Publisher May End Three-Year Hiatus with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Something to expect: Ubisoft was one of the largest computer gaming companies that has been refusing Steam for the past few years. If the studio changes the policy, it will continue to roll back publishers towards Steam after Epic Games and other companies challenged its dominance.
Recently leaked code indicates that Ubisoft may be preparing Steam versions of games that it has not released on the service. This is not the first hint that the company is considering ending a three-year spat with the largest PC gaming store.
The leak comes from YoobieRE, a GitHub project whose goal is to reengineer the Ubisoft Connect launcher. This week, he removed the code referring to the Steam versions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Roller Champions.
Since 2019, Ubisoft has been releasing PC games only in Ubisoft Connect and Epic Games Store. The company told The New York Times that it considers a 30 percent reduction in Steam revenue “unrealistic.” Since then, Valve has rewarded successful Steam releases by lowering its commission to 20 percent, but Epic takes only 12 percent.
Ubisoft’s last major Steam game was Far Cry: New Dawn 2019. Since then, the company has released games such as Valhalla, Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Extraction, Watch Dogs: Legion, Anno 1800, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and The Division 2 on other showcases.
Last year, there were several signs that Ubisoft was ready to return to Steam. In July of the same year, the CEO of Ubisoft announced that they could resume releasing games for the Valve client if the Steam Deck became successful. Valve’s portable device is doing well, but it’s unclear how big Ubisoft expects it to be. In November of the following year, a code appeared in SteamDB with a link to Ubisoft Connect, suggesting that Ubisoft can release games on Steam that connect to its launcher.
The company’s games in the Epic Games Store require integration with Ubisoft Connect, so probably any Steam releases too. EA is another major publisher that left Steam for its own launcher only to return and release Steam games that include its client.
Microsoft is another major company that has started supporting Steam (fortunately, without imposing its Windows Store application on Steam users). Although Bethesda never completely left Steam, it tried to promote its startup program Bethesda.net before closing it and providing Steam keys for the purchased games. The return of Call of Duty to Steam after a five-year absence contributed to the largest launch of the franchise this year.
If Ubisoft stops the Steam break, it can also transfer its Ubisoft+ subscription to the platform, as EA did with EA Play. Valve wants Microsoft to add Game Pass to Steam.