If you were one of the many folks wondering whether Ubisoft launching Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 exclusively through the Epic Games Store and its own Uplay store, then it appears it doesn’t matter one bit. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said pre-orders for The Division 2 on PC are already higher than for the original game, and a massive six times higher through its own storefront.
"There is a growing number of distribution platforms fighting for great content,” said Guillemot during an investor call. “With this deal, we saw an opportunity to increase player's exposure to our own store, while at the same time supporting a partner that greatly values our games and provides materially better terms.
"Early indications are supportive, as PC preorders are higher than for the first Division, and preorders on the Ubisoft Store are six times higher. We believe this deal is a long-term positive for Ubisoft."
Interestingly, it sounds as if The Division 2 isn’t doing particularly great on the Epic Store but this does no damage to Ubisoft on the whole. Avoiding Steam and having the Epic Store as the alternative means six times as many people are buying directly through Uplay, therefore giving Ubisoft a 100% cut versus the 80% it would get on Steam.
Guillemot said as much, claiming launching The Division 2 through the Epic Store "really helped to actually do more of our business on our own store, and to have a better revenue per unit sold via the Epic deal. So altogether it's really helped us to go smoothly from Steam."
All very wily indeed. Considering The Division 2 will have to boot through Uplay anyway, the same as Ubisoft games on Steam, actually buying it through the Epic Store is fundamentally pointless. It's just another layer of logins. The cards appear to have fallen in Ubisoft's favour with this one, setting its stall out as the lesser of two evils.
It’s impressive stuff if The Division 2 can outstrip the original. The Division had a huge amount of hype and break multiple records, although the positivity quickly turned negative once players became disappointed with the end game. That was all fixed with some fantastic post-launch support though, and Ubisoft is hopefully taking all of these lessons through to The Division 2.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is out on March 15th for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.