Lakes Boil: Ubisoft And EA To Sell Each Others Games

By John Walker on February 19th, 2013 at 5:44 pm.

Everything is topsy-turvy. Up is left, down is blue. Ubisoft have just announced that they’re to start selling third-party games on their online store, Uplay. (Which could mark the first time anyone has ever looked at the online store, Uplay.) And even more peculiar, they’re also going to start selling their own games via EA’s Origin download service. Do words and numbers even have meaning any more?

In what one can only assume is a concerted effort to try to put up a fight against Steam, it’s quite the sight to see rival publishers coming together like this. It’s a bit like in Roger Rabbit when there are Disney and Warner cartoons interacting.

So on the offchance that the Origin servers are online, you’ll be able to buy Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3 over there. While you’ll also be able to order SimCity Online (as EA have forgotten to call it) and Dead Space 3 on Uplay. Why? BECAUSE YOU JUST CAN!

It’s not just EA sailing to Ubisoft’s island. Also coming into the store will be – deep breath – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, 1C Company, bitComposer Games, Bohemia Interactive, Encore Software, Focus Home Interactive, Freebird Games, Iceberg Interactive, Nordic Games, Paradox Interactive, Recoil Games, Robot Entertainment, Telltale Games, and Torn Banner Studios.

If you spend £17 or more on Uplay, in frenzied excitement at this news, you can grab yourself a free copy of either Driver San Francisco, From Dust, Might & Magic Heroes VI, Rayman Origins, The Settlers 7 or World in Conflict, until the 4th March.

Enough to tempt you away from Valve’s behemoth?

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132 Comments »

  1. godofdefeat says:

    ˝Enough to tempt you away from Valve’s behemoth?˝

    As a man falling to the ground screamed: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  2. Premium User Badge RedViv says:

    Yes, I love having three different programs on my system that start each other and then run more ingame services. GTA IV was my favourite!

    • zakihashi says:

      Yea, they should just retire the steam service, origin and uplay, and all can start like GOG and Gamersgate, and not needing any god damn software.

      • mouton says:

        Yeah, back in the day, we didn’t need no stinkin’ operating system either to play our games.

        • Squirly says:

          Thanks spambot. You made my day.

        • Prime says:

          I still really miss those days, Zakihashi. :*(

          • Premium User Badge distantlurker says:

            no thank you. having to open the pc case; donate the usual amount of blood; manually shift an IRQ jumper and then spend 2 hours in memory manager *desperately* trying to free up 32k.

            i’ll just stick with steam ^^

          • Zorn says:

            Load”AlternativeToSteam”

            Press Play On Tape

  3. bit_crusherrr says:

    Don’t think I’ve bought anything from Ubisoft since the whole “always online DRM and delay the game for months” shit they kept pulling. Which is a shame as they bought the South Park game off THQ :/

    • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

      As far as I know that is no more the case and the DRM is Steam-like online check on launch.

      • bit_crusherrr says:

        I know, but I still don’t forgive them for this shit they did/said.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Personally, ignoring Ubisoft games (other than reading about them) has become like a habit to me. I might buy Assassin’s Creed from GOG at some point, though. If I can remind myself to.

  4. Seiniyta says:

    This is a really good move and hopefully will make the digital distribution space a lot more competitive.

    • jalf says:

      Yeah, that. Ideally, I don’t want to be bound to any individual client (and that includes Steam). Ideally, the online backend is completely decoupled from the client software. Use Steam to download and play uPlay games, use Origin to download and play GOG games, etc.

      I’d love to see some actual competition like that.

      Imagine if I could choose to buy games from the best store, without worrying about having to install Yet Another Client, and I could use my favorite client to play *all* my games, regardless of where I bought them.

    • ulix says:

      I agree. While I greatly prefer Steam for a number of reasons, there are many things I don’t like about it. Competition for a de facto monopoly is always a good thing.

      • Prime says:

        No, I think not. Tell that to every government privatisation that has happened in the UK. In the majority of instances opening monopolies to market forces only got more confusing and more expensive for the consumer while the only real benefit was fat cats getting fatter off the profits while services suffered and jobs were lost due to the lack of investment spending.

        Steam IS a monopoly, but so far they’re being very good to us gamers, despite their horrible client. If you’re cheering because the twin demons of Ubisoft and EA are here to rescue us you really need to sit down and rethink.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Steam doesn’t have a true monopoly at any rate. It is, however, likely to be the biggest player in the digital game sales market.

          Since I’m not a proponent of Steam and similar services (oh yes, I use Steam. I just prefer GOG and Gamersgate and the like) I am mostly neutral about this. I don’t mind more competition in this market, I just hope it doesn’t negatively affect the potential for games to show up on GOG and the like.

          • Prime says:

            I actually dislike Steam intensely. I hate having my hand held by their poxy, obtrusive client. I still use them, though. but I have a healthy stock of games through GoG, Gamersgate and other places. EA and Ubisoft can take a running, jump, though.

    • GiantPotato says:

      I think the Ubisoft/EA client will have make more fundamental changes than this before it’s any competition for Steam. Ubi has a history of obtrusive DRM, and EA has a history of pushing customers towards new titles at the expense of their existing catalog. I’ll take a look once those reputations have changed.

      • Vorphalack says:

        I agree. It’s simply a case of ”If you wanted me to buy your games at all, you shouldn’t have treated your PC customers like crap for most of the last decade”.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      I agree, it’s a no-brainer. This has to be a Good Thing.

      Long term, having just Steam being the big player is not a good thing. It’s just a shame no other platforms took off properly back in 04/05 to compete with them at the time.

      But hopefully they’ll carry on catching up over the next few years and continue to lessen Steam’s digital market share.

      • Sleepymatt says:

        Or better still, leave Steam’s market share the same, but push it to improve further.

      • Prime says:

        Perhaps you should be engaging the brain, Advanced Assault Hippo: this is not necessarily good for anyone. EA and Ubisoft, two companies with legendary reputations for abusing customers come together and you sit up and applaud this as a welcome development? If you can describe precisely what’s wrong with having a largely benevolent monoploy in place without resorting to fear of the future then we might have an actual conversation. As it is, there’s nothing here to celebrate.

        • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

          Sorry Prime, I only read your opening 7 words and decided not to read the rest. Whether you actually had a worthwhile point, I guess I’ll never know.

          Protip: Don’t open up with a childish insult. It juts makes you look like a dick.

          • Prime says:

            Wow, people offend easily these days. It was a play on the “no-brainer” comment, i.e: “something requiring little or no thought”. That YOU said. No offence was meant.

            Protip: if you’re taking offence from insults you consider childish you really should seriously reconsider being on the Internet. But thanks for telling me I look like a dick. Way to show me how to rise above that sort of childishness, you protip master you..

          • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

            Actually, you’re right. Reading it back it was a bit of an over-reaction on my part. Sorry.

            It’s weird, sometimes reading something and reacting in the wrong way.

    • Ajsman says:

      Only problem with this is the fact that Origin and Uplay can’t offer you almost anything worth mentioning that Steam already doesn’t have. And they are doing almost nothing to improve. OK, Uplay is quite new, but Origin has been around for quite some time. And best they can do is exclusive games of questionable quality with to much DLC that costs way too much. While Steam is improving and adding new features probably faster then ever before.

      So what kind of a competition is that? For all I care Steam still holds the monopole. And by looking at the competitors I’m glad they are.

      • mouton says:

        This shows EA is willing to expand Origin beyond their sphere, after all. The more publishers they get aboard, the better they will be for competition.

        • et5387 says:

          Of course you don’t. You go to which is where Ben Kuchera went!http://penny-arcade.com/report/

        • Ajsman says:

          With what games? If BF4 is on Uplay from day one then we can talk about that. Because when the last DLC comes out you can expect even BF3 to come on Steam. Just like Crysis 2: Maximum Edition did.

      • misterT0AST says:

        Speak for yourself when you talk about what Steam “offers”. It offers nothing to me, it just holds hostages the games I like.

        • Ajsman says:

          Then why are you even here? Not one of those clients can offer you anything…

          Also its funny you only blame Steam for holding games hostage. So their publishers wanting their games to have some kind of DRM has nothing to do with it. And I guess StarForce and SecuROM offer you way better experience than Steam ;)

    • mouton says:

      I agree as well. I trust neither EA nor Ubi, but there is hope some good will come out of this.

    • gamma says:

      I highly doubt it. Competition is all fine and dandy in a monopolized market. But, i am afraid, what we will get from this venture is more of what we may already dislike in regards to steam, and less of what we like about in it. Call it “competition” all you want.

      No good can come from those two, both of them together… we will just get the worse squared(tm).

      • FakeAssName says:

        This isn’t a merger; remember that Amazon, GamersGate, Gamestop, and most every other retailer on the planet already sells Ubisoft & EA products side by side.

        Activision would also be more than welcome to get in on the action, sadly, the stick in Bobby’s ass is wedged firmly in place ….

        • gamma says:

          yes… i meant “venture” loosely.

          …anyway none of those force on you the installation of bloatware, or shall i dare say, spyware, in order to use the game (i am not bothered by mere download clients despite their uselessness).

          (re: Kotick may endure it for as long as he whishes)

          • Tams80 says:

            I hope your not comparing it to Steam there. Spyware, you may well not be able to level at it, but bloatware certainly.

            I refuse to use Steam unless it’s a game I really like that requires Steamworks and even then I play it less than I would if it didn’t.

          • gamma says:

            I am comparing of course, certainly not putting them on the same level. While Steam gets me cautiously optimistic, Origin or U-Play gets me “depressively” realistic.

            Main plus in Steam service, is that it leaves it to the developer to enforce or not Steam client usage to run the game, I am yet to see one example on the side of the other services, or at least an example that matters to me as a gamer.

          • FakeAssName says:

            with Alice: Madness Returns you can completely uninstall Origin once you are done registering it, but it was (I think) the first game to launch with Origin and under some weird ownership system between EA and Spicy Horse … other titles since then are more stringent with requiring Origin, but most all of them have multiplayer of some kind vs A:MR having none at all.

    • Rhuhuhuhu says:

      Totally agree. I rather see a three party market then a one party market. Even if it’s annoying to have more then one account, competition in a market mostly based on government protection is always good.

  5. Leper says:

    I hope to see AssCreed 4 exclusive to Origin and the BF4 DLC only available on Uplay.

    • FakeAssName says:

      Why would they? That is the retarded shit steam pulls and breaking up platform exclusives is the entire reason these two are taking a time out from trying to kill each other.

      • Maniac says:

        Are you fucking daft? Thats exactly what EA is doing with Origin, whereas Valve has only done it with their own games to some extent. And they’re not a monolithic publisher, they’re simply a developer.
        So I shall ask: are you daft? Like, seriously? ‘

        • zakihashi says:

          You should go and look at pre orders on steam, and see the word STEAM EXCLUSIVE stamped all over at shit loads of titles.

          • MadJax says:

            Which is different from Origin, uPlay etc?

            Christ, for years GAME in the UK had a lot of stuff that was exclusive to them (Collectors Editions and entire games)

            Nature of the business, Steam is just playing the game.

          • mouton says:

            SILENCE. EA BAD VALVE GOOD.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            That’s not funny, its just true. EA were democratically elected the most evil company in America. Even if the vote was hideously biased and done for the LULZ, there is no billowing tempest of life-choking smoke without towering cyclone of flesh scorching fire. Both of which one can experience by writing something mildly rude on the EA forums.

            We are talking about a company who wanted to perma ban you from all your games for not reporting every single bug you ever saw or even heard of in a beta. EA are evil. Anyone by comparison looks saintly.

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            I’m sorry, but citing a vote, saying that it was for the lulz and hideously biased, and then saying it’s still a sign of something is a terrible argument. As is trying to discern malicious intent from a worst-case reading of a EULA, of all places (Hanlon’s razor and such).

            And note that I disagree with the argument, not necessarily with the premise (for the interested, my stance on EA is somewhere between “eh” and “I don’t like some of the things they do”).

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            This is an internet gaming site, not the Cambridge University Debating Chamber. There’s not a little man with a scoreboard totting up the amount of Ad Hominems, Ipso Factos or Milli Vanilli’s. I think what I am saying is, I couldn’t give a rotting monkeys cock what you think of my argument, so go outside, put down your copy of The Use and Abuse of Logic, and for heavens sake clean your teeth. People aren’t avoiding you out of fear of your intellect.

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            To be fair, I didn’t point out any fallacies in your argument or anything so formal, I just said it was dumb (albeit in far more words and with some explanation). For comparison, I could use the exact same arguments to say that Kim Jong Un has a secret wellspring of public support in the West, and that any number of companies take your money and don’t give you anything in return all the time.

            I suppose you could not care that I think what you said was dumb and/or unjustified, but eh? Discussion is rather boring if you take that route (then again, the Internet, amirite?).

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I bet one half your wardrobe is tweed and / or tartan, and the other half T-shirts with maths jokes.

          • Brigand says:

            “To be fair, I didn’t point out any fallacies in your argument or anything so formal, I just said it was dumb” I’m not so sure why I found that so funny.

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            Mostly t-shirts, jeans, and hoodies, actually. Some more formal stuff for when the situation calls for it, which isn’t often at my current job. No tweed or math jokes, unfortunately, but I probably have a tartan-ish dress shirt or two. Oh, and socks. Can’t forget the socks.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I much preferred this site when it was full of diaries of men buying passion fruit

          • Maniac says:

            Are you too, daft? These games arent exclusively sold on Steam in any way, nor are they really exclusive to steam per-say, they may have features exclusive to Steam, or mandatory Steamworks, but thats not Valves choice, its the fucking developers’. So in no way is it evil, sure it may or may not be stupidity from the devs (although Steamworks is glorious and a treat for both players and devs), but again, its not Steam, or Valve for that matter, paying for exclusivity, as per Sony, Microsoft and in a way, EA. – More often than not, “Steam Exclusive” refers to features such as the obvious Steamworks support more often than not, and sometimes preorder-stuff.
            So again, you’re not too bright, friend.

          • subedii says:

            Basically what Maniac says (minus the language).

            If we’re talking featuresets, if devs choose to launch using Steamworks that’s their prerogative. Valve isn’t forcing Jack-all on anyone, Steamworks just offers the best the best community system available. That’s not an indictment of Valve, it’s an indictment of how BADLY everyone else has dropped the freaking ball. Starting with MS and moving on from there.

            And if we’re talking games that are only available on Steam at the moment, well first off you’re going to have to point those out. THEN you’re going to have to show me what exactly it is that Valve did that FORCED these companies to release on Steam alone. Because as far as I can see, that decision is typically because Valve are easier to work with than the competition have been (c.f. MS certification) and are the current market leader as a platform.

  6. Snidesworth says:

    Aw, they really are trying so hard. Bless ‘em.

  7. almostDead says:

    I actually find the most tempting thing about game pricing these days is the, what I’m assuming, steam keys being sold on GMG for really low prices that they have purchased from other territories. And they can be comboed with their voucher codes.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      I like that, too. It’s how I got the BL2 season pass and few other things at a great discount, considering they had just released.

      Trouble is, my credit card got flagged as potentially compromised the last time I used it on GMG. So from now on, if they won’t allow PayPal, I’ll avoid the purchase there. Seems to work sometimes and not others.

      • Premium User Badge Smashbox says:

        Mine, too. Cancelled outright, in fact.

        I’ve used Paypal since, with no problems.

      • djbriandamage says:

        I love Green Man Gaming but I’ve had issues with both my credit card and Paypal on that site. Apparently having the word “Gaming” in your name flags you as a potential gambling site.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          The thing about the gambling site is crap. I phoned my bank when GMG cocked up a payment and they said there was no ‘gambling’ flag as I had been told – GMG had just failed to take a fully authorised payment, and continued to ignore it for a week. The payment lapsed and I just cancelled my account with them – I do not appreciate being left hanging without customer support, and then being lied to.

          IMO they do this because they do not have enough keys to back up the ridiculous offers they put on, but need something to blame it on – hence the gambling site rubbish they tell everyone. They have a track record of making people wait up to a month for keys (check their forums) because of this exact reason. Your card was probably flagged as compromised because of their dodgy billing practices.

          Avoid, no matter how cheap they are or how much PC Gamer like them.

  8. HungryDave says:

    So if I buy AssCreed through Origin, will have to have Origin running and then still sign into Uplay?

    • onsamyj says:

      You don’t own any Ubi game on Steam, I presume? Because it’s exactly like that already.

      • FakeAssName says:

        That is stream’s controlling ass at work demanding it’s client be active even when there is no physical requirment for it.

        • GiantPotato says:

          Technically, the publisher can decide whether the exe will launch the program directly or through the Steam API. That’s why some games work when you launch them directly and some games need the Steam client running. But it’s up to the publisher either way.

          But yeah, in general people don’t want 4 game clients running at the same time. Activision got around the problem rather nicely by integrating the entire client into the game, so maybe that’s what the Steam and Origin of the future will look like.

          • Archonsod says:

            Surely the problem there is between the keyboard and chair? Unless you’re playing four games at once, why would you have four clients running constantly?

          • GiantPotato says:

            Because they all want oh so badly to load on startup and sit there in your taskbar UNOBTRUSIVELY just in case you might NEED something from them, and they can help you manage your games library, and help you decide what games to buy, and help you and help you and help you until you want to scream. And sometimes after you disable all of that helpfulness there will be a client update and oops, there it is in that taskbar again. But that’s just because it loves you, and cares too much about your PC experience to stand by and let you pass up this great sale on Dead Space 3. And eventually you just succumb to the help, because it’s easier.

            And then you notice that you’re spending a lot of time playing games on your phone these days, and you can’t really explain why that is. But the thought of playing a PC game is just kind of draining right now and there’s something in the app store called Temple Bobble that looks interesting, so you decide to give that a spin instead.

            So yes, it’s a problem that the PC market needs to solve soon.

          • codename_bloodfist says:

            I have the same issue. I effectively run two computers at all times, both used exclusively by me, and Steam is a serious pain in the ass in this regard.

    • FakeAssName says:

      No, you won’t.

      Only games that use Origin’s DRM will require Origin when running, but being sold on Origin =\= using Origin’s DRM system. all of the third party titles on Origin that have their own DRM, use their own DRM (even if it is steam), and none of them require Origin to be running to play; I assume that the same will go for Ubisoft’s titles on Origin and highly doubt that they will bother injecting Uplay into other people’s games (unless paid to do so).

      • HungryDave says:

        That’s a good point. The user would just buy it from Origin and then install it as per normal. That’s a little relief I guess… I’ll still buy from Steam though. :)

        (yes, I know Steam is always there just like Origin but it’s like a comforting blanket now…)

      • The Random One says:

        Are you sure about that? Don’t you need both Steam and Uplay open to play Ubi games you bought on Steam?

        This is an actual question, I’ve never bought any Uplay/Origin games on Steam and always assumed that was what’d happen.

        • Archonsod says:

          Yup, but that’s because Steam insists on running whenever you opt to play a game. Origin doesn’t require you to even have it installed to play Origin bought games, UPlay games can run without U-play, but you won’t have access to any of the online elements or cloud.

        • FakeAssName says:

          Yeah, but that is Steam being Steam and mandating the client for everything sold by them; even if the publisher has got their own DRM, client, and servers.

          Steam may be more edtablished, but Ubisoft’s games belong to Ubisoft and I would no more expect them to not include their own system than I ever would expect Valve to drop Steam from TF2.

          When it comes down to dual DRM / game clients duking it out, it is the third party that should bow out of being mandatory (optional is fine, it is mandating your third party system that needs to go).

          P.S. dumb shit like Starforce + Steam has never been ok since it is two forms of third party DRM.

    • zakihashi says:

      I doubt you will need to run Orign to run Uplay games.
      As Origin already allow you to run their own games that don’t use … EAworks or Originworks or whatever they call it, to be run without origin running.

  9. Creeping Death says:

    Wha… But…. If I was to buy Dead Space 3 on Uplay I’d still have to install and use Origin to play it, right? While presumably still having to run Uplay in the background.

    Boy I can’t wait until I can buy a game on Steam that requires Uplay that requires Origin! Clientception!

  10. mehteh says:

    Two of the most shallow publishers join forces. Good thing i dont care for either company’s console focus games

    • WoundedBum says:

      What do you mean by shallow? I think Ubisoft has one of the best ranges when it comes to their franchises.

      • Brun says:

        This. Now that THQ is dead Ubisoft is probably the most creative of the “big publishers.”

      • FakeAssName says:

        Hush now, he just called the publishers of Crysis, Battlefield, AC3, Far Cry 3, and the most expensive MMO in history (despite it sucking, EA made one hell of a commitment to PC gamming when they signed the check for TOR) “console centric” … arguing logic is probably just pissing pennies into the ocean

        Console inclined perhaps, but I atribute that more to unites sold than personal interest since all of those games far out perform their console counterparts on the PC. Compair that to the garbage ports Bethshitia, Take Two, and Square Eidos put out … or the drunken bum vomit that was Darksiders on the PC.

        • Maniac says:

          Well, its blindingly obvious that you have an inclination towards them yourself, and some sort of hatred towards Valve and Steam for some ridiculous reason, I assume. And really, AC has never been *great*, some of the games were purely bland (the first was just boring, bad. Tedious.), and Battlefield 3 isnt really very good compared to the older games, and its now slated to become a near-annual game, much like CoD. And it doesnt matter how much money they injected into SWToR, it was still quite a shitty game. So in that case its their own stupidity at work, really. And Bethesda have created some great games themselves, and has always given extra bells and whistles for the PC, so again, ridiculous hatred for no apparent, logical reason. (Your personal dislike doesnt give you the right to call them outright shit, either. So in my opinion, you’re a prick. A brat. Nothing short of it.) – - Also, PC sales are about the very same, if not more, than any given console. (Consoles arent one unit, mind you. So please get your head out of your arse)
          Oh and please stop spreading bullshit, false rumours. You’re ignorant, thus you shouldnt be preaching. At all.

          • Brun says:

            EA was probably regretting signing that TOR check by about halfway through its development time (2009-ish), but by then they had passed the point of no return. Remember they injected all that money back when the PC-based client-server MMO was The Next Big Thing.

          • mouton says:

            Not hating EA/Ubi != hating Valve

            This is not some war between Heaven and Hell, you see.

          • Maniac says:

            Ah, bout mouton – - Reading this guys’ other comments, and this comment, reveals as much.
            He somehow thinks Valve is the reasoning behind everything thats bad about the industry, and that EA and Ubi are glorious saviors. (I do quite like Ubi, especially the Ubi-of-late, but EA? They’re getting more and more rotten.)

    • GiantPotato says:

      Ubi’s released some of the most boring crap imaginable in the last 5 years, but also some of the more niche, risky projects. One pays for the other.

  11. Tei says:

    This is a good thing, because is more competition… except if the alliance exist to create a “cartel” to avoid competition, in witch case is a bad thing.

    • subedii says:

      Basically my view. Which is why it’s troubling to me. As it stands EA are trying to pull up the blanket price of PC games to £40 to be the same as the console versions.

      If it wasn’t for that, Crysis 3 would have probably been my first Origin game, or at least strongly in the running for it.. At £40 though I figure it can wait, especially since all the reviews I’m seeing mention a fairly short play length (and I’m not going to be bothering with the MP).

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        C3 is getting quite mixed reviews, but the overall consensus seems to be “Heart stoppingly beautiful apparently open worlds that are ultimately empty of content and emotion”.

    • terry says:

      Exactly my thought. It’s interesting to me that WB is teaming up with Uplay as well, given their abysmal track record regarding digital competition I’d be surprised if this move ends up being a positive thing.

  12. thekyshu says:

    Better suggestion, EA and Ubisoft? How about you cooperate with Valve, you greedy dicks, and sell your games on there? Instant Metacritics +10 jump :)

    • Azhrarn says:

      Ehm, Ubisoft already does that, so yeah….

    • GiantPotato says:

      Valve isn’t too big on the whole “streaming, services and subscriptions” thing, so I don’t expect EA to move back towards Steam unless their new model is a complete disaster.

    • devil_92 says:

      or you know,valve could start to sell their games on Origin/other.

      • subedii says:

        When you say Other, I presume you mean services like Impulse or Green Man Gaming?

  13. mrmalodor says:

    Oh You

  14. InternetBatman says:

    Eh. I’m certainly never buying anything from an Ubisoft Store, and Origin never seems to get the pricing right.

    • mouton says:

      That’s not important. If they become serious players on digital distribution market, they will create a positive competitive pressure on Steam.

      You will benefit, even if you choose to never step out of your Gabe Ghetto.

      • subedii says:

        I don’t see why that’s not important.

        The reason I’ve got games from GreenManGaming.com and Gamefly.com, and zero from Origin, isn’t because I hate EA and it’s not because of some “Gabe Ghetto”. It’s because of pricing. And like I said previously, it’s pretty evidently EA’s intent to raise the price of PC games to match the console prices, even though they not only do not have to pay a platform holder, but they even own the store.

        That’s profit margins WAY above a standard store-bought console release, and then an extra £10 of almost pure profit on top of that, per unit, compared to console releases.

        I already pay enough for PC hardware, well in excess of any console, no doubt. But part of the benefit of that is meant to be that I’m not paying extra on software to subsidise those hardware costs.

        It’s not a question of Steam competing with EA that I’m concerned about. It’s EA competing with Steam (or even Amazon or other 3rd parties), particularly with pricing. Because if they become the dominant players, their current behaviour suggests I end up spending more for my games, not less.

        I’m happy for competition. I’m happy that GreenManGaming’s around, I love GOG.com, and heck, even Amazon can frequently give Steam a run for its money. But EA? Getting me to like their store is going to take a LOT more effort than they’re currently displaying. Particularly when they’re teaming up with Ubisoft (of all companies) to do it.

        And all this is without even touching on aspects like community systems, where both of them are way behind.

        • mouton says:

          Again, you don’t have to like their store. Their very presence on the market will make things better for you in the stores you like.

          • subedii says:

            Things only get better if they choose to compete via pricing and featureset.

            What EA are currently doing is the exact opposite to competition, instead trying to brute force higher prices via exclusivity. It reminds me a fair amount of what MS does with the pricing on XBL.

          • mouton says:

            That was the case when Origin remained in the EA sphere. By branching onto other publishers, they enter the field where the price and featureset competition can actually take place. Now, I agree that they still have a lot to do and, knowing EA, there is no guarantee anything good will come out of it. But the pro-competition trend is there and I welcome it.

  15. DickSocrates says:

    Competition is good, especially as one day Gabe Newell will die and Valve will instantly become a normal company run by suits. However, EA doesn’t really indulge in anything fair so they’ll find a way to turn it into a bad thing.

    At least Windows store/marketplace/Live/Xbox (or whatever the hell it’s called this week) is getting squeezed out of the picture completely. Hopefully MS will die altogether. (Currently experience major GFWL techincal problems)

    • GiantPotato says:

      Interestingly, Gabe Newell has made a couple of statements lately that seem relevant to this (eventual) inevitability:

      1. He would rather disband Valve than sell itself.
      2. He sees the future of Steam as a network protocol that any publisher can use to distribute titles.

  16. GiantPotato says:

    “Incredibly, Uplay is offline minutes after the announcement was made.”

    So this partnership will be like the Gallant and Goofus of digital distribution strategies, I guess.

  17. Ernesto says:

    If this is supposed to work, they need a common client program, imho.
    How about Urigin? Or Oriplay? Hmm… doesn’t sound very appealing.

  18. povu says:

    Calling the store Uplay as well was a really bad idea. It probably triggers more bad memories than good ones for most gamers. Brand recognition is nice, but only if it’s a positive brand.

    • GiantPotato says:

      It’s also a bad thing to have displayed on the screen next to an error showing the service is down. They should at least change it to ‘Uwait’ when this happens.

  19. neolith says:

    Meh. As much as I think a little competition doesn’t hurt I must still say that this won’t change a thing for me.

    I’m already not too fond of the Steam client, but I can accept it more or less. But I’ll be damned if I have to install another client just to play games. EA and Ubisoft are trying to exand into an ecological niche that has long been filled by Steam. Even if they were as good as Steam (which IMHO they are really, REALLY not), I would not be tempted to use their ‘service’ at all. They’d have to do better by a magnitude so large that’d I’d drop Steam completely and switch to their distribution. And – in all honesty – I don’t see that happening in the near future.

    So, this leaves me exactly where I was before – not buying any games from Origin or Uplay.

  20. pupsikaso says:

    If these were simply shops rather than softbloatware I have to download I’d say something like “Hey! Not Bad! I like more choices!”
    But it’s not.

  21. NormanTimbers says:

    Oh man I love ubisoft!

    I remember I bough far cry 1 from them back in 2008. This article reminded me to log in to ubi.com so I could download that gem again. LOL I DONT OWN IT BUT I CAN BUY IT AGAIN FOR 10 DOLLARS!

    I did back it up on a CD but dont buy stuff on this shit service. It wont be there in 5 years.

    Competition? Great, but one side of the competition is considering making steam an API (giving up ownership of their store) and this side is basically having a SEGREGATED merger (one store in 2 does not make a good market plan.)

  22. Aaarrrggghhh says:

    The one major problem I still have with these digital distribution clients is the following:

    They still require me to have x different accounts and x different clients running the same time which all want to fiddle with my games with different overlays and the like. I then have to prioritize which one gets the overlay, friend notifications etc.

    I would love to see that they introduce a unified login and client which allows me to login into all clients under one roof, to access all stores from it and see/chat with all my friends with it, being it that they use uplay, Origin or Steam (or whatever).
    Until then using different digital distribution stores at the same time will always be a pain in the ass and most people will simply stay where their games and friends are. Steam.

    This “cross-sales” agreement is a step into the right direction, now please EA and Ubisoft, work towards a unified client and account management. (And dont use Facebook or Google for fucks sake!)

  23. captain nemo says:

    A train-wreck-in-slow-(ubisoft)-motion

    I smell executive desperation…

  24. Shooop says:

    Is Uplay just a store like GamersGate?

    If so than I’d welcome it. Just like I’d be happier with Steam if it was just a store too.

  25. ryanrybot says:

    Hmm… I guess more places to buy games is always good.
    My only gripe is that between all these applications, why do I have to launch them when I want to play a single player game by myself. I’m sure you know I bought the game from you, why do I have to wait for you to launch (and often update, adding to the frustration) before I can play?
    GOG is nice for that. No fuss.

    • neolith says:

      I agree, GOG is the only service that gets the whole client thing right.

  26. DarkeSword says:

    Does anyone actually buy ANYTHING from Uplay?

  27. naufrago says:

    The world is not as topsy-turvy as you think. Up being left and down being blue is nothing special.

    Example: I’m feeling a bit down because me friends up and went somewhere without me.

    =]

  28. kud13 says:

    This may be a good thing. IF Ubi can make Ea go away from the “always online” model. Ubi’s done a lot of learning in that department, curbing itself to a “1-time” Internet activation required for most titles.

    I don’t mind Origin Per se, I bought Dragon Age1 Ultimate from it, and i can play that without needing to Run Origin. It can also be easily tweaked to never turn on unless I ask it to, which is nice.

    But, EA in general is pushing this “always-online-games-as-a-service” perty line, which disgusts me, and I don’t really want anything to do with that.

    So if Ubi is the ringleader, this may be good. If EA is the initiative behind the project, this is bad.

    And overall the best competitor to Steam is GOG.

  29. somnolentsurfer says:

    Snore. Wake me when I can buy Mass Effect 3 from either Steam or GoG.

  30. evernessince says:

    Ah EA, I disdain everything you do. Remember when they said they didn’t want a 3rd party taking a piece of their pie; the so called justification for removing their games from steam? Yeah and now they are doing just that again. EA represents a corporate husk that only lives to feed on the flesh of the gaming industry.

    But it’s impressive that steam is that significant of a treat to them to have two huge publishers band against them, albeit the two slimiest ones.

  31. malkav11 says:

    I’ve never wanted to buy anything from uPlay or Origin because they are shitty services. Crosspollinating each other doesn’t change that they are shitty services. But publishers exclusively selling their own games at their own digital store is bad for consumers and I generally speaking approve of this sort of move.

  32. MadTinkerer says:

    “Enough to tempt you away from Valve’s behemoth?”

    I am not exclusively loyal to Steam. I also spend quite a bit on GoG.com, and occasionally Desura and Impulse and Blizzard’s store and The Humble Bundles and direct-to-Indie-developer and (SIGH) even the Games For Windows store thingy for things that are somehow fucking GFWL exclusive but I’m willing to buy them anyway. But I do not like UPlay, and I do not like Origin.

    How many Linux games are there on UPlay and Origin?

    How many projects I’ve already backed on Kickstarter are going to be on Steam?

    And isn’t Gabe Newell working on distinguishing the Steam Store(s) from Valve as a company, while UPlay and Origin are doing the opposite?

    And, gee, I already have over 800 games on Steam, and so many more come out every month that I just don’t need anything more than Steam, GoG, Desura, Impulse, Blizzard’s store, The Humble Bundles, paying direct-to-Indie, and (SIGH) fucking GFWL.

    So I guess the answer is no.

  33. Milky1985 says:

    People are saying this is good for competition etc but it remains to be seen if they will actually bother to compete with each other, or just accept each others pricing.

    Remember the main excuse for high online prices is that its publisher set (both of these distribution services owned by publisher) and linked to retail releases (still happening), i know this is bollocks, you know this is bollocks but its still what they say. I will be impressed if I see them actually compete on price/extras for the sales of each others items.

    [EDIT] Also the assumed reason for the fallout between EA and Valve started with valve refusing to give up loads of user data on who had bought EA products apparently, remember all the stuff about properly connecting with the customers? Unless that was actually BS it could imply that ubisoft et all are handing over a bunch of extra info that valve were not willing to.