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PC Gaming Weekly | Feb. 13, 2020

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney gave the keynote Wednesday at the annual DICE event in Las Vegas. In it, he rile
PC Gaming Weekly
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney gave the keynote Wednesday at the annual DICE event in Las Vegas. In it, he riled up some folk with his talk about politics in games, but I’m more interested in another topic he brought up during the wide-ranging address that took on the closed systems of Android and iOS, loot boxes, and more.
The part that sticks with me? Here’s what our Dean Takahashi reported from Las Vegas:
“Gamers and game vendors should be ‘free of lockdown.’ He drew a comparison to Visa and Mastercard and the global credit card payment system, where vendors charge 2.5% to 3.5% fees for transactions, while store vendors such as Steam, Apple, and Google charge 30%. He said the global payments industry is proof that highly profitable companies can arise from just taking the 2.5% to 3.5% cut.”
Right now, most digital game stores take a 30% cut from every sale. Epic takes a 12% cut, but it appears that Sweeney is advocating that companies like his and Valve take an even smaller cut. Now, from my perspective, this looks much healthier for game developers and studios. Sweeney doesn’t mention that one reason credit card companies can take such a small cut is because of the sheer scale of credit card use. Just today, I paid with plastic three times (and none on games). But I’d imagine once you factor in the number of games bought, season passes, cosmetics, etc., the likes of Valve and Epic are still going to make good revenue off such a cut.
It’s a bold idea – taking in less money to help the entire ecosystem thrive. Of course, the phenomenal profits from Fortnite grease Sweeney’s logic. But is it time for developers to get an even bigger slice of revenue? 
Yes.
For PC gaming coverage, send news tips to me, and send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our PC Gaming Channel.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

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