Microsoft's zero-percent cut on Windows apps doesn't extend to games

App developers can keep 100 percent of their earnings if they use their own commerce platform.

Microsoft Store

When Microsoft revealed its store's new design for Windows 11, it also had great news for developers. The tech giant will allow them to use their own or a third party commerce platform in their apps starting on July 28th. If they choose to do so, the company will no longer take a cut from their earnings, and they can keep 100 percent of their revenue. In its announcement, Microsoft mentioned "app developers" specifically. Turns out that's because they're the only ones who can enjoy the incentive: The company has confirmed that the revenue-sharing exemption doesn't apply to games.

Microsoft makes big money from game sales and subscriptions like any other company that runs a digital platform. It even admitted that it sells Xbox consoles at a loss, knowing that it'll make profit from getting a 30 percent commission from game developers. While it's unlikely for Microsoft to let go of game commissions entirely, it will implement lower rates for games starting on August 1st. It will only take 12 percent of a developer's revenue instead of 30, at least when it comes to PC releases sold through its store.

By lowering its commission rate, Microsoft is following Epic's lead. Epic has been getting a 12 percent cut of developers' earnings since it opened its own PC games store in 2018 and has been the most vocal critic of Apple's 70/30 revenue-sharing model.