OnLive: Our dev revenue split is 60/40

OnLive: Our dev revenue split is 60/40

By Rob Crossley in Cologne

August 15th 2011 at 11:01PM

GDC Europe: 40 per cent cut 'fair and competitive'

Promising cloud gaming vendor OnLive takes a 40 per cent cut in gross revenues from the content it publishes, the company has told Develop.

Speaking after his warmly-received speech at GDC today, Chris Donahue, OnLive’s developer relations boss, explained the royalty rate is intended to be competitive and fair.

“The 60/40 split is fairly industry standard,” he told Develop backstage.

“We’re not trying to give away the store, we’re trying to be competitive with the other digital platforms.”

Though it doesn’t represent an entirely direct comparison, smartphone vendors Apple and Google each take a 30 per cent revenue cut from games they host.

Facebook credits – the social network’s own digital currency – gives 70 per cent to the developer from in-game transactions and keeps the rest for itself.

Valve, meanwhile, does not disclose its revenue split for games published on Steam. The Washington-based group recently told Develop its cut is ‘fair but not fixed-rate’.

Donahue (pictured), told attendees at GDC Europe this week that developers enjoy far higher profit margins with OnLive than they would with boxed PC games. He explained that, because OnLive virtually removes the threat of game piracy, indie developers going alone have great opportunities on the cloud service.

He also said OnLive won’t control what prices games will be sold at.

“We might recommend a price based on our catalogue, but the cost is up to you,” he said.

OnLive has undergone a transformation in the past two years. Once-widespread concerns about cloud gaming latency issues have evaporated, particularly in countries based near the company’s powerful server farms. Since the launch of the OnLive public beta, the highly ambitious promise of a latency rate below 80ms now appears feasible.

The company, which has received exorbitant backing by various investors, is also bidding to be integrated into numerous living room devices beyond the console. OnLive is due to be bundled with set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and smart TVs, the company said.

Donahue said a new developer kit is due for release soon, featuring a leaderboard API, a framerate monitor tool, DirectX 11 support, touchpad support as well as sundry additions.

The development kits are free for all, he added.