DISCORD, THE CHAT service for PC gaming, has quickly put down two clear markers in the sand. Back in August, the platform announced it would be selling PC games, putting in direct competition with the likes of Steam, GOG and EA Origin, but now it's gone a step further, offering developers a far more generous slice of the revenue: 90 per cent, rather than the industry-standard 70.
"Turns out, it does not cost 30 per cent to distribute games in 2018," the company wrote in a blog post announcing the initiative. "After doing some research, we discovered that we can build amazing developer tools, run them, and give developers the majority of the revenue share.
"So, starting in 2019, we are going to extend access to the Discord store and our extremely efficient game patcher by releasing a self-serve game publishing platform. No matter what size, from AAA to single person teams, developers will be able to self publish on the Discord store with 90 per cent revenue share going to the developer."
The other 10 per cent will cover operating costs, apparently, but Discord will "explore lowering it by optimising our tech and making things more efficient."
This is an announcement sure to give Valve the willies, although the whole space is becoming a lot more competitive more generally. The Epic Store, for example, charges 12 per cent, but will also absorb the five per cent licensing cost for the Unreal Engine, if used.
Still, while Steam remains the main place where the players are, it'll be hard for developers to vote with their feet and embrace this more fragmented marketplace. If gamers embrace the opposition, however, we may end up with a far more developer-friendly playing field in 2019. µ
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