Microsoft had been planning to cut its Xbox store cut to just 12 percent, according to confidential documents filed in the Epic Games vs. Apple case. The software maker details its store fees and changes in a document from January, where it also lists the 12 percent cut to PC games it announced this week. While most of the important parts of the document are redacted, one page reveals Microsoft also wanted to reduce its 30 percent store cut on the Xbox console side.
A table reveals “all games will move to 88 / 12 in CY21,” which means Microsoft had been planning a significant cut to Xbox transactions for some point in the 2021 calendar year. While Microsoft has announced its PC cut, which is also listed in the same table, the company has stayed quiet about any Xbox plans. A change to 12 percent would be significant, particularly because Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all currently take 30 percent on digital game sales.
A Microsoft spokesperson initially said “we have no plans to change the revenue share for console games at this time,” in a statement to The Verge on Saturday, before issuing a clearer statement on Sunday.
“We will not be updating the revenue split for console publishers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson. Microsoft still refuses to answer whether the document is inaccurate, or simply that plans changed.
This document is part of the Epic Games vs. Apple trial that commences on Monday, and there could be questions over Microsoft’s fee plans here. Both Epic and Apple are calling on Microsoft’s Lori Wright, VP of Xbox business development, as a third-party witness next week.
The documents also reveal that Microsoft had been planning to adopt this lower store rate on the PC side with an important caveat. “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,” reveals the document. We asked Microsoft whether this proposal went ahead, but the company refused to comment in time for publication. Microsoft is planning to cut its share of revenue for PC games to 12 percent in August, but it’s not clear if the streaming rights clause is still included.