The terminal total Ubisoft game to release on Steam was Trials Ascent in 2019. Since then, the publisher has released its new PC games exclusively on the Epic Games Shop and Ubisoft Connect, and hasn’t said if or when it’ll start putting them on Steam again. If data gathered from the Ubisoft client backend indicates what it looks like it indicates, still, Ubisoft may be knocking on Gabe’s door again.
Among the recent Ubisoft games that skipped Steam releases are Assassin’south Creed Valhalla in 2020 and Roller Champions this twelvemonth. The YoobieRE
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Github organization—which is working on a SteamDB
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equivalent for Ubisoft Connect—recently pulled a couple of notable new sets of production information from Ubisoft Connect’s database, one of which includes the characterization “Internal Dev/QC – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla [STEAM]” and another which references “Roller Champions Steam.”
Also relevant: In 2021, SteamDB noticed
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that a version of the Ubisoft Connect client appeared in the Steam database.
The theory behind the speculation is that Steam versions of these games, if they exist, will however require the Ubisoft Connect client, and we’re seeing the start steps toward that integration. Information technology wouldn’t exist at all surprising if new Ubisoft games on Steam launched a version of Ubisoft Connect. Ubisoft’s Epic Games Store releases include Ubisoft Connect integration, and the Steam version of Rainbow Six Siege relies heavily on Ubisoft’s account system and client. EA does the same thing, launching a mini version of the EA app (formerly Origin) when you launch many of its games through Steam.
Another reason to recollect Ubisoft may be on its fashion back to Steam is that returning to Steam is just a trendy thing for big publishers to do. EA, Microsoft, and Activision are all releasing games on Steam again after holing up in their ain clients for a time. Call of Duty: Modernistic Warfare ii just saw double the PC sales of comparable Telephone call of Duty releases, a figure nosotros largely aspect to the existence of a Steam release. Despite the temporary deviation of companies like Activation and Ballsy’southward lightly disruptive presence over the past few years, Steam is still the center of the PC game distribution earth.
Since launching its store at the end of 2018, Epic has been enticing developers to put off Steam releases in favor of Epic Games Shop releases past guaranteeing them a certain corporeality of revenue. We’re not sure how much Epic offered Ubisoft upfront for games like Far Cry 6 and Assassin’southward Creed Valhalla, simply we know that information technology guaranteed $115 million to secure Borderlands 3 exclusivity—and so, probably a lot.
Well-nigh Ballsy exclusives have a ane-twelvemonth timespan, afterward which the developers release the game on Steam to mop up sales from the portion of that audience that doesn’t want to use Ballsy’southward shop. Borderlands 3 released on Steam simply half-dozen months after its Epic Games Store release. So far, Ubisoft has been unusual in this respect. Its games take stayed put on the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has steadfastly argued that the Epic Games Store’s 12% cut is fairer to developers and meliorate for consumers than Steam’s 30% cut (now twenty% for the biggest earners), and Ubisoft took his side in that fence early. In 2019, Ubisoft vice president for partnerships and revenue told The New York Times that he thinks Steam’due south business model is “unrealistic.”
That might have something to do with Ubisoft’due south seeming reluctance to slide back onto Steam, but as it doesn’t look like Valve is going to be pressured into matching Epic’s 12% cut, it feels similar Ubisoft is simply leaving money on the tabular array by not selling its biggest games to the Steam-only audience. The backend Ubisoft Connect information found by the YoobieRE project isn’t absolute confirmation that Ubisoft is coming back to Steam, but it already seemed likely, and so I’d put my money on it happening. Granted, if Ubisoft does get-go releasing games on Steam once more, I’d expect it to continue putting a gap between the Ballsy Games Store and Ubisoft Connect releases and the Steam releases.
We’ve asked Ubisoft for comment, and will update this article if we hear back.