Ubisoft reveals game subscription service UPlay Plus for PC and Google Stadia

By Nick Statt

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Every big game publisher is getting into the subscription business, and the latest entrant is Ubisoft. Today at the company’s E3 2019 press conference, Ubisoft announced UPlay Plus, a PC game subscription service sporting more than 100 Ubisoft-published titles and coming out on September 3rd. The service is designed similarly to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and EA’s Origin Access for PC and EA Access for console. Effectively, you pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to a database of games you can download and play however much you like.

Ubisoft’s version is much pricier than competitors, however. The company says it will cost $14.99 per month when it launches on September 3rd. EA / Origin Access is just $4.99 per month and $29.99 per year, while Microsoft sells Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 on both console and PC. Microsoft also sells Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which bundles subscriptions for both console and PC and throws in a subscription to Xbox Live Gold all for $14.99, the same price as Ubisoft’s new service. Ubisoft does say that its service grants you access to all downloadable content and expansions for games included in the subscription, which is a big plus for players getting in late on titles like The Division 2.

That said, Ubisoft does have one key benefit: its subscription is coming to Google Stadia. The company says it partnered with Google to launch UPlay Plus on Stadia some time next year, marking the first partnership between Google’s cloud gaming platform and a third-party publisher since Stadia chief Phil Harrison announced just earlier this week that Stadia would be open to hosting other companies’ services.

Google is offering its own subscription service as part of Stadia’s consumer launch slated for November that right now only includes Bungie’s Destiny 2, in addition to the $9.99 monthly fee required to use the service. Google says there will be a free version of Stadia launching at some point in 2020, but as of now, it sounds like if you want to use UPlay Plus on Stadia, you’ll need to pay both companies separate subscription services. It’s actually not a bad deal if you want to play The Division 2 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on Stadia, considering both those games and the upcoming Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint are confirmed for Stadia, but will have to be purchased individually.