Ubisoft may be bringing its games back to Steam
Ubisoft has been one of the biggest PC game companies to withhold titles from Steam over the last few years. If the studio reverses the policy, it would continue an industry-wide swing back toward Steam among publishers after Epic Games and others challenged its dominance.
Recently leaked code indicates Ubisoft may be preparing Steam versions of games it has neglected to release on the service. It wouldn’t be the first hint that the company is considering ending its three-year spat with the largest PC gaming storefront.
The leak comes from YoobieRE, a GitHub project aiming to reverse engineer the Ubisoft Connect launcher. This week it scraped code referencing Steam versions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Roller Champions.
Since 2019, Ubisoft has only released PC games on Ubisoft Connect and the Epic Games Store. The company told The New York Times it considered Steam’s 30 percent revenue cut “unrealistic.” Valve has since rewarded successful Steam releases by lowering its commission to 20 percent, but Epic only takes 12 percent.
Ubisoft’s last major title on Steam was 2019’s Far Cry: New Dawn. Since then, the company has released games like Valhalla, Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Extraction, Watch Dogs: Legion, Anno 1800, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and The Division 2 on the other storefronts.
There were a couple of signs last year suggesting Ubisoft was open to returning to Steam. That July, Ubisoft’s CEO said they might resume releasing games on Valve’s client if the Steam Deck became successful. Valve’s handheld is doing well, but it isn’t clear how big Ubisoft expects it to get. The following November, code referencing Ubisoft Connect appeared on SteamDB, suggesting Ubisoft might release games on Steam that connect to its launcher.
The company’s games on the Epic Games Store require Ubisoft Connect integration, so any Steam releases probably would as well. EA is another big publisher that left Steam for its own launcher, only to return and release Steam games that incorporate its client.
Microsoft is another big company to start supporting Steam (thankfully without forcing its Windows Store app on Steam users). While Bethesda never totally left Steam, it tried to promote its Bethesda.net launcher before eventually closing it and providing Steam keys for its purchased games. Call of Duty’s return to Steam after a five-year absence contributed to the franchise’s biggest-ever launch this year.
If Ubisoft ends its Steam hiatus, it could also bring its Ubisoft+ subscription service to the platform like EA did with EA Play. Valve wants Microsoft to bring Game Pass to Steam, too.