Yesterday, online reports indicated that Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, and The Crew had all disappeared from Steam's UK store. The Ubisoft titles were previously available for pre-order, and their disappearance may have been triggered by a breakdown in negotiations with Valve. "We've been in discussions with Valve about Assassin's Creed Unity," a Ubisoft representative told PCGamesN, "but for the time being the game is not available via Steam in the UK." The rep went on to suggest purchasing the title through Ubisoft's competing Uplay service, instead.
As it turns out, the holiday releases didn't just defect from Steam in the UK. VG24/7 reports that the games have also disappeared from Steam's U.S. and Australian listings, and I can confirm that they're absent from Steam's Canadian store, too.
Oddly, the Steam community pages for those games are still up. Some posts suggest the titles will return—and that existing pre-orders will be honored—but none of the messages look like official communiques. Apart from noting its "discussions" with Valve, Ubisoft appears to be maintaining radio silence on the matter. As far as I can tell, Valve hasn't made an official statement, either.
If you're feeling a bit of deja vu, that's probably because Valve removed EA's Crysis 2 from Steam a few years back. The eviction was reportedly triggered by EA's refusal to allow Valve to distribute the game's DLC. EA was promoting its competing Origin service at the time, and the publisher has made several titles exclusive to that service since. It would be a shame if Ubisoft followed the same path.
We've reached out to Ubisoft and Valve with some questions about what's going on. We'll update this post if we hear back.
Update: As Ars Technica notes, the missing trio has returned to Steam, though not in the UK and possibly some other regions. Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, and The Crew are listed in the U.S. and Canada, though.