Ubisoft has clarified that decommissioning Assassin's Creed Liberation HD on Steam will only affect online features and DLC, and that players will still be able to access the games they have purchased once the process has gone through.
"As stated in our support article, only DLCs and online features will be affected by the upcoming decommissioning. Current owners of those games will still be able to access, play or redownload them," the publisher said in a statement to VG247.
"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. It has always been our intention to do everything in our power to allow those legacy titles to remain available in the best possible conditions for players, and this is what we are working towards."
Ubisoft and Steam have updated the language on the page to reflect this. The Steam page that previously stated "Please note this title will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022" now reads "DLC for this product and online elements and features will become unavailable, as of Sept 1st, 2022. The base game will continue to be playable."
Ubisoft clarifies the use of the word 'decomissioned' in the sense of its digital products further on its dedicated support article, which you can check at the link.
So, TL;DR, if you already own the game and the DLCs for those other games already, you will be able to access and redownload them after September 1. The titles won’t be available for purchase for new customers, however.
ORIGINAL STORY: Assassin's Creed Liberation delisted on Steam, soon to be inaccessible even for players that have purchased it
You may remember Assassin’s Creed Liberation: it's the only game in the series with a black female protagonist, it initially launched for the PlayStation Vita back in 2012, and then it got a HD rework in 2014 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
But, even if you've purchased the title at some point in the past, it looks like you'll soon be unable to play it. Per a note on the game's Steam page, Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD “will not be accessible following September 1st, 2022.” That goes for whether you've purchased it or not. It's already been delisted.
That means, if at any point in the game's life, you decided to purchase it via Steam, you will be unable to access and play this single-player title from September. Even a cursory look at online message boards and social media shows you how unpopular this idea is.
Yes, you'll still be able to access a version of the game via Assassin's Creed 3 Remastered, but it's not the standalone version of the game that you may have otherwise paid for. The game was also part of a bundle during the Steam Summer Sale – some players have reported that they purchased the game during the sale and won't be able to play it (as well as noting that other games have had their DLC removed, too).
Others are worried that this sets a precedent for digital game ownership, and that other publishers may be inspired to follow the lead in the future. Given there's already consumer concern about digital rights to games once they've been delisted, this latest move sends a worrying message.
“We don’t take the decision to retire services for older Ubisoft games lightly, and 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," Ubisoft told VG247 when asked for comment.
"We are also working with our partners to update this information across all storefronts, so players will be fully informed about the removal of online services at the point of purchase as well as via our support article where we shared the news.” The publisher noted it will notify us if there's an update to its prepared remarks with regards to Liberation, specifically.
As for Liberation itself, the game is something of a meta-narrative regarding the world of Assassin's Creed, with the title being released by Abstergo Industries to the public as a propaganda tool to show that the war between Assassins and Templars isn't quite as black and white as some would have you believe. It's a curio, for sure, and – in my eyes at least – was far more interesting than Assassin's Creed 3 (the game it was released to complement, back in the day).