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Paradox Interactive insist that 70/30 split is just outrageous

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Logos of the Epic Games Store and Steam
Epic Games Store v. Steam

Speaking at a Gamelab panel recently, Paradox Interactive's chair of the board Fred Wester said that the 70/30 revenue split between developers and publishers is outrageous, and that it lets the latter make more money than they deserve.

Wester has been the face of Paradox and he stepped down as CEO in 2018, after 15 years on the helm, but he's still intimately involved with the company's affairs.

"I think the 70/30 revenue split is outrageous", Wester told GamesIndustry, adding, "I think the platform holders are taking too much money. Everyone in the press here, just quote me on that."

He thinks that while Steam and its equivalents on other platforms brought about the age of digital, they did little to come up with more appropriate pricing. 

"That was physical. It cost a lot of money. This doesn't cost anything. So Epic has done a great job for the whole industry, because you get 88%. Fantastic move. Thank you very much", he said.

Much has been said about Epic Games and their 88/12 per cent split, even if the current narrative leans more towards the big bag Epic hunting the unsuspecting Little Steam Riding Hood. 

Nevertheless, healthy competition is always good, doubly so for consumers, and Wester thinks Epic achieving their goal is actually important to everyone involved.

"I think it is, especially for new developers. They have lower margins, to get into the market. But I think it's also a matter of decency. I mean, how much does it actually cost to deliver a game?", he enquired.

Yet another clever point that Wester posed, and which seems to escape those unfamiliar with how mass production and free markets work, is scaling of profit margins.

"When the competition is low, the platform holder can get a big share of the pie; as competition increases, they need to lower their part of the pie, as well. That's how the market works, right?", he asked.

Epic GamesLogos of the Epic Games Store and SteamEpic's revenue split comparison graph

Qube's developer added said that Epic's split is a huge plus, adding, "It's a huge advantage. In some cases, that 30% taken is more than the profit for a small studio. That's just crazy, right? So that's a huge incentive for some of us."

You can find Wester's full interview with GamesIndustry here.