Ubisoft is returning to Steam, starting with Assassin's Creed Valhalla on December 6

Daniel Sims

Posts: 662   +27
Staff
Something to look forward to: Recent leaks have proven true, as Ubisoft is the latest major publisher to return to Steam after a multi-year hiatus. The company will soon launch three titles on Valve's dominant PC game storefront, but it isn't clear if more games that missed Steam are on the way.

Ubisoft confirmed that it would resume releasing games on Steam after a three-year absence. The hiatus will end when it launches Assassin's Creed Valhalla on the storefront on December 6.

"We're constantly evaluating how to bring our games to different audiences wherever they are, while providing a consistent player ecosystem through Ubisoft Connect," Ubisoft told Eurogamer on Monday. "Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Anno 1800, and Roller Champions are among the Ubisoft titles that will be releasing on Steam."

The publisher will also bring Anno 1800 and Roller Champions to Steam at a later, unspecified date. Ubisoft didn't mention whether it has similar plans for other major titles it withheld from Steam, like Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Extraction, Watch Dogs: Legion, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, or The Division 2. The company hasn't mentioned bringing upcoming releases to Steam, such as Skull and Bones or Assassin's Creed Mirage.

Valhalla's Steam launch will coincide with the game's final major update, which includes an epilogue to its storyline. Unfortunately, Ubisoft won't add a New Game Plus.

Hints that Ubisoft would return to Steam emerged over the last year and a half. In July 2021, the company said the Steam Deck's success could make it reconsider its Steam blackout. Seemingly reinforcing the rumors, code mentioning Ubisoft games and services appeared last fall and earlier this month.

The last major title Ubisoft released on Steam was Far Cry: New Dawn in 2019. Afterward, the company only released its PC games on the Epic Games Store and its Ubisoft Connect client. Like EA and Epic Games, Ubisoft didn't like Valve's 30 percent sales commission. Epic, meanwhile, only takes 12 percent.

That disagreement didn't stop EA from returning to Steam in 2019 after an eight-year absence, bringing along many of its prior big-name releases. In recent years, Microsoft has also started supporting Steam for the first time with games like Halo, Forza Horizon, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. This year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II became the first Call of Duty title in five years to be available on Steam after the series went exclusive to Blizzard's Battle.net service for a while.

Users aiming to buy Ubisoft games on Steam to avoid using Ubisoft's launcher are probably out of luck. Valhalla purchasers on Steam will likely have to use Ubisoft Connect in some capacity when they launch the game.

Ubisoft's return to Steam also raises whether it plans to bring along the Ubisoft+ subscription service. Users can already purchase memberships to EA Play through Steam, so there is no reason a similar arrangement could be made for Ubisoft+.

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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,006   +1,837
I guess not like it matters, but why?

If you buy their game on Steam, you still need a Ubisoft account to launch the Ubisoft Connect software so you can play the game. You'll launch the game from Steam, but Steam has to launch Ubisoft Connect so the game runs through their software to talk to their servers and Steam is nothing but a middle man.

Why not just buy from Ubisoft and launch the games from there?

People are weird.
 

tancabean

Posts: 45   +48
I guess not like it matters, but why?

If you buy their game on Steam, you still need a Ubisoft account to launch the Ubisoft Connect software so you can play the game. You'll launch the game from Steam, but Steam has to launch Ubisoft Connect so the game runs through their software to talk to their servers and Steam is nothing but a middle man.

Why not just buy from Ubisoft and launch the games from there?

People are weird.

Yep I stopped buying Ubi games on Steam for exactly this reason.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,600   +2,901
I guess not like it matters, but why?

If you buy their game on Steam, you still need a Ubisoft account to launch the Ubisoft Connect software so you can play the game. You'll launch the game from Steam, but Steam has to launch Ubisoft Connect so the game runs through their software to talk to their servers and Steam is nothing but a middle man.

Why not just buy from Ubisoft and launch the games from there?

People are weird.
-Steam Deck Support
-Big Picture Mode
-Integrated chat with my friends list
-In-home Streaming
-Cloud saves
-Mod Hosting and integration
-CD Key Integration
-Community Hub

Plus Ubisoft now don't have to host the game files or updates, Ubi's launcher basically just becomes another layer of DRM to annoy all their customers with.

Valve takes around 30 percent of all game sales on Steam, with some exceptions for games from smaller developers in its Steam Direct program. That will remain the case for the first $10 million in sales a game maker or publisher earns. For all sales between $10 million and $50 million, the split goes to 25 percent. And for every sale after the initial $50 million, Steam will take just a 20 percent cut.

If Ubi, EA, Microsoft etc... Thought this was too much, they wouldn't have come back, then they all realised that actually, creating a store that's even remotely in the ball park of Steam actually costs money, and as I predicted years ago on TechSpot, after a few years they'll come back.
 

passingposeidon

Posts: 23   +45
I guess not like it matters, but why?

If you buy their game on Steam, you still need a Ubisoft account to launch the Ubisoft Connect software so you can play the game. You'll launch the game from Steam, but Steam has to launch Ubisoft Connect so the game runs through their software to talk to their servers and Steam is nothing but a middle man.

Why not just buy from Ubisoft and launch the games from there?

People are weird.

I personally would rather view my game library all on 1 list (Steam) rather than spread across numerous different pages (EA, Ubisoft, Epic etc.)
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,326   +930
If you buy their game on Steam, you still need a Ubisoft account to launch the Ubisoft Connect software so you can play the game. You'll launch the game from Steam, but Steam has to launch Ubisoft Connect so the game runs through their software to talk to their servers and Steam is nothing but a middle man.
Exactly. It's still unacceptable nonsense. Now if they were to make an appearance on GOG, THAT would be something! Wish thinking, sure, but it would be something cool and worthy of everyone's attention!
 

winjer

Posts: 478   +2,185
Considering how bad most of Ubisoft games are nowadays, it wasn't much of an issue that their recent games weren't on Steam.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,276   +8,442
The other possible explanation is that Steam has been forced to reduce it's "sell rates" to a reasonable level, particularly after loosing so much revenue because of having driven off so many big name game makers. Steams games aren't terrible, they just don seem to generate as much revenue. Perhaps they have finally learned the old Yiddish merchants philosophy that "some money is better than no money" ......
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,006   +1,837
I personally would rather view my game library all on 1 list (Steam) rather than spread across numerous different pages (EA, Ubisoft, Epic etc.)

You can also add games manually to Steam. Sure, you'd still be requiring Steam to launch the game through Ubisoft, but you can put all your games into one location.

As already mentioned, GoG Galaxy does this too. At least with GoG Galaxy you can link your Steam, Ubisoft, EA, EGS and I think Xbox accounts to it so all your games on those other platforms show up in one spot. But, just like with Steam, Galaxy has to launch the other company software to get a game from them to run.

All in all, you're not actually removing the need for other digital platforms just because you buy a Ubisoft or EA game on Steam. You still need those platforms to get those games to run even though you bought them through Steam.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,600   +2,901
All in all, you're not actually removing the need for other digital platforms just because you buy a Ubisoft or EA game on Steam. You still need those platforms to get those games to run even though you bought them through Steam.
No but now you download it through steam and using Steam's library manager, if you want a refund you get to deal with Valve rather than Ubi or EA and the game is now updated through Steam which lets be honest, if all your games are there, at least it'll get auto-updated along with everything else, instead of having to open up the dedicated Ubi/EA store and waiting for it to update come the day you want to play it.
 

Feng Lengshun

Posts: 18   +9
There's a reason why even Heroic and Lutris are adding a quick Add to Steam function and there are multiple Batch Add to Steam solutions (off the top of my head, Steam ROM Manager and BoilR). People *like* Steam. It looks nice, it works nice, it probably has most of your games and friends, and it just gets out of your way.

The less friction you have, the more people will want to buy your games. Honestly, even if they don't want to allow Steam to monopolize everything, the answer isn't to have a million different launchers. Steam, Epic, and GOG are the ones that people accept (well, 'accept') -- just stick those three.

I hope that we'll get a way to skip the custom launchers as well, with Steam. Like with 2k -- thank god for people on ProtonDB putting it in.