[UPDATE] A Microsoft spokesman told The Verge that he had no plans to change the revenue share for the Xbox store “at this time.”
Needless to say, the specific wording leaves Microsoft free to change this in the near future. The document from earlier this year clearly mentions that the plan was there a while ago and it is difficult to imagine that it was completely scrapped. Microsoft is more likely to wait for this message at a later date, for example E3 2021, for example.
[ORIGINAL STORY] Epic’s legal battle against Apple continues to indirectly provide a wealth of information through documents that are slowly being made public. A few days ago, the free legal research website Court Listener updated the case with a number of downloadable documents, some of which reveal interesting information about Microsoft’s plans.
As you may recall, Microsoft publicly expressed support for Epic from the beginning, when Apple went so far as to try to block access to the Apple SDK for all Unreal Engine developers. Last week, Microsoft also announced the introduction of a better revenue share for game developers in Microsoft’s PC Store: from August 1, they will receive 88% of revenue from the sale of their computer games on the platform instead of 70%, according to the Epic Initiative. .
This document, originally written in January 2021, reveals that Microsoft plans to do the same for the Microsoft Xbox Store. The term of the message is the same as that for the Microsoft Store on a computer, which may suggest that the official news is incoming. Of course, plans may have changed slightly in the last few months, leading to a delay in this part.
Honestly, this would be groundbreaking news in the console’s gaming space. The consoles have always been fenced gardens where platform owners could dictate their fee, which was usually set at 30%. If Microsoft reduces its fee to just 12% on the Xbox, it could set a precedent to entice developers to flock to the platform. It will also be interesting to see if and how competitors such as Sony and Nintendo react to such a significant change in the business model.
In another internal Microsoft document, labeled “Executive Portfolio Update,” we also learned about the exclusivity details for some ID @ XBOX games. Undoubtedly, the most important is STALKER 2 from GSC Game World, which will be an exclusive console for three months. This suggests that developers will be able to release it on the PlayStation 5 after the completion of the exclusivity deal.
There is also an expected window for the release date of Q4 2021, although this document is from August 2020 and the delay is far from probable. In addition, the slide below mentions the six-month exclusivity of “related updates” for Tetris Effect: Connected and the indefinite exclusive agreement for The Gunk, which means that this game will never be released on other consoles.
That’s all the relevant information we’ve been able to find, but we’ll keep looking if anything else worth reporting to Microsoft or another gaming company is discovered through Epic v. Apple.
By the way, the legal battle officially begins next week. Also watch for updates directly from the tribunal, in the expected epic battle that could lead to huge changes in the digital store sector.