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18. Re: Magicka Sells 200K, Patch, Q&A, Feb 12, 2011, 16:05 Dev
Jerykk wrote on Feb 12, 2011, 03:47:
Any links to the source for that Steam figure? 40% seems pretty hefty, considering that Valve doesn't have to pay for physical shelf space and digital storage is extremely cheap.
Actually I always figured it was closer to 50%.
Storage isn't the biggest expense for valve. There's the credit card processing fees (tends to be 3%-5%), and the bandwidth (which has to be available for that game as long as valve is in business, so its not just a year of bandwidth), and the forums. As well they take care of the web store pages. They take care of any updates/patches that come through to make sure everyone is up to date. They provide a friends framework in steam so people can find friends playing the same game, and with steam groups other people wanting to play the game for multiplayer. There's the steamworks framework too, if they want to do achievements or integrate retail purchase cd keys into steam. They also take care of all the processing and making sure only legit customers can play the game through steam. Plus there's a ton of exposure to an ideal demographic (games being advertised to a game playing public), especially if there's a sale.

I'm sure I've forgotten some features, but if I was an indie, I'd sure as heck use steam even at 50%. 200k sales with only 50% is better than 2000 sales from no one hearing about me where I keep 75%.
Plus if an indie wants to do all the above themselves and reinvent the wheel on all those tasks and then do marketing and advertising to reach an interested demographic its probably going to cost them MORE than if they used steam from the start.
Once a dev hands the game off to steam, there's almost nothing else they have to do except cash the checks. (I used the words "have to do" intentionally there. Its great if they support the game such as with patches, but no company "has" to do that). Valve takes care of nearly all the overhead and maintenance except actually coding the game.

All that being said, does valve take more of a cut than they absolutely have to? Heck yeah they soak devs to some degree. And they are loving watching all the money roll in. They have the biggest share of the digital PC gaming marketplace so they can basically set the price they want, and they want a big chunk. Just like napster, companies tried to stop valve including with lawsuits, instead of adapting to the changing market conditions and trying to get a jump in the digital game sales market. So now valve owns it.
I just wish I could invest in valve stock.

This comment was edited on Feb 12, 2011, 17:18.
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