Ubisoft has been one of many publishers over the past few years to ditch Steam for its own storefront or Epic’s launcher. And like so many others, including Activision, Ubisoft is now returning to Steam with the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the platform, after 2019 Editor’s Comments suggested that the Steam distribution model was “unrealistic”.
Publishers are greedy. And most digital storefronts, like Valve’s hugely popular Steam, take a cut of every game sale and DLC purchased. So many publishers, like Activision, Ubisoft, and EA, have spent the past few years ditching Steam and creating their own PC launchers and storefronts to avoid getting cut. It quickly got out of hand and a lot of those pitchers were shitty, offered little incentive to use, and felt like they were always one update away from completely breaking. So, needless to say, a lot of people didn’t like publishers jumping out of Steam. And latelycompanies seem to have realized they’re losing money avoiding Steam while burning money on ugly launchers. For example, Ubisoft is back after ignoring Steam for the past few years.
On Steam, you can see a newly created page for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The great open-world RPG first released in 2020 on consoles and PC. But if you wanted to play it on PC, you had to use Ubisoft’s launcher or the Epic Store, because it was one of the only Assassin’s Creed games to completely ignore Steam. Now, it’s finally hitting the platform on December 6, just in time for the massive final update Ubisoft comes out for the RPG already too big.
Kotaku received a statement from Ubisoft confirming its return to Steam and also revealing that it plans to bring more games to the platform in the future as well.
“We are constantly evaluating how to deliver our games to different audiences, wherever they are, while providing a cohesive player ecosystem through Ubisoft Connect. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Anno 1800, and Roller champions are among the Ubisoft titles that will be released on Steam,” Ubisoft said in its statement to Kotaku.
It seems you still have to install and use Ubisoft’s own launcher to play these games, even if you buy them on Steam, which is both annoying and nothing new. This is currently the way older Ubisoft games like far cry new dawn work on Steam.
This decision is a big change for the publisher. In 2019, Ubisoft called its choice to skip Steam a “business decision” instead of deciding to release games like Assassin’s Creed on its then-named Uplay store and the Epic store, where it gets a bigger share of sales. Later that year, Ubisoft’s Vice President for Partnerships and Revenue called Steam’s distribution model “unrealistic” and further added that it does not “reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution”. It looks like things have changed and Steam is fully geared up for 2022 and the way games are bought and sold around the world. This is funny.
Update, 11/21/22, 4:15 p.m. ET: The Assassin’s Creed The publisher has confirmed with Kotaku that its future games coming to Steam will still require users to create Ubisoft Connect accounts. He also confirmed that players will need to install Ubisoft Connect to access and play games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on Steam.