Ubisoft bets on Epic Games Store with The Division 2 launch

Johnny Cullen, Thursday, January 10th, 2019 4:16 pm

Ubisoft has announced The Division 2will be available on the Epic Games Store, alongside it being offered on the Ubisoft Store, but has confirmed it will not be available on Steam. The listing for the game on the latter was pulled soon after the announcement. Pre-orders were not available before the news broke.

With this news, Ubisoft has become the first triple-A studio to give their seal of approval to the Epic Games Store, moving The Division 2‘s launch away from Steam.

“Epic continues to disrupt the video game industry,” said Chris Early, VP of partnerships at Ubisoft (via The Verge), “and their third party digital distribution model is the latest example, and something Ubisoft wants to support.”

Early’s statement is in reference to Epic’s 88/12 revenue split for those who put their titles on the EGS compared to Steam’s revenue split of 70/30. VOIP company Discord had said previously with its own games store, it’d take a 10 percent cut with the remaining 90 percent given to developers, with room to shrink their take should they require less of it in the future.

Ubisoft’s dedication to releasing titles on Epic’s digital storefront doesn’t appear to be a short-term plan, either. The French publisher said it will partner with Epic “on additional select titles to be announced during the coming year,” implying that Epic Games Store will not necessarily be receiving exclusive rights to distribute Ubisoft’s games. It added both companies are looking to “integrate key components of Ubisoft’s Uplay and Epic’s online services” (via Game Informer).

Valve has released its list of the best-selling games of 2018 on Steam and Ubisoft had seven games on it across all four tiers. Rainbow Six: Siege and Far Cry 5 were platinum-certified; Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey was gold-certified; Ghost Recon: Wildlands was silver-certified, and For Honor, Watch Dogs 2 and The Division 1 were all bronze-certified.

This is Ubisoft’s very loud way of reminding Steam: hey, what have you done for us lately? Many of the largest triple-A publishers have moved away from Valve’s digital marketplace, opting for their own storefronts (where they don’t have to commit to revenue-sharing at all). Prior to Ubisoft’s announcement, Fallout 76 launched exclusively on the Bethesda store to be played on their proprietary launcher (for good or ill).

The Epic Games Store already loaded up with a good bulk of exclusives when it launched last month. Annapurna Interactive has a few exclusives already released on the store or coming to it, including Ashen and the impending PC release of Thatgamecompany’s masterpiece, Journey.

It also has the Early Access release of Supergiant Games’ Hades and being the exclusive PC home of the remainder of the final season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, which Epic has helped fund development for in its final two episodes.

We’ve asked Ubisoft for comment and will update when we get a response.

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