Currently set to a 30% revenue split on game sales, the Xbox Store will change to give Microsoft just 12% of the profits from digital game sales, according to court documents obtained by The Verge that also touch on a potentially very limited exclusivity period for STALKER 2. According to the document, it will only be on Microsoft systems for three months before it can come to other platforms.
Tetris Effect: Connected is listed with a six-month exclusivity period on the Connected updates, which means those will likely be coming to PS4 very soon. Meanwhile, The Gunk will never come to other platforms, if the document is accurate, and will be available on Game Pass "in perpetuity."
The documents say the Xbox Store change will happen at some point this year, but it's not clear if a provision requiring exclusive streaming rights for PC games will take effect. PC games using the split would need to be on xCloud, should that still stand.
Not everyone is so sure such a generous profit split will be implemented, however. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella is skeptical, tweeting that the increased audience size such a move would encourage would need to be "massive" for it to work.
If real, the math behind this decision would be most interesting. That cut is massive, and the increase in audience size and revs that would be needed to make this decision profitable even massive-er.— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) May 2, 2021
So I lean towards this not being real, because that math hurts the brain.
Microsoft has more money than Scrooge McDuck, however, so it's very possible the company is willing to take a hit for years in order to strengthen the Xbox brand further. Its profits in just three months were high enough to pay for its $7.5 billion ZeniMax purchase twice.
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