You can buy the game now, of course, the standard, silver, and gold editions, even though the game itself won’t launch until March 15. Ubisoft very specifically said that they do not plan to release the game on Steam, and name-drops the money-splitting scheme Epic’s conjured up as the specific reason why:
“We entrust Epic to deliver a smooth journey for our fans, from preordering the game and enjoying our Beta to the launch of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on March 15. Epic continues to disrupt the videogame industry, and their third party digital distribution model is the latest example, and something Ubisoft wants to support.”
If you recall, Steam still demands 30 percent of all revenue earned by a game, although that number can drop a bit if your game hits certain sales milestones, starting at a million. Epic Games soon revealed that their store front only requests 12 percent revenue share, regardless of sales, which means at-base it already offers developers more money that Steam would ever offer even the best-selling games.
It was predicted this would shake things up (because, y’know, developers like money) but I have to admit I’m surprised we’re seeing our first third-party triple-A game so soon. I figured they’d wait longer to see indies test the water before making the dive themselves, but… I guess if any company was ready to take risks for more money, it’d be Ubisoft.
The real question now is if any other triple-A developers will follow their footsteps… and if they do, how Steam will survive.