1D3 Blog

How to avoid high platform fees in the videogame industry?


Distribution platforms dominate the industry. The App Store and Google Play rule the mobile market, STEAM reigns the PC world, and every console has its proprietary store. These platforms have enormous audiences, but exposure comes at a considerable price.

  • Apple App Store charges a 30% commission for every in-app purchase. If you make less than $1M per year, you can decrease it to 15%.
  • Google Play also offers a 15% commission for the first million of revenue. Once you surpass $1M in sales, they will raise it to 30%.
  • Steam takes a 30% on each sale, and only after 10M in sales cut it down to 25%
A 30% commission seems like a standard practice in the videogame industry, but 97% of game developers don’t agree it’s a fair price. So do we.

That’s why we came up with a few solutions that might help developers and publishers avoid high platform fees and secure additional income streams. Let’s have a look at a few options we have.

Utilize direct downloads


If your game is Android, you can secure an additional income stream by letting users download the APK straight from your website and use a mobile SDK to accept payments. As the game wasn’t downloaded from the Play Store, you will not have to pay a 30% cut to Google.

Yes, this is less intuitive, but you can motivate users with bonuses and special offers. We can equip you with a perfect code-free landing page for APK downloads and mSDK to accept payments with a 3% commission. Fortnite and PUBG are doing it already. Why shouldn’t you give it a try?

Create your online store


Ever heard about Netflix? Apart from being the most popular streaming service in the world, they are also quite clever with payments. What they do is redirect users to their website to pay for the subscription. The payments are made outside the platform environment, which means the 30% fee does not apply. Can you do the same thing with your game? Yes, you do.

  1. Create an online store for items and currencies;
  2. Let the users authorize and purchase whatever they want;
  3. Accept payments via 1D3 Checkout and only pay a 3% distribution fee.

Note that there are some restrictions to this. If your game is published on Google Play or App Store, you can’t place direct links to the online store inside it. You also can’t sell the item cheaper than in the app. However, you can utilize other incentives like special offers or promo codes.

Sell the game straight from your website


This one works for the digital distribution of paid games on PC or mobile. You don’t always have to publish on Steam or mobile stores to sell your game. Take Blizzard games or Escape from Tarkov — never been on Steam and never paid 30% to Gabe and his crew.

But actually, you don’t have to go this far. You can publish on Steam and sell some of the game keys from your website. This way, you will get exposure to Steam’s enormous audience and create an additional income stream not subjected to a 30% commission. Best of both worlds innit? We will be glad to help with accepting payments and promoting your site.

Those were three ways to monetize your game without paying a 30% commission. Don’t be shy to contact us if you want to learn more. We’ll be glad to arrange a one-2-one session with our monetization wizards.