Update: Ubisoft say the Steam problem is now fixed. Affected people may need to restart the Steam client but then it should work.
Ubisoft's open-world online drive-o-fly-a-boaty racer The Crew 2 launched in the wee hours and... a great many people cannot play it at all. The Steam version is currently busted (perhaps just for for folks who pre-ordered?), as attempts to launch the game lead to Ubisoft's Uplay client popping open--so far, as expected--then demanding a CD key which people don't have. Ubisoft acknowledge the problem and say "we hope to have this resolved soon" but oh dear.
It's always been irksome that new Ubisoft games on Steam launch through Ubisoft's own Uplay, but rarely this troublesome. Steam is supposed to feed the keys to Uplay and activate everything silently, but something has got jumbled in the pipeline. It seems that while the main game's Steam package has gone live, the add-on containing activation keys hasn't.
"Developers can't release packages themselves," a member of Ubisoft's Uplay client team said on Reddit in response to such speculation. "We're waiting on the appropriate folks to come and sort it out."
Given that Valve are round Seattle way, where it's currently the middle of the night, the wait may take a while. There's a joke to be made about CD keys and car keys, but it's perhaps not the time given many have paid £50+ for a lemon.
The Crew 2, er, is supposed to be out now, priced at £50/€60/$60 on the Ubisoft Store
and Steam. Our John reviewed it as a singleplayer game and wasn't best impressed, though he did hold out hope that it might come alive with loads more players. Well, we'll have to wait on many of those potential players.
Oh, and if you haven't seen it yet, do read cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer's look at the game's weird shop signs.