In what is surely a big surprise to both gamers and the press, the newly established Epic Store on PC has announced undoubtedly their biggest exclusive so far. None other than Ubisoft’s The Division 2 will appear exclusively on the Epic Store and skip a Steam release entirely.
Epic released a statement where the company shared the news about its new partnership with gaming giant Ubisoft. The first game to appear on the Epic Store is going to be The Division 2. The sequel to 2016’s open-world online third-person shooter. Up until today, The Division 2 had a store page on Steam but that is taken offline now. Additional select games from Ubisoft are also planned for an Epic Store release.
Ubisoft has opened their own digital store on PC with Uplay way back in 2012 but followed a more user-friendly tactic by still offering their games on Steam. Users still needed Uplay alongside Steam but could also choose to directly buy on Uplay without the need of Steam.
The exclusivity deal with Epic is a similar one. Customer’s on PC aren’t forced to buy The Division 2 through the Epic Store. Getting the game on Uplay alone is still possible. And this is where the news really get juicy. You see, Epic has started an unprecedented march at establishing itself as a major PC digital store. To accomplish that goal there is simply no way around Steam.
Valve’s digital store has long become synonymous with PC gaming as pretty much every game is launching there. Well, until recently that is. Ever since the launch of the Epic Store, the company has been gathering exclusives. The term is a bit misleading however as most of these games can still be purchased on consoles or other PC stores. The proper way to describe it would be excludive. It’s pretty clear that Epic is interested in Steam’s userbase and by excluding certain titles of launching there, the Epic Store might become more widely used.
Why would Ubisoft forgo Steam though? That can be explained by the Epic Store’s revenue model. Unlike Steam, Epic is only demanding a 12% cut. Will there be enough customers on the Epic Store to outweigh a possible larger buyer pool on Steam remains to be seen.
The Division 2 launches March 15 on the Epic Store for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.