that Microsoft has been planning to cut the Xbox store fees to just 12 percent.

The documents from January lists Microsoft’s revenue share as 12 percent for the Windows store as well as the Xbox store. A table in the document also mentions that "all games will move to 88/12 in CY21.

Microsoft Reducing Xbox Store Fees to 12 Percent Could Be a Big Deal

Microsoft reducing the Xbox store cut for games to just 12 percent could be a big deal as this would mean that game developers would get 88 percent of the revenue share. All other major stores take a 30 percent cut on game sales, including Sony’s PlayStation Store and  Nintendo’s online store.

The documents point to Microsoft reducing the Xbox store cut to 12 percent in the calendar year 2021 itself. It also mentions the Windows store moving to a 12 percent revenue share for PC games, which Microsoft has already announced. That announcement from the company, however, did not mention anything about the Xbox store.

When contacted by The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company has "no plans to change the revenue share for console games at this time." Microsoft’s plans may have changed since January regarding the Xbox store, or it is not ready to announce the reduced commission on the sale of digital games right now.

Related: Report: Windows 10 Is Getting a New App Store

Reduced Windows Store Fees for PC Games Could Come With a Big Caveat

The internal documents also reveal that Microsoft was planning on reducing the Windows store cut for games with a major caveat. In exchange for the 88/12 percent revenue share, it wanted the grant of streaming rights.

This would mean that developers had to ensure their games are available on xCloud to be eligible for the higher share of the revenue from the sale of their games.

Related: Microsoft Launches the Xbox Academy to Inspire Budding Game Developers

Microsoft’s announcement regarding the reduced fees for PC games on the Windows Store does not mention anything about this clause. It is unclear if the company has gone ahead enforcing this clause or not. The changes are scheduled to come into effect from 1 August. It is perhaps only then that it will be clear if Microsoft has implemented this clause or not.

30 percent is the standard fees that most app stores charge developers for hosting their apps and games. In recent times, this fee has been heavily criticized, and it is going to come under heavy scrutiny even more in the Apple vs. Epic Games trial, scheduled to start from the first week of May.


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