Why lower platform fees don’t lead to lower prices on the Epic Games Store

Monopoly control is a hot topic in the games industry these days. Lawsuits against Apple, Valve, and Sony all take slightly different tacks in arguing that these companies exercise unfair monopoly control over their platforms’ market for downloadable games.

Each suit also argues that this monopoly control leads to higher game prices for consumers. Platform holders charge higher commission fees than they would in a truly competitive environment, the arguments go, and those higher-than-normal publishing costs are passed on to consumers via higher-priced games.

There’s something intuitively appealing to the idea of game publishers trying to attract more market share by “passing on the savings” of lower storefront commissions by lowering the asking price for their games. In practice, though, prices for the same title tend to remain consistent across platforms, regardless of the competing platform holders’ specific revenue cuts.