Ubisoft has announced it is partnering with Epic to bring The Division 2 to the latter’s Epic Games store come launch on March 15, as well as on its own Ubisoft store. It won’t be hitting on Steam at that time, however meaning the franchise is effectively jumping ship.
Pre-orders for The Division 2 on the Epic Games Store are now live for the standard, gold, and ultimate editions of the game. In its press release of the announcement of this news, Ubisoft says the two companies are working together to “integrate key components of Ubisoft’s Uplay and Epic’s online services,” which likely means buying the game on the Epic store will work similarly to how buying a Ubisoft game on Steam works now, including being able to access Uplay no matter what store you buy it on.
Any preorder on the Epic Games Store will get guaranteed access to the game’s private beta ahead of launch. If you already preordered The Division 2 elsewhere, your access to the beta is still honored, but from here on out, Epic’s store is where you go for the private beta.
While the press release doesn’t explicitly mention the game won’t be on Steam, it also doesn’t mention Steam entirely. When asked to clarify whether the game would be on Steam, a Ubisoft representative simply clarified that, on launch, the game would be available on the Ubisoft and Epic storefronts, and again did not mention Steam.
The press release also refers to Epic’s more friendly revenue split with developers and publishers, with Ubisoft president of partnerships Chris Early also calling out how Epic’s “third party distribution model” is “something Ubisoft wants to support.”
For more on The Division 2, read our latest preview of the game.
This could just be a timed exclusive for all we know, but either way, this is a pretty big deal. While it wasn’t hard to see coming after the handful of exclusivity deals we’ve seen previously, The Division 2 will likely be the first “major” release to jump ship from Valve to Epic. I’m very curious to see if Valve reacts to this in any way, or if it’s going to take a few more major losses like this one for them to institute any major changes to their store.