March 2019 action game "The Division 2" will launch for PC through the Epic Games Store instead of Steam, the first time a major publisher has signed with the "Fortnite" platform.
The tussle for position in PC gaming has intensified, with Ubisoft and Epic Games announcing that well-anticipated March release "The Division 2" would be sold through the Epic Games Store in addition to Ubi's Uplay platform.
Epic Games unveiled its PC gaming store in December 2018, using the enormous public reach and financial success of its computer, console and mobile game "Fortnite" to offer developers an unusually generous revenue split -- 88/12 instead of the usual 70/30 share.
It began giving away critically acclaimed titles on a fortnightly basis -- "Subnautica," "Super Meat Boy," and now, from January 10, "What Remains of Edith Finch" -- and stocked its storefront with a dozen independently developed games.
Several other large publishers already have their own PC stores: Electronics Arts of "FIFA" and "The Sims" has Origin; Activision Blizzard of "Call of Duty," "Destiny" and "World of Warcraft" has Battle.net; Take Two's Rockstar Games of "Grand Theft Auto" has the Rockstar Social Club; and Ubisoft of "Assassin's Creed" and "Far Cry" has Uplay.
Where EA and Activision Blizzard have made their PC releases exclusive to Origin and Battle.net, Rockstar and Ubisoft have continued to sell through Steam.
That's an arrangement that may now be coming to an end, on Ubisoft's behalf at least.
The more favorable revenue split appears to have played a part, as "Ubisoft wants to support" Epic's distribution model.
Ubi's vision of a more console-agnostic, cloud gaming future may also be a factor; Epic and Ubisoft staff are working to integrate "key components" of the two companies' online tech.
Ubisoft previously partnered with Google, providing "Assassin's Creed Odyssey" pre-release for use through tests for Google's Project Stream service.
"The Division 2" launches March 15, 2019 across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.