Microsoft becomes latest app store to reduce commission to 12 percent
posted Sunday May 2, 2021 by Scott Ertz
While Apple fights in court to retain their policies, other stores are changing their policies in order to attract users and developers alike. Epic Games, the most vocal opponent of Apple's App Store rules, started the trend by reducing commissions to 12%, while most other stores remained at 30%. Now, Microsoft is doing the same for game developers in the Microsoft Store on Windows.
The Microsoft Store, while being pre-installed in Windows and being integrated with the operating system, has failed to gain the needed interest from developers and consumers. The company has tried a number of things over the years to get more developers to bring their products to the Store, from lowering the commission to start an account to nearly nothing ($10 at last check), to making it easy to bring Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) into the fold (Hulu and Twitter have both taken this approach).
But now, as the company is focusing on the Xbox Game Pass PC and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate services, Microsoft is working to position the Microsoft Store as a great home for games. To accomplish this, they are dropping their commission on games to 12%, matching Epic Games. It's a strong move, and one that the industry has already rewarded once. Epic Games Store was not expected to be a huge success, until that 12% commission was launched. With it came interest from indie developers, a group that Microsoft has had a strong relationship with on Xbox. By bringing that same policy to the Microsoft Store, the company hopes to expand its relationship with indie game developers, possibly even bringing them into the Game Pass family.
But, Epic Games Store still has features that Microsoft doesn't, like the tie-in with Unreal Engine, and the Epic Games Publishing service. If there is enough success with the move, Game Pass might see new games, and Steam might have to drop its commission, as well.