What to look forward to: Ubisoft has been one of the biggest PC game companies that has denied Steam their games for the past few years. If the studio changes policy, it will continue to push publishers back to Steam after Epic Games and others challenged its dominance.
A recently leaked code indicates that Ubisoft may be preparing Steam versions of games it hasn’t released on the service. This isn’t the first hint that the company is considering ending its three-year-old spat with PC’s biggest game store.
The leak comes from YubiRE, a GitHub project that aims to reverse engineer the Ubisoft Connect launcher. This week, he removed the code linking to the 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 that it believes a 30 percent cut in Steam’s revenue is “unrealistic.” Since then, Valve has rewarded successful Steam releases by cutting its fees to 20 percent, but Epic only takes 12 percent.
Ubisoft’s last major game on Steam was 2019’s Far Cry: New Dawn. The company has since released games such as Valhalla, Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Extraction, Watch Dogs: Legion, Anno 1800, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and The Division 2 to other storefronts.
Last year, there were several signs that Ubisoft was ready to return to Steam. In July of that year, Ubisoft’s CEO stated that they could resume releasing games for the Valve client if Steam Deck was successful. Valve’s handheld is doing well, but it’s unclear how big Ubisoft expects it to be. In November next year, a code with a link to Ubisoft Connect appeared on SteamDB, suggesting that Ubisoft can release games on Steam that connect to its launcher.
The company’s games on 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 come back and release Steam games that include its client.
Microsoft is another big company that has started supporting Steam (thankfully without forcing its Windows Store app on Steam users). Although Bethesda never completely left Steam, it tried to promote its Bethesda.net launcher before eventually shutting it down and providing Steam keys for purchased games. The return of Call of Duty to Steam after a five-year absence contributed to the franchise’s biggest launch this year.
If Ubisoft ends its hiatus from Steam, it could also bring its Ubisoft+ subscription to the platform, just like EA did with EA Play. Valve wants Microsoft to add Game Pass to Steam.