Retailers, whether online or otherwise, tend to take 30% of a video game's profit. Perhaps its time that industry standard was looked at and adjusted.
Until last year, how much retailers take from a video game's profit wasn't something many people concerned themselves with. It wasn't really until Epic Games decided to bypass the Google Play Store when it released Fortnite on Android that a few heads were turned. It was revealed that Google wanted to take 30% of the profit made from Fortnite on Android, a cut Epic deemed to be unfair.
Epic then went all in and revealed it only takes a 12% cut of the profit made from games sold in its own store. Since that revelation, not only has Epic been boasting exclusives left and right, but it has become evident that a 30% cut is pretty much an industry standard. Valve, Microsoft, Apple, and even physical stores all take a 30% share of the profit from the games they sell.
That's a serious chunk of change, especially when you consider the amount of time and money that has been put into creating a game before it ever reaches retailers. For the most part, a retailer's job is to simply sell and distribute the game. Granted, that's a pretty big deal, but does it really warrant almost a third of all the money a game makes? Judging by the clamoring for the standard to be lowered ever since the 30% benchmark became common knowledge, probably not.
The trouble is, not many developers have the luxury of being able to take a stand as Epic did with Google. All of that Fortnite money coming in from every other platform imaginable meant it could take a risk when releasing the game on Android, a risk that ultimately paid off. It's also not smart to hold out hope that other retailers will cut their 30% so drastically that it meets Epic's exceedingly low 12% share.
As highlighted by IGN, although 30% is the advertised cut, when delving deeper, it becomes clear that sometimes developers are taking even less of the profit made from their games. One source told the site that after all of the charges imposed by physical retailers, some developers take home as little as 10-15% of the profit from their own games. That's simply not okay, and clearly, the industry is in need of a shakeup when it comes to retailer cuts.