Steam’s current business model is “unrealistic,” says Ubisoft

By Sherif Saed
28 August 2019 10:08 GMT

Ubisoft has once again called out Steam’s 30% cut as a reason for why the publisher is keeping its upcoming games off the platform.

Ubisoft has been very vocal in its aversion to Valve’s 30% take on Steam, which it had seemingly been begrudgingly paying all those years. That’s why, when Epic Games introduced its own store with a more favourable cut, Ubisoft jumped ship.

Epic, unlike Steam, takes only a 12% cut of game revenue, which leaves 88% to developers/publishers, as opposed to Steam’s 70%. The 70-30 split, for what it’s worth, is very common in the digital space, employed by PlayStation, Xbox, Apple, Google and many other digital stores.

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Ubisoft’s vice president for partnerships and revenue, Chris Early, told The New York Times that Valve’s cut is no longer realistic.

“It’s unrealistic, the current business model that they have,” Early said of Valve. “It doesn’t reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution.”

Although Ubisoft is happy to keep its games away from Steam to exert pressure, the publisher’s endgame is ultimately driving traffic to its Uplay store, where it doesn’t have to pay a cut.

CEO Yves Guillemot said as much at an earnings call following the decision to keep The Division 2 away from Steam and available only on the Epic Games Store and Uplay.

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