Ubisoft is spreading everywhere with its new competitive 6v6 shooter Tom Clancy’s XDefiant. Not only does it come to PC and all consoles priced for free, but it also aims to have full compatibility between day one. However, on PC, XDefiant availability will be limited. The game will not arrive on Steam or Epic Games Store at launch, and there is no guarantee that it will ever arrive.
"From now on, the game will be on Ubisoft Connect once it's completely out," an Ubisoft representative told PC Gamer. "There are discussions about other stores that have the game after the launch, but nothing has been determined yet."
For the foreseeable future, XDefiant will only be playable on computers using Ubisoft Connect application (formerly known as Uplay). All Ubi games released in recent years have required application in one way or another. If you release games like Rainbow Six Siege or Assassin's Creed Valhalla via Steam or Epic right now, Ubisoft Connect must run in the background to authorize the game.
The departure of Steam and Epic is abnormal for the publisher. Since 2019, Ubisoft has partnered with Epic for its PC versions. Earlier, Ubisoft games hit Steam on the first day. Three upcoming Ubi games: Rainbow Six Extraction, Riders Republic and Far Cry 6—they have store pages in the Epic store. Games that are even further away from the release, such as Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and Skull & Bones, do not.
Ubisoft did not clarify why XDefiant is not considered for other showcases during the launch, but it could have something to do with the game’s monetization plans. Since he is free to play, it is safe to assume that Ubi intends to make money with game purchases. If it's on Steam or the Epic Games Store, Ubisoft should share some of those in-game purchases with Valve and Epic. Ubi's other announced free-to-play game, The Heartland Division, also doesn't have an Epic page, though that could be considered too recent.
Battle Royale's Hyper Scape, free to play, finally hit the Epic store when it was fully released in August 2020. XDefiant may go through a similar process, but of course other showcases aren't Ubi's current priority. Ubisoft is currently taking inscriptions for the first playable XDefiant test starting on August 5th. If you agree, you will need to play Ubisoft Connect, of course.