Steam's business model is 'unrealistic' says Ubisoft's Chris Early

What you need to know

  • Ubisoft's Vice President of Partnerships and Revenue believes that Steam's business model is "unrealistic."
  • Ubisoft notably moved away from Steam for The Division 2 and other games.
  • Steam currently takes a 30 percent cut of game sale revenue, which is a sticking point for Ubisoft.

Ubisoft's Vice President of Partnerships and Revenue, Chris Early, believes that Steam's current business model is "unrealistic" adding "it doesn't reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution" in an interview with The New York Times. Ubisoft has been taking a lot of swings at Steam lately since it partnered with the Epic Games Store.

Ubisoft notably decided not to sell The Division 2 on Steam, instead opting to sell it on the Epic Games Store and Uplay, the latter being Ubisoft's own store. Currently, Valve gets a 30 percent cut from game sales through Steam. The Epic Games Store takes a lower 12 percent. Ubisoft doesn't have to give a cut to any store owner when a game is purchased through Uplay since it's Ubisoft's own store.

Despite the fact that all of these games can be played on Windows 10, gamers have platforms they like. For example, if you have hundreds of games on Steam, you'll probably want to use that instead of the Microsoft Store. However, this also means that if a game is exclusive to one PC storefront, then it may not be purchased or played by a lot of PC gamers who don't like to use anything else. Microsoft faced a similar problem when it came to Xbox Play Anywhere titles.

Given the fact that the Epic Games Store only takes 12 percent, that probably mitigates the losses from not putting The Division 2 and other titles on Steam. Given the rising costs of game development, and how many big-name studios still struggle, it's understandable why Ubisoft doesn't want to give 30 percent away anymore.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.