Ubisoft Explains Why It Doesn't Release Games On Steam
"It was a business decision."
Recently, Ubisoft's Chris Early spoke out against Valve's PC digital store, Steam, saying its business model is "unrealistic." He added, "It doesn't reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution." Now, Ubisoft has further clarified its position on the matter.
A spokesperson for Ubisoft told GameSpot that the publisher elected to release The Division 2 on the Epic Games Store instead of Steam because Epic's distribution model is, in the long-term, more beneficial to publishers.
"It was a business decision to not put new releases on Steam and focus on the Epic Store and Ubisoft Store," the spokesperson said. "Ubisoft fully supports Epic and their third-party distribution model, which is in the long-term, beneficial for publishers both large and indie and the video games industry. We hope this partnership helps to validate and evolve the model."
Early's comments and this statement are likely connected to the revenue split that Epic offers relative to Steam. Typically, Steam typically keeps 30 percent of game sales, with 70 percent going to publishers. By contrast, the Epic Games Store offers much more to the people who make games; on the Epic Games Store, 88 percent of revenue goes back to developers.
Looking ahead, one of Ubisoft's next big releases, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, will also skip Steam in favor of launching for the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft's own Uplay.
The Uplay part of this story is important, too. Uplay is Ubisoft's own store, so removing Steam from the equation helps drive sales on it. For The Division 2, Ubisoft saw Uplay sales of that game grow tenfold over The Division 1.
It remains to be seen if Ubisoft will ever release another new title on Steam, but for the foreseeable future it seems the company has no intention to.
For what it's worth, Epic has stated it will change its policy of chasing exclusives if Valve reduces the cut it takes from game sales on Steam.
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