Ubisoft is bringing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Anno 1800, and Roller Champions to Steam, arguably its first major releases on Valve’s PC distribution platform since 2019.
“We’re constantly evaluating how to bring our games to different audiences wherever they are, while providing a consistent player ecosystem through Ubisoft Connect,” reads part of a statement from Ubisoft spokesperson Jessica Roache to The Verge. Roache declined to say whether that means Ubisoft will now regularly bring games to Steam or if it’ll be on a case-by-case basis.
It’s not clear why Ubisoft stopped putting its PC games on Steam or why it’s coming back now, but it appears to be picking up where it left off: Valhalla was the 2020 flagship game in the Assassin’s Creed series, with the next title, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, not due till 2023. Roller Champions came out this May. And Anno 1800 is actually coming back to Steam after previously having been removed — it’s from 2019.
But it’s no secret that Ubisoft pulled games from Steam to make them exclusive to the Epic Games Store instead, which famously gave publishers millions to attract games to that rival platform. For example, the Steam store page for Anno 1800 currently still has this note: “Notice: Sales of Anno 1800 will be discontinued on Steam after April 16th due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.”
Epic paid $146 million to make 2K Games’ Borderlands 3 exclusive to that platform, and documents from the Epic Games v. Apple trial show that Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs: Legion was targeted as a must-have EGS exclusive at the time it was handing out that kind of money. Lists of Epic Games Store exclusive titles generally include a lot of big Ubisoft games.
Roache says that Ubisoft “never stopped our relationship with Valve,” though, and it’s true that Ubisoft continued to release some DLC after its main games largely stopped appearing on Steam as well as letting gamers play Steam titles they already own — despite one brief scare this July when players noticed a poorly written message about how their titles would “not be accessible.”
Ubisoft also removed other games from Steam at that time, including Anno 2070, Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD, Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic, and Space Junkies — but all of those save Space Junkies appear to be on sale now. Roache says that some of these games were temporarily removed because their online multiplayer services were being decommissioned, and Space Junkies is permanently gone because it was a multiplayer-only title.
Ubisoft says it doesn’t have any updates on whether it’ll be working with Valve on verifying these games for the Steam Deck.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will arrive on Steam on December 6th.
Update, 4:17PM ET: Added context about why Space Junkies was permanently removed from Steam, and why some other Ubisoft games temporarily disappeared.