Everyone was aware of trade-offs when games began moving from physical to digital formats.
Although quicker and more practical, digital downloads meant that you were only partially in possession of the game you had paid for. You were merely leasing it, which left you open to the whims and potential insolvency of the firm that created it. Those issues used to be perceived as remote edge cases. Now that they are happening live, Ubisoft is at the epicenter of the chaos.
The online DLC and multiplayer servers for nearly a dozen titles will be eliminated later this year, the French publisher revealed last week. In addition to that, approximately 100 Ubisoft games have already lost access to some type of online feature. The creator of Far Cry has now disclosed that this widespread “decommissioning” of content extends even further, with Steam players losing access to a full single-player Assassin’s Creed game they already own.
Assassin’s Creed: Liberation is one of the games that Ubisoft stated that “current owners of [decommissioned games] will still be able to access, play, or redownload them” in a statement last July 11. The firm did not elaborate on why the single-player game was still being delisted from Valve’s site, merely stating that only DLC and online features would be impacted and that it was trying to “update this information across all storefronts.”
A new notification for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation has appeared on the Steam website, as reported by Twitter user Nors3.
“At the request of the publisher, Assassin’s Creed® Liberation HD is no longer available for sale on Steam. Please note this title will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022.”
Then the part concerning Assassin’s Creed: Liberation being inaccessible has been removed from the notification on the Steam page for the game. The game can now be bought once more. It was previously taken off the list.
According to SteamDB, the game was recently discounted by 75% as part of the latest Steam Summer sale, and some users have turned to review-bombing the listing to express their displeasure.
Valve and Ubisoft did not reply promptly to a request for comment from the media on whether this was an error or an oversight, while the latter attempted to relate it to its larger online server decommissioning project. “We don’t take the decision to retire services for older Ubisoft games lightly,” Ubisoft said in a statement. “Our teams are currently assessing all available options for players who will be impacted when these games’ online services are decommissioned on September 1st, 2022.”
But in the case of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, users are also losing access to the single-player campaign. Players take on the role of Aveline de Grandpré in New Orleans following the French and Indian War in the 2012 Assassin’s Creed III spin-off. It introduced the first female protagonist of the series and was initially a PS Vita exclusive.
Two years later, a console and PC version with HD support was released, and it has been accessible there ever since. The only way Steam customers will reportedly still be able to get it via Valve’s storefront is as a free add-on for Assassins’ Creed III’s 2019 remaster, even though it is still accessible through the publisher’s Ubisoft Connect client.