Steam has been under fire from all sides over the past few months. Fans criticize the platform for not doing enough to counter Epic's ongoing market expansion, and Epic itself has called Steam out for not adopting a lower, more developer-friendly revenue split.
Now, Steam is receiving even more criticism, this time from a company that is both a competitor and business partner: Ubisoft. As many of our readers will likely already know, Ubisoft -- despite selling its latest games on Uplay and the Epic Games Store exclusively -- has quite a few titles listed on Steam, including many Assassin's Creed games, most of the Ghost Recon franchise, and much more.
However, that's not stopping Ubisoft's Vice President for Partnerships and Revenue, Chris Early, from taking a few pot shots at Valve's business practices. In an interview with The New York Times, Early claimed that Valve's business model is "unrealistic," adding that it "doesn't reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution." Early is, of course, likely referring to Steam's revenue-sharing model.
Apparently, the reason Ubisoft has not sold its latest games (such as The Division 2 and Anno 1800) on Steam has everything to do with Valve's refusal to modify said model and give developers (or, in this case, publishers) a higher split of the income. For the unaware, Steam generally takes 30 percent of a given game's sales, whereas Epic only takes 12 percent.
Whether that's true or not is tough to say. Epic has been known to offer companies lump sums of cash in exchange for store exclusivity, so even if Steam lowered its split, that money might still be tough for Ubisoft to pass up. This is speculation, of course, and it's possible Ubisoft hasn't received any such payouts -- perhaps Epic saves that strategy for smaller indie studios who can benefit more from less.
It remains to be seen whether or not Valve will finally do something to respond to increased competition from Epic, but as more companies like Ubisoft join in on the anti-Steam bandwagon, some sort of action seems inevitable.