Ubisoft have confirmed that they won't be bringing their biggest hitters of this winter -- Assassin's Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, or The Crew -- to Steam, preferring instead that people pay £50 for these PC titles on Uplay or at partnered retailers.
So AC: Unity, Far Cry 4, and The Crew will be skipping Steam in the UK. Our take on the latest Ubisoft omnishambles http://t.co/KGt2635wXB
— Dealspwn (@Dealspwn) November 6, 2014
I gave my take on the matter earlier today, asking why on earth Ubisoft would shoot themselves in the feet like this. Is it to keep the markup on price? Does it have anything to do with any backroom deals between Ubisoft and their retail partners? Steam just won Platform of the Year at the Golden Joysticks with good reason -- its ubiquity on PC is powerful indeed. But maybe Ubisoft just wants to follow in EA's footsteps and consolidate their own online platform.
Needless to say, the internet was not happy.
Ubisoft just gave a big middle finger to its UK customers.
— Untimely Gamer (@untimelygamer) November 6, 2014
Ubisoft has gone the way of EA and won't be selling their new games on Steam anymore in the UK. Only UPlay. Urgghhh.
— Matt Collins (@Mattophobia) November 6, 2014
Ubisoft i am never buying a single game from you again You are the worst company in the industry
— RedDash16 (@RedDash16) November 6, 2014
This just in. @UbiSoft doesn't want our dirty British money.
— Jazz Fowkes (@Fowkes) November 6, 2014
— The M3dain Show (@M3dainLPS) November 6, 2014
Much of this had to do with the idea that Ubisoft's own client -- Uplay -- is rubbish. And to be fair to all of those unhappy with Uplay, they were right. It's a clunky mess. Even so, many decided not to hold back, and told Ubisoft exactly what they thought of Uplay.
Is Far Cry 4 not going to be available on Steam? I refuse to use Ubisoft's uPlay.
— Mgh (@OfficialMgh) November 6, 2014
.@Ubisoft Oh, well. Looks like it's time to ditch Steam and switch to Uplay. - Said no one, ever
— Christopher Amaya (@moyako1802) November 6, 2014
— Guillaume Pasquier (@gap_ch) November 6, 2014
Not only do they make games with OUTRAGEOUS PC requirements, now they make us use uPlay and only uPlay? Nope, fuck off.
— David (@Ninjaboy112_) November 6, 2014
I especially don't buy games that on Uplay because Uplay is a piece of shit. I'd rather have scurvy.
— Xmas death penguin (@iainlives) November 6, 2014
And then Uplay crashed...
We are currently experiencing issues with some users logging into some Uplay services and Ubi forums. We are currently investigating this.
— Ubisoft Support (@UbisoftSupport) November 6, 2014
There was talk of boycotting the company and its games...
@UbisoftUK Dear Ubisoft - Thank you for justifying my Boycott of you by removing the sale of your games on steam.
— Lee (@agoraphobicgeek) November 6, 2014
That's it I'm boycotting Ubisoft games, sell them on steam or loose my service guys.
— Daniel Mulligan (@DanielMulligan) November 6, 2014
Weird ubisoft. Why release on everything except UK Steam?! Looks like I'll be skipping Far Cry 4 and The Crew then.
— Jackalope (@_Jackalope_) November 6, 2014
Well looks like I won't be buying FarCry 4 then with @Ubisoft not allowing me to purchase from Steam!
— Jake (@xImJakeyy) November 6, 2014
And some wondered aloud whether Ubisoft actually wanted people to pirate their games. We don't condone piracy at all here at Dealspwn. Piracy is a cancer that eats away at the heart of this industry and undermines the good work that developers do. We will do everything we can to promote the finest deals we can to ensure that, whatever your budget, you can get gaming without resorting to illegal methods.
But the warnings came thick and fast and laid bare the reality of the situation.
@Ubisoft Can't buy new Ubi games on steam in the UK? pricing at £50 on Uplay? You guys really want people to pirate your games.
— Captain Mainwaring (@CaptainMainwar) November 6, 2014
— Joshsora (@JoshsoraGaming) November 6, 2014
@Ubisoft Steam wont have Ubisoft titles in stock in the UK? Pirate Bay sure will... Bad move. Respect consumers, and they'll reward you.
— MangoTangoFox (@MangoTangoFox) November 6, 2014
That last point is probably the best: make no mistake, this is an anti-consumer move. And it stinks. The latest in a long line of PR and communication gaffes, it's understandable perhaps that Ubisoft want to consolidate their games under their own roof, but nerfing consumer choice and forcing player to use a crumbling, often broken client is not the way to do it.
And as for that £50 price tag? Don't settle for it. We'll be doing our best to provide you with plenty of legal and legitimate alternatives for you over the coming weeks. These games deserve to be paid for and played, but not with Ubisoft holding consumers to ransom.
We'll leave the last word to an industry luminary...
an interesting call to make.. intrigued to see the sales figures in a year's time.
— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) November 6, 2014