Confidential documents from the Epic Games vs. Apple case, which were created back in January, detail Microsoft’s plans to reduce its revenue cut from games sold in the Xbox store to 12%. According to the table, “all games will move to 88 / 12 in CY21,” meaning the company planned to match the revenue split for consoles that it already has set for PC game sales. This would have been a significant move — currently, Microsoft receives a 30% cut from all digital console game sales.
However, recent statements made to The Verge paint a much different picture. Initially, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that “we have no plans to change the revenue share for console games at this time.” Then, Microsoft clarified with a later statement: “We will not be updating the revenue split for console publishers.” It has not been made clear whether the documents were inaccurate in the first place or if plans simply changed after its creation.
Meanwhile, Microsoft still plans to enact the lower store rates for PC games in August of this year. And while much of the document has been redacted, there’s a line that details a possible but very important condition for the cuts: “There is a proposal currently under Gaming Leadership Team consideration to adopt 88 / 12 as a public PC games revenue share for all games in exchange for the grant of streaming rights to Microsoft.”
This clause essentially means that developers would be required to have their games available for xCloud in order to qualify for the higher revenue benefit. If that clause is still valid by the time August rolls around, this could cause issues, since exclusivity rights are an increasing source of conflict in gaming contracts.