Ubisoft Launches Steam Competitor

In my feature on why streaming gaming isn’t guaranteed to become the dominant framework, I said the “the implication being that gamers would have to make multiple such purchases from many different companies. The problem with this is that the current climate suggests that players are increasingly uninterested in such schemes.” Though I cut a considerable portion of this point to make room for the discussion of America’s broadband issues, my point here was, in part, that forcing gamer to sign up for multiple services to access games they previous could simply buy however they like is going to inconvenience players far too much to be viable. Valve has had tremendous success with Steam, but if EA makes their games exclusive to Origin and other developers follow suit, rather than spread the streaming/downloading wealth around it’s just going to drive players back to ordering hard copies, or to piracy.

As if to hand me more ammo for this point, Ubisoft has announced their own entry into the already crowded streaming marketplace. Dubbed Uplay PC, the new service is builds off of their existing Uplay. It’s described on the official site as “bringing all your Ubisoft PC games and Uplay services in one place.” Confusing things further, the site also adds “With Uplay PC, customers have all their Uplay-enabled PC games and Uplay services in the same place and get access to a new set of features for their PC games.”

Welcome Ubisoft’s Steam. Will it take off? Currently they’re offering several of their games at a dollar a pop to get you to test it out. While they haven’t yet taken their games off Steam, it’s only a matter of time. And I can’t imagine people will enjoy having to join yet another service, especially one that will almost certainly load you down with a mountain of DRM. We aren’t anywhere near where we need to be for the marketplace to support more than one such service, and now we have 3. My guess is that they quietly shutter it within a year. I’ll stick to buying their games on disc, thank you.

What do you think, Game Fronters? Let us know in comments.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

7 Comments on Ubisoft Launches Steam Competitor

Ares

On August 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

These digital services are all fine and good. When they are not forced down our throats to play a game by the publisher. Steam is something people chose to use. Origin is forced on users since certain games require it to even work with a physical copy of games. Doubt I will ever have U-Play on my system as I don’t play any Ubisoft games.

user

On August 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

“Steam is something people chose to use. Origin is forced on users since certain games require it to even work with a physical copy of games.”

Something you missed is that steam is also required/forced for several physical copies of games. If you want an example: Lost Planet 1.

And some people also do not choose to use steam. Present company not included. I’ve been using it since HL2.

Bruce

On August 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Origin is the reason I won’t be playing the new Sim City. Thanks for stepping up to the plate Ubisoft, cause you had even less to offer me…

Karl IZ Here

On August 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

They are all forced down our throats, The amount of games I have brought and Steam has to be installed to be able to play the game, then when it is installed you then have to waste half of your bandwith download 10GB bloody updates, that’s what does my head in with these services.

James

On August 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I do not want 3 seperate Online Program to run games from 3 different companies.

Good thing I haven’t liked any UbiSoft game for a while now. Heroes of Might and Magic, From Dust, and Anon 2070 did not impress.

J

On August 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Personally I do not pay for anything that can potentially be remotely deactivated or otherwise rendered useless deliberately, inadvertently or due to unforeseen consequences related to internet access.

I’ve long avoided purchasing any game that requires any kind of online authentication, even if it’s once off. I had a handful but gave them away so I will never be stuck with a game that I can’t play when I want, where I want even if it’s 10 years from now.

I have 0 Steam games, 0 Uplay games, 0 Origin games, but don’t presume I’ve missed out on anything. I still buy games, sometimes retail (provided they don’t requite internet authentication) but lately mostly I buy from GOG, just this weekend I purchased 5 more thanks to their weekend sales.

You know what, I couldn’t be happier, now I never have anything like connection problems preventing me from playing a game, infact I have so few problems with my games I can reinstall Windows and every game still works without having to reinstall any game or even 1 extra junk program which is a good thing since I have a 1TB drive dedicated to games. I can pull it out, plug it into the laptop and play the game there. I almost pity people who would have to run around downloading and reinstalling countless things to get a 1TB drive full of games going again after something like reinstalling Windows.

For me gaming is something I do for fun and to relax, I’m not going to struggle with it and I’m sure as hell not going to pay to struggle with it. One way or another my games are problem free, otherwise I don’t want them. So Uplay, Steam, Origin etc can all do whatever they want, it doesn’t effect me anymore. I think I’ll go back to playing some Witcher 2 on the laptop without worrying about any of those “ridiculous DRM with a different name” problems.

Zach

On August 22, 2012 at 2:39 am

Thank you Ubisoft for another reason to steer clear of your PC games.

Abusive DRM that can frag my computer [check]
Always Online features even for single-player games [check]
Limited Downloads for a physical copy of a product [check]
Making me create another account just to play a game [check]
Forcing me to download and us a proprietary program to use the product I purchased [check]