Ubisoft says Steam games that ‘will not be accessible’ will remain playable

Multiple Ubisoft games on Steam “will not be accessible” after September 1st, according to notices on the games’ Steam pages. But based on a statement from Ubisoft, the situation isn’t as bad as that message would make it seem.

If you want to see an example of the new notice, check out the Steam page for Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD. It has two:

  • “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.”

The notices on Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD’s Steam page.
Image: Ubisoft via Steam

Last week, Ubisoft announced that it would be shutting down multiplayer for more than a dozen games, also on September 1st, and four games on that list have the “will not be accessible” notice. The notice appears to warn players that their purchases won’t be playable at all. But confusingly, current owners will actually be able to access affected games, according to Ubisoft.

“As stated in our support article, only DLCs and online features will be affected by the upcoming decommissioning,” Ubisoft senior corporate communications manager Jessica Roache said in a statement to The Verge. “Current owners of those games will still be able to access, play, or redownload them. Our teams are working with our partners to update this information across all storefronts and are also assessing all available options for players who will be impacted when these games’ online services are decommissioned on September 1st, 2022.”

I asked specifically if this means that people who own the games with the “will not be accessible” message will be able to access, play, or redownload them, and Roache confirmed that would be the case.

As of this writing, all but one of the PC games mentioned in Ubisoft’s support article that I could find on Steam have a notice of some kind.

Here are the games with the no longer for sale notice and the “will not be accessible” notice:

Some games have a notice saying that DLC within this product as well as online elements and features will become unavailable, though the base game will remain accessible as of Sept 1st, 2022.” That tracks with what Ubisoft said about those games last week. Here’s the full list of those titles:

As for other games mentioned in Ubisoft’s blog post, Assassin’s Creed III has the notice that it’s no longer for sale on Steam, but it does not have the notice that it will become inaccessible. Assassin’s Creed II doesn’t have any notices on its Steam page. I couldn’t find a Steam overview page for Driver San Francisco, though, on a community page, there are some complaints about the game being inaccessible.

This messy situation is yet another reminder that ownership of digital content is often at the whims of companies and situations outside of your control. Just last week, it came to light that Sony would be removing some movies and TV shows bought on the PlayStation Store from libraries for customers in Germany and Austria.

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