- The ever-interesting Greg Costikyan has a post on his weblog about digital distribution, or more specifically, what percentage of the sale price an online distributor will take for putting your game on their virtual shelf.

He notes of his own Manifesto Games indie portal: "We pay 60% to the developer, with no hidden chargebacks", and goes on to comment: "The only operation I know of that offers a more favorable developer split is XBLA (I've heard up to 75% to the developer), and if you can make a deal with them, go for that, certainly. More typical is 40% to the developer, and I've heard deals as low as 20% to the developer (big portal, small developer). But let's take 40% as representative."

You know, I hadn't heard XBLA splits went as high as that - I always heard they were somewhere around where Valve's Steam allegedly is, which is at about 50% to the developer and 50% to the distributor. Anyhow, there are plenty of interesting (and often anonymous!) comments, including this capper:

"I appreciate someone pointing out why the economies are terrible in this industry. You did miss one small piece which unfortunately paints an even bleaker picture. With the advent of "Game Pass" and other such subscriptions (RealArcade and BigFishGames) and other sites who discount products (50% off at Iwin) with NO price protection, developers are getting a piece of a piece of a piece of $7 to 9 dollars rather than the full retail price." But I'm presuming that, overall, downloadable economics are still viable for many?