Microsoft to give developers 70% of revenues

29 07 2008

At a Games Edu today, Microsoft’s Albert Ho said it will share with amateur game developers up to 70 percent of the gross revenue generated by games they sell online through the company’s upcoming Xbox Live Community Games section.  This is more than XBLA, and more than standard dev contracts.

When the system launches later this year, people who develop games through Microsoft’s XNA Creators Club ($99 annual subscription) will be able to sell them on the Xbox Live Marketplace, after going through a process of peer review.

Microsoft says it will take an additional slice of revenue — an extra 10 percent to 30 percent — from games featured at the front of the Community Games store. The company calls it a marketing charge. The idea, according to Microsoft officials, is that the choice placement will result in a higher volume of sales that will more than make up for the extra cut taken by the company.

In terms of pricing, game developers will be able to choose among three levels for their games — 200, 400 or 800 Microsoft points. (That translates into $2.50, $5 and $10.) Games also will be available for free trial.

The initiative is meant to open a new distribution channel for small game developers and broaden the library of games available for download on Xbox Live beyond the more highly produced games distributed through Xbox Live Arcade.