Apple’s App Store antitrust questions will be inconvenient for Valve

Steam went live in 2003, five years before the start of the App Store. This was Valve’s attempt to streamline the update process for his game – specifically Counter attack – Built directly into the client with a pipeline for software. Valves made it mandatory to release steam Half life 2 In 2004, and in 2005 the service began hosting a significant number of third-party games. As of 2007, Steam had over 13 million registered accounts and 150 games; In 2019, it had 1 billion accounts on record and tens of thousands of games. No other PC hub could compete, and some tried.

The 70/30 revenue division has been part of Steam’s business model since the beginning. Neither Google nor Apple referred to Steam in 2008 when they opened their respective App Stores, but both drew little criticism with the same revenue-sharing model.

That rate is still standard on Steam (and Apple, and Google) today.

Only recently has Steam’s revenue-sharing model come under public scrutiny, and only because a new, real competitor eventually entered the market. The Epic Games store went live in December 2018, and has billions of dollars behind it, thanks to its cash FortniteInvestors including Unreal Engine and Tencent Games. It began with a bold promise for developers: a revenue split of 88/12.

The Epic Games store scooped these titles off Steam, sometimes forever and sometimes for a limited window, especially a handful. In classic monopoly fashion, Valve did not respond.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney openly challenged Valve for a higher revenue rate for developers, stating, “If Steam is committed to a permanent 88 percent revenue share for all developers and publishers, then the major telegram Without being involved, Epic will conduct a hastily exclusive retreat (honoring our collaborative commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam. “

Valve did not respond.

Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook answers questions about the treatment of App Store content that could potentially compete with Apple’s own services, and whether it handles all apps equally. Developers including Spotify have filed unfair competition complaints against Apple. Basecamp CTO and co-founder David Hennimier Hanson recently made public his issues with Apple after his email app Hey, Hey, was declined to buy his in-app services on the App Store. After some flip-flops from Apple, hey, there’s no IAP on the App Store and no 30 percent cut.

“We treat every developer the same,” Cook said during today’s hearing.

In response, Hanson tweeted, “I think this is to take the top cake for a lie?”

Answering a question about Apple’s revenue-sharing model, Cook said, “We haven’t raised in-store commissions since day one in 2008. There’s a competition for developers just as there is a competition for customers.” Then he listed the app store competitors as Xbox, PlayStation, Windows and Android.

“Lol,” Hanson replied Twitter. “Yes, we should have written HEY for PlayStation. This was our fault. “

This week, Sweeney also called on Apple and Google to have an “absolute monopoly” on the App Store. Like Hey on the App Store, Epic attempted to escape Google’s ecosystem – and its revenue segmentation – entirely when it made the Android platform Fortnite Available outside the Play Store at launch. However, many players found the workaround difficult to use and launched Epic Fortnite Via Google earlier this year.

Sweeney eventually plans to launch the Epic Games Store on Google Play and the App Store, but as of now, it is unlikely.

“They [Apple] Sweeney pointed out that a whole range of businesses and applications are being prevented from engaging in their ecosystem based on excluding competitors from every aspect of their business. Cnbc Last week.

Scott Miller is the founder of Duke Nuke Studio 3D Realms and a long-time advocate of independent developers. He officially entered the video game industry in 1987, when Sweeney and Valve founder Gabe Newell were also starting their careers in the industry.

“I was more opinionated about Gabby,” Miller told Engdgate last month. “But the fact that he is not adjusting the rates in favor of developers is disappointing as he also has a developer background. And Valve is a development company. Why isn’t he more pro-developer in the situation he is and at least reduces it to 20 percent?

Valve operates in secrecy, and has earned a reputation as a very quiet company that does what it wants, on its own time. With this strategy, it has become a crowd of Deadhard fans. This, even though Valve hasn’t released a new game in the majority of its much-talked-about, ridiculously popular franchise in a decade. However it is refusing to communicate with developers for more appropriate revenue agreements. Even though he has a habit of leaving some of his longest communities.

Valve has not responded to Epic’s ultimatum because Steam is safe like the App Store. This is sufficiently large-scale with a die-hard fan to ignore the needs of developers, players or economic competition.

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