Ubisoft and EA pair up, offer each other's games onlineBy Rick Burgess 13 comments
Electronic Arts and Ubisoft are teaming up, each company planning to offer the other's library of games across their respective Origin and UPlay services. The move could be interpreted as a shot fired across Valve's bow – the mind behind Steam and arguably, the king of digital game distribution -- but probably doesn't have the company on red alert just yet.
In addition to sharing each other's gaming properties across their respective digital distribution stores, Ubisoft will also be opening up UPlay to third-party developers. Upcoming UPlay partners include Telltale Games, Warner Bros and many others. EA, on the other hand, has been doing this for some time now. However, unlike EA, Ubisoft continues to offer some of its biggest titles on Steam. Incidentally, when Origin launched, EA fled Steam like a guilty murderer and began launching its biggest money-makers as Origin exclusives.
UPlay director Stephanie Perotti sees the move as part of an effort to improve its relationship with PC gamers. The love-hate relationship between PC gamers and Ubisoft is propped up by numerous, A-list gaming franchises, but remains ostensibly marred by a sketchy past filled with invasive DRM schemes and "console port" criticisms.
For the past year, it seems Ubisoft has been trying to win over the PC gaming community. They removed From Dust's obtrusive DRM and promised to "scale back" DRM on future titles, eventually scrapping always-on DRM in favor of one-time activation.
To celebrate its new friendship, Ubisoft is offering a free game for anyone who purchases one game for $19.90 or more. The selection of freebies include: World in Conflict: Complete Edition, Driver San Francisco, From Dust, Might & Magic: Heroes VI, Rayman Origins and Settlers 7 (Deluxe Gold Edition).