Update July 11, 2022: In a statement to IGN, Ubisoft confirmed that Steam users who bought Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD will retain access to the game. The publisher maintains “only DLCs and online features will be affected by the upcoming decommissioning.”
Still a bummer for folks with DLC, but at least anyone with Liberation won’t lose their access.
Ubisoft is pulling online services for some of its older titles, and the Assassin’s Creed Liberation Steam listing indicates some games may be yanked from your library altogether. A new notice on a few Ubisoft Steam pages warns Liberation and others “will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022.”
Last week, Ubisoft announced it would decommission online services for older titles. It’s a hefty list of games, pulling support for multiplayer services and DLC. According to the publisher, the September 1 shutdown frees up and refocuses resources for new, more popular titles. It sucks for preservation but pulled support for online games has become a bit of a ‘normal’ pain point in the industry. The bigger bummer was that Ubisoft’s previous announcement noted you’ll also lose access to the DLC for some of these titles. That included some single-player DLCs.
However, today’s Steam page description updates added more games to the list and demonstrated how much this affects. On the Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD listing, Steam has two notices:
“Notice: At the request of the publisher, Assassin’s Creed® Liberation HD is no longer available for sale on Steam.”
“Notice: Please note this title will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022”
While publishers have pulled games from Steam in the past, yanking something from a user’s library is not a normal occurrence. And that’s what the second notice for Liberation seems to indicate — it doesn’t matter if you bought it. It’s being removed from your library.
Other games share that notice, like Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic, Space Junkies, and Anno 2070. These games are all delisted, but that doesn’t help folks who may already have these in their library. There are notices for changes to other Ubisoft games, too. Splinter Cell Blacklist and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands have notices warning players about losing access to deluxe editions and DLC. You can still buy those two; you just won’t be able to access parts in September.
Regardless, all of this seems especially bizarre for any installment of Assassin’s Creed. Liberation has a whole campaign, and any narrative-driven series should surely prioritize keeping all of its pieces available. It’s also included as part of Assassin’s Creed III Remastered on Steam, and that page still has no notice. For now, that leaves it unclear if you’ll still be able to install Assassin’s Creed Liberation from the bundle or not.
Typically, when a developer delists games on Steam, players who bought the title can still access it. Ubisoft’s approach, if not just vague and poorly communicated, is odd. It’s also a lovely reminder we don’t ‘own’ anything, no matter how much you paid for the game. The all-digital future bums me the hell out.
Fanbyte has reached out to Ubisoft but has not received a response. We will update this story should they follow up with a comment.