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Discord announces 90/10 split

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by IgnisIncendio, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. IgnisIncendio

    IgnisIncendio

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    It's on.

     
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  2. ShilohGames

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    The only possible inroads Discord might have is that a lot of gamers have gotten in the habit of connecting with friends on Discord. If gamers connect with friends on Discord before choosing which game to play, then Discord can theoretically influence what game is played and where that game is purchased. But even with that possible advantage, I still don't think Discord is going to grab substantial market share away from Steam.
     
  3. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I like epic's store. But also, I like the concept where I give a store more money. I would give a publisher or store up to 90% cut if I'm honest. Yes, that much - the opposite of what discord offers.

    The discord offer is dangerous and bad for business.

    Why?

    Because it's business. You give more, you get more back. When you balance that concept well, both parties really benefit and it's a very sweet moment that leads to more business. The devil is of course, in the details of the arrangement.

    But then, I've got my head screwed on the right way when it comes to business.

    As for discord, they don't give me enough for the 10% so not interested.
     
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  4. Lurking-Ninja

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    I tried to use Discord, I swear. It's a failure. I don't find it effective or productive at all. The only time I fire it up when someone isn't willing to give me support otherwise or when I play with my friends online and we speak. But we schedule our sessions over email or over FB messenger as we are usually busy with other things and we don't hang out on discord all day long. The only reason I saw their store front because they forced me there on start.
     
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  5. Ryiah

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    This. A number of years ago my group of gaming friends needed voice chat. For a while we paid for Ventrilo and eventually we went to TeamSpeak, but now we're using Discord. Other than voice chat though only one or two members of our group have used it for anything else. The rest of us just use Steam.
     
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  6. RavenOfCode

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    Curiously what would someone like Steam give you that Discord doesn't?

    I get things like how Apple offers a market on iOS devices, or how Nintendo does the same for Switch, as well as pretty much any other console manufacturer. Yet, I don't see any other things that a store could really give that would require more of your money.
     
  7. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Discord Store (and other minor stores):

    Having an "optional store" like discord, for a couple of sales really doesn't justify the support costs of tending to that store, and customers from that store. 10% for just the occasional sale which I have to manage is utterly worthless, and likely will cost me the same money trying to maintain it.

    It's the same for <insert company store> any other pointless 30% place. They're offering me zero access that's worth anything whatsoever for customers that really do (despite saying they don't) use steam as well. And for the 5 that never use steam, I don't care. Don't buy my game then. Because it's not worth it.

    Steam Store:


    30% from a store that has more customers than any other in the world, robust tools and more is the baseline. Steam is the baseline. So my product is a couple of clicks away from a trusted store people already have a digital payment set up for. This is worth the 30% for now. They also have robust customer management tools and many years of experience plus fantastic security.

    But dropping curation basically signalled to me that the amount of noise is just going to keep growing, and this indirectly shrinks how many customers steam has to offer me because less see what I'm doing. It is now a general-purpose digital distribution store.

    This increases value other stores potentially have, including publishers and hybrid publisher-stores.

    Epic Store:

    Epic knows all about what game devs want, and what game customers want, they also know all about game publishing and have an insane amount of reach, experience and more. So I am happy be interested in what epic offers. I would also be happy to give epic up-to 30% in exchange for more exposure, or similar deals.

    Why I favour flexible %:

    So simply cutting the cut really has 0 interest. I would much rather use humble widget and draw people to my own website if we're going to start an anything-goes race to the bottom. At least it's my bottom with more exposure and 100% control and not some minor store of random desperation.
     
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  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Don't look for cheap. Look for value. If somebodies main campaign is "I'm the cheapest!" what are they really offering that is of value to you?

    Don't pay for crap. Make do without, and save your money for the most valuable necessities. Is it better to buy a cheap vacuum that will last a few months before the pet hair kills it? Or buy one good one that is way more expensive but has a lifetime warranty? Do the math. Figure it out. You don't have to guess at things.
     
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  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    If I was on Unity's asset store, I would be willing to have a dual rate, say 15% for no exposure (I do my marketing) or 30% for regular Unity exposure (feature etc).

    This is good because you have control and Unity benefits the same regardless. I'm not sure why everyone is hell bent on % being fixed and immutable. That is primitive.
     
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  10. yoonitee

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    The thing to consider is, should you gamble on trying to get your game on one of these new stores for early exposure vs. whether it is worth the effort for perhaps minimal sales.

    The second thing to think about is that while some of us might be old fogies in terms of the gaming world. The young peeps are the ones who are using the Discord and the Epic. So if we are selling to that audience we got to go where the market is. But that audience also might be also have the least disposable income.

    I think the best thing to do is keep an ear to the ground and find out what the gaming community is saying.

    It is all a bit worrying for people who rely heavily on Steam sales because of the potential for all these new stores to split the market. And we think if we miss the boat on this one our sales will suffer.

    It's a worrying time. :confused: But maybe we should stop worrying and just concentrate on making content. Because after all that is what is the thing that all these stores need.
     
  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    You hav eto have a game first.
     
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  12. yoonitee

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    That is indeed the truth.
     
  13. Billy4184

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    I don't see what's wrong with 30%, if the store is doing its job to sweep the floors and chase the flies out.

    If it's just going to be like the Play Store, letting anything and everything in for years and becoming a bloated mess, before doing some weird algorithm change that sinks businesses without any warning or explanation whatsoever, then it's not worth much if anything. But maybe that's what you can expect from a free store that owes nothing.

    First a race to the bottom with games, now it's a race to the bottom with game stores. What's next? What happened to good old fashioned exchange of value?
     
  14. Murgilod

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    They literally aren't and even if they were, nearly a third of your game's sales is pretty egregious.
     
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  15. Billy4184

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    I probably should have put a bit more context, my comment was more directed toward the notion of 30% being too much, rather than Discord in particular.

    If a store is curating games properly, doing its part to stay at number one in gamers' choice, providing all the payment and refund infrastructure, regulating forums and reviews, and generally looking tidy, then frankly 30% is fine with me.

    In regards to the Epic store, what didn't sit well with me about what they said was ok, maybe you don't need to take 30% to cross the profit threshold, but realistically would you start a business as a game store like that, without all this money from Fortnite? Am I partnering with a business or a charity, and if it's a charity how long will it last? It seemed to me to be almost an implication that 30% was simply greedy, and yet without Fortnite, does that still hold up?

    I don't know how much it costs to run a game store (properly) but I simply don't feel bad about dropping a substantial percentage of profit to get my game in a nice, shiny, junk-free showroom that everyone walks past.
     
  16. Murgilod

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    30% is greedy because it does dramatically more than cover operating costs, especially at the scales these businesses operate at.
     
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  17. Billy4184

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    Is it really?

    And even if it is, I don't know of any good business that simply wants to cover its operating costs. In my opinion, it's not the role of a business to regulate its profitability, that's for the market and competitors to do.
     
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  18. AndersMalmgren

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    30 is greedy when other major stores charge 15. And for that price they don't even let us choose when we have a free weekend
     
  19. Murgilod

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    And it turns out the competition realised that if they offer a more competitive cut they'll likely get more than enough sales that they'll still be massively profitable.
     
  20. orb

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    30% is greedy for non-physical goods in general. The split is far worse for physical retail, but there is also a lot of work you can't just automate via code so there's at least a reasonable excuse for the way they split. Then there are the middle-men, which digital doesn't/shouldn't have. It's often straight from the developers to a store these days, so no 18-wheelers transporting your bits and bytes and costing fuel.

    Even if a store handles renting merchant services (payments and related accounting), that's about 3% of the revenue at most. Far better deals become available when you reach certain volumes - and those levels are low with the plans I've seen and used. So with a 90/10 split in favour of the developers they could be looking at 7-8.5% of the sales, which is still pretty good money for letting people use their CDNs to distribute games.

    Traffic costs have started moving away from amounts transferred lately, so that's no longer an unpredictable cost to factor in. Now you're paying fixed costs for services if you rent a cluster of file storage servers rather than paying for fluctuating time on ECS, Azure or whatever.
     
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  21. Billy4184

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    That's possible, yes, and even likely. But maybe Epic is offering something that's not a competitive business on its own, because Fortnite will absorb a lot of things. That's the kind of thing that usually comes before a race to the bottom.

    I'm not trying to criticize Epic too much. I very much like the kind of store they are offering. But I'm not sure if the whole notion of 30% being wildly greedy is good for stores in general and ultimately for devs. The specific number is debatable of course, maybe 20-25% is more reasonable, but stores are businesses and they are there to make maximum profit by offering maximum value, and I would prefer right now to see more value even if there is more cost.
     
  22. Billy4184

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    Maybe that's why they are the 'other' stores :D
     
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  23. DreReid

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    The more the merrier I guess.
     
  24. hippocoder

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    30% makes sense if:
    • The internet is young and hosting is more expensive (it no longer is)
    • Curation takes place to reduce noise from spam/troll/crap that floods a market (non existent)
    • Gamers can find your title easily without searching for exactly that name (tried, failed)
    • Promotion takes place from time to time (Used to but can't now there's no curation)
    People aren't FINDING indie games and for 30% you'd rightfully expect some finding because humble can host your game downloads and handle sales for practically nothing... so 30% used to be awesome, now it is not.

    I checked my facts with other prominent indies and looked at the data from people I very much respect like Jake Birkett (grey alien) and others - Steam has harmed sales since the changes they made. Not a good sign!

    Steam is not worth the 30% any more, BUT this would not change even if if they dropped to 10%.
    It would not change because:
    • No curation
    • No discovery
    • No promotion
    So like discord offering 10%, such things are worthless without curation and promotion. The whole point of there being a walled garden, or store, is that people go in the store and expect a level of quality. If developers fight that (and I've seen some pretty stupid devs fight that) then they're literally just pulling everyone down for zero reason since with or without that chance, they won't succeed.

    As steam bowed to that pressure because it suited them (they want to be internet, not just game distributors), the steam market is less valuable regardless of the % they choose to take.

    They could take 5% and it would still suck and you still need to look at having a publisher. So you end up just being better off giving 30-40% to a publisher, and letting them negotiate a back door deal with stores and handle your promotion.

    The whole thing is a return to darker days, not the celebration the unwashed masses think it is. And driving % down isn't helping a single person if your conversion ratio sucks or there's no eyeballs available.

    Steam is still worth selling on because that's where the customers are. Just because 30% is devalued, doesn't mean it's value-less.

    The rise of multiple stores with varying % and harder to reach customers signals a return to form for dedicated publishers and the start of the end for self-publishing. You can self-publish if you are already successful, and it's pretty much suicide to self-publish for a first title IMHO.

    So game publishing is a thing that hippo thinks is returning with style (for new or rising developers).
     
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  25. Murgilod

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    That's wild because Epic is offering all these things for 12%
     
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  26. ShilohGames

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    If the platform is providing solid sales, then I am thrilled to give the platform a 30% cut of my revenues. The percent cut of revenue means absolutely nothing to me. At the end of the day, I am primarily concerned about my total profit.

    My current game is available on both Steam and itch. Steam took a larger percent cut, but more than made up for it by delivering a thousand times as many sales as itch.
     
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  27. orb

    orb

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    "We give you nothing for a 12% of your profits!" is a great way to start an ad for the platform.
     
  28. Murgilod

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    I mean Epic is literally offering curation, discovery, and promotion. Those are literally some of the core tenets of the platform.
     
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  29. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Exactly why I'm supporting epics store and not the discord store... in addition to the devalued-but-still-mandatory steam store.

    Let's make no bones about it, the % is not as important as what you get for it. Discord is unproven and has no experience, so I'll wait and see on that.
     
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  30. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I don't know nuffin about business. It's just not something I ever thought about, or had experience with.

    Sometimes, you can't rely on your own knowledge and experience, and you have to put some trust in the opinions of others. In my experience, the best people to put your trust into are the ones who can explain something foreign to you in a way that is very simple, easy to understand, and runs along to the same tune as your common sense. Everything that is true in life, all kind of jives to the same tune, if you know what I mean.

    So there is my lengthy endorsement for hippocoders comments here, which I found particularly useful and helped me understand what all the hoopla about all these different stores really is. If somebody can explain the nuances of digital game publishers in a way that rings in accord with the same logic I use to buy vacuum cleaners, I think they know something and have some good insight.
     
  31. Murgilod

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    Discord actually does actively offer the latter two.
     
  32. GarBenjamin

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    Are you speaking figuratively for example purposes here or is the difference in sales truly this huge between itch and Steam? I do think your game is geared more toward the Steam audience than the itch.io audience. For example, I prefer itch over Steam as a gamer because it seems to have a much larger percentage of the kind of games I enjoy playing which tend to be tiny games with simpler presentation or simply games where the other aspects of the game are much better than the presentation may lead one to believe. This may play a part in the huge difference in sales results between the two. I don't know for sure of course.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  33. Anthony0506

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    this is like trickle down economics thinking. it's backwards.
     
  34. ShilohGames

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    For me, that was the ratio (nearly a thousand times Steam vs itch). Steam sales absolutely buried the sales on itch. It surely varies from one game to the next, though. My game was likely a better fit for Steam than itch.
     
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  35. Kiwasi

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    Things would be better off if Steam simply outright brought discord and integrated their voice chat technology.
     
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  36. Player7

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    wtf? steam already has group voice chat.. discord best feature is a glorified version of irc with images/videos direct in the feed with some fancy bots to get url info etc... if valve or anyone wanted to kill it, they'd simply replicate everything it does opensource it and let people roll there own servers, clients (with mods) for it.... ... much better! kinda like irc only updated for 2020+.

    And that is what valve/anyone should integrate in there social group whatever systems... as for discords voice chat its garbage quality for plebs who can't be bothered to use something else that isn't just handing over all your voice/comms to one company where it goes on a centralized server and stored for later... this is why smart people still keep running their mumble/teamspeak servers and use better voice codecs.

    discord. voice chat pff ..barely see anyone use it on all the channels I'm on.
     
  37. Kiwasi

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    Its basically the only thing my group uses it for. We had a bunch of issues with the Steam voice service.

    I really don't see anything else discord has that is worth using.
     
  38. Murgilod

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    The only thing I use Discord Nitro for is so when somebody says something stupid I can reply with this.



    I get a lot of mileage out of that emoji.
     
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  39. AndersMalmgren

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    Millenials
     
  40. Murgilod

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  41. AndersMalmgren

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    It's not that hard writing a VOIP from scratch, we did it using the opus codec for in game spatial VoIP. Sure it's voice activation needs some more work to be as good at cancel out unwanted activation as mumble. But not a huge effort.

    If they bought discord it would be for the user base
     
  42. GameDevCouple_I

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    I feel like you popped up here to give yourself a hand-shandy and then dispappear.

    Well done for making a VOIP. I cease to see how this is relevant to, or in any way furthers the discussion here, but well done you.
     
  43. AndersMalmgren

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    No, people are saying steam should aquire discord. I'm just saying it would purly be for the user base. I wonder how large part of discord hat already are steam customers, probably a very large one
     
  44. Ryiah

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    Bethesda consistently proves that there are people that don't find it easy to implement a feature everyone expects. :p
     
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  45. AndersMalmgren

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    haha, yeah :D And I smile everytime, Zenimax is a evil company
     
  46. ptcmia

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    Tim Sweeney explained how they picked their percentage: "While running Fortnite we learned a lot about the cost of running a digital store on PC. The math is quite simple: we pay around 2.5 to 3.5 percent for payment processing for major payment methods, less than 1.5 percent for CDN costs (assuming all games are updated as often as Fortnite), and between 1 and 2 percent for variable operating and customer support costs. Fixed costs of developing and supporting the platform become negligible at a large scale. In our analysis, stores charging 30 percent are marking up their costs by 300 to 400 percent."
     
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