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posted by janrinok on Thursday November 24, @04:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the come-crawling-on-back-to-you dept.

In 2019, company said Valve's 30 percent commissions were "unrealistic":

Since early 2019, Ubisoft has made a point of moving its PC releases away from Steam and toward the Epic Games Store and its own Ubisoft connect platform. That years-long experiment now seems to be ending, as Ubisoft has confirmed at least three recent PC releases will be getting Steam versions in the near future.

A page for 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla was officially added to Steam Monday, listing a December 6 launch date on the platform. Ubisoft has also told Eurogamer that 2019's Anno 1800 and Roller Champions will be coming to Steam, confirming earlier rumors to that effect.

The coming Steam versions are Ubisoft's first non-DLC releases on the platform since 2019, when Trials Rising and Starlink: Battle for Atlas launched on Steam. Since then, releases from Far Cry 6 and Watch Dogs Legion to Immortals: Fenyx Rising and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint have all been unavailable on Valve's industry-dominating PC storefront.

"We're constantly evaluating how to bring our games to different audiences wherever they are, while providing a consistent player ecosystem through Ubisoft Connect," a Ubisoft spokesperson said in a statement provided to the press.

That statement is a major reversal from 2019, though, when Ubisoft Vice President for Partnerships and Revenue Chris Early told The New York Times that Steam's business model—and its 30 percent commissions—were "unrealistic" and didn't "reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution."

[...] While Ubisoft eschewed Steam releases voluntarily, Epic continues to pay huge amounts of money for specific high-profile games to launch as timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store. That includes a $146 million upfront payment against royalties on Borderlands 3, which had an exclusive launch on the Epic Games Store in 2019 that attracted 750,000 new users to Epic's platform, according to company documents revealed during the Epic Games v. Apple trial. When Borderlands 3 came to Steam months later, though, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said sales on Valve's platform "exceeded our expectations."


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Thursday November 24, @05:24PM (10 children)

    by looorg (578) on Thursday November 24, @05:24PM (#1281505)

    People don't want to be locked down and in. So did they finally get it that gamers didn't want to install a multitude of different launchers or spread out their collection of games. Certainly so if they are inferior to the system that already existed and was the market leader, steam. After all EPIC game store didn't make anything better. Just different. It didn't improve anything for the gamers. Still your platform has got to be an epic failure if you couldn't convince the creators to go with Epic over Steam considering they promised to take a less steep cut of the profit/sales for their service.

    Still there are already to many different launch vehicles and platforms around -- Steam, EPIC, GOG, Blizzard, UBIsoftconnect, Paradox ... I'm sure I even forgot a few of them. But there is no shortage of them around.

    I guess there is a difference between the launchers that grew out of connecting or gathering all your connected games and systems such as the Blizzard and Paradox launchers. But GOG and EPIC just want to be storefronts that want to compete with Steam. I guess the EPIC one grew out of Fortnite and the Unreal engine and then just started to hook up as many other games they could that used their system with the promise of a smaller cut then Steam. GOG wanted to sell games on the cheap and without DRM, so they might not be the first listing (unless you are the owner -- CDPRoject) but where games end up eventually once the initial sales rush is over.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday November 24, @08:04PM (9 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @08:04PM (#1281519) Journal

      So you wish for a monopoly in the game launcher market?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday November 24, @09:20PM (3 children)

        by looorg (578) on Thursday November 24, @09:20PM (#1281521)

        Well I just want to play the game. I don't want to have to get one specific launcher and register an account with whomever happens to be behind that one game and giving them cc info, full name, address, phone numbers, email etc. Just so that I can have the privilege to pay for a game and play it. On top of that they can pretty much just cancel my purchase and suspend the service whenever they want and there by make my previous purchase invalid and unplayable, even tho I'm not getting a refund. Add then that it's usually not one launcher but multiples of them and I have to provide similar information to them for each and every one of them and the risks are the same. Ad infinitum for each and every launcher.

        So in that regard YES I would very much prefer it if there was just one launcher for all my games. If they could all just come together and agree on a standard game launcher that would be great. Cause I really don't want to have umpteen different launchers to buy and play games, and umpteen different launchers that demand my personal information and to have access thru my firewalls etc. Also they all want to autostart each and every time I reboot the machine, but I at least put an end to that idiocy.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday November 25, @07:18AM (2 children)

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @07:18AM (#1281556) Journal

          On top of that they can pretty much just cancel my purchase and suspend the service whenever they want

          That's also true if it's a monopoly. Except then you lose access to all your games and can't go elsewhere to get new ones.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday November 25, @10:38AM (1 child)

            by looorg (578) on Friday November 25, @10:38AM (#1281573)

            Yes that is also true. It's not that Steam is great or anything. It's just better imo to have one then to have umpteen different launchers. Mainly I guess it's great cause it was first. So people just got used to it. So in that regard one would think that the competition would improve on the product but they didn't. They just made stupid copies of it. Which I really don't need nor want. I would have preferred it if there was no launcher at all but then I guess it needed some repository since the games was bought digitally so it's not like I have boxes of games anymore with cd/dvd:s etc (I can't even really recall the last box game I bought, or one that wasn't just an empty shell with a note with a link and a code to get it from Steam).

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday November 25, @08:09PM

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @08:09PM (#1281633) Journal

              I have a much better idea: Don't tie the game to a single platform. It's as if you had to go to a specific shop to buy a specific boxed game.

              That would also fix the UI problem, simple launchers no longer could compete on what games they offer, they would have to compete on the quality of the software itself.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Samantha Wright on Thursday November 24, @09:25PM

        by Samantha Wright (4062) on Thursday November 24, @09:25PM (#1281522)

        Steam is essentially a modern-day public utility. The cost to consumers is low (or in this case literally zero), Valve exercises almost no editorial decisions over the content allowed on it, and most improvements to the software itself are motivated by tinkering nerds in an ivory tower rather than, say, capitalists hell-bent on trapping people with dark patterns. It also supports a very mature social network, which Epic woefully underestimated when they tried to compete. I would argue that Netflix used to provide a similar "common carrier" role before the Tower-of-Babel-like deluge of the last few years; Spotify has done quite well in the music department.

        Critically, in all three cases there is an extreme burden perceived in using multiple options simultaneously. You wouldn't tolerate having multiple water taps in your house for different competing utilities companies, even if the water from each source was noticeably different and unreliable: you'd find a way to merge the pipes into one. Even in services with no physical overhead, e.g. dual-booting operating systems, people hate doing it, and would rather invent stuff like Windows Subsystem for Linux or WINE to keep everything together in one environment.

        Another point worth making is that EGS is just bad. Every conceivable corner was cut to get the thing out the door; it began as a rich kid's vanity project to make his "own" Steam, and that has never really faded. I've personally avoided EGS-exclusive titles that were appealing to me because I don't want to pay patronage to that kind of out-of-touch zero-sum greed. As we've seen with the slow decline of Twitter, it's very possible for stars to fade and winds to blow against an incumbent purely for this reason—which, incidentally, is the main reason monopolies become unpleasant...

      • (Score: 2) by ledow on Thursday November 24, @09:49PM (3 children)

        by ledow (5567) on Thursday November 24, @09:49PM (#1281523) Homepage

        Consumers freely choosing to buy the same product from their preferred service is not a monopoly.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday November 25, @06:35AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @06:35AM (#1281549) Journal
          Unless, of course, the reason it is preferred is because there isn't a choice.
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ledow on Friday November 25, @09:03AM (1 child)

            by ledow (5567) on Friday November 25, @09:03AM (#1281562) Homepage

            The very fact of other launcher's existence means it's not a monopoly - because you and I can name several alternates right now.

            That people choose Steam (for example) when they in no way advertise or force other games to use them, and that even their competitors are *choosing* to use Steam having tried to go it alone (and Steam did nothing to push them out) means everything is working as intended for consumers.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by maxwell demon on Friday November 25, @08:12PM

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @08:12PM (#1281634) Journal

              No one said they are a monopoly. But looorg essentially said he wished they were.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 4, Touché) by MIRV888 on Friday November 25, @12:17PM (2 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Friday November 25, @12:17PM (#1281582)

    I think I know why gaming companies try to use their own storefront.
    Steam may be convenient, but that's a ripoff for game developers.

  • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Friday November 25, @01:35PM

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @01:35PM (#1281589)

    I am in progress of migrating my gaming boxes to linux over the next few years. Aim when win10 goes out of support to move everything to linux...

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