Well, not quite. From Sweeny’s own conservative estimates, creditcard processing is 3% off the top, CDN is 1.5%, and operating costs are 2%. So their real costs are 6.5%, and their revenue is 5.5% of sales, plus/minus a percent or two.
They aren’t quite running a charity or a non-profit, but those are very, very tight margins.
Does anyone know how much non-Steamworks DRM costs per copy sold, or as a proportion of revenue? That’s really Steam’s only advantage here, beyond their massive market dominance and the strong network effect caused by everybody and their friends already being on Steam. Stuff like achievements, chat, forums, etc, really don’t count, that can all easily be added.