Here’s an interesting thing, developers and publishers want more gambling money, not less. Amazingly, this is virtually nothing news, but an interesting debate has been taking place since the launch of the Epic Games Store, and the doubtfully singular importance of the precariously perched Epic Games Store, a cut taken by developers from the stores and platforms. The 2020 Conference of Game Developers has a free State of the Industry Game Report, which can be downloaded by anyone and provides some very interesting information about how developers see the industry right now.
When I was offered a chat with Marco Minoli, marketing director of Slitherine, I knew from the first moment that an interesting interview would come out. Slitherine is in fact a company with a unique structure, since marketing is managed entirely by the Milan office but the publisher faces the international market, facing all the challenges of an increasingly complex sector.
The main object of the report you are about to read are the digital distribution platforms, which for Slithering as for many other software houses represent the main (if not the only) publication strategy for their products. Considering the turmoil that has recently occurred in this sector, triggered above all by the arrival of Epic Games Store, we thought it was appropriate to deepen the mechanisms underlying digital sales. What are the costs that a platform has to bear, what services should it offer to publishers? And again: what effect can the arrival of a new and fierce competitor have on the long run? Marco’s answers all go straight to the point: they are very direct, straightforward and without words. In short, the transcription of our long interview will serve to better understand the processes and structures with which players usually do not come into contact, and to read the market with more awareness. Everyeye.it: Let’s start immediately from the most debated issue in this period. Epic Games arrives on the market with a disruptive proposal, pays for time exclusivity agreements and retains just 12% of sales revenue compared to the 30% requested by Steam. Is it a situation that is good for the market?
Marco Minoli: Certainly in certain situations it can be an advantage for development teams, more than for users, but what leaves me a bit surprised is that nobody has ever faced the central problem. That is, leaving 88% of the revenue to the development teams is not simply sustainable, for Epic, over the long haul. Everyeye.it: Why is a 12% deduction not sustainable? What are the expenses they incur? Marco Minoli: It is clear that if you have a store without features, therefore without research, without forums, without achievements, you have very low costs, because the management of such a structure does not require large investments. But if you start having a structured store, and therefore you have a series of services for users and a client that works, that is, all that Steam has, then the cost increases.