Newsbrief: Steam's Early Access service has rapidly become important to developers, as gamers acclimate to playing early versions of games, and developers find that they can gain useful insight from those audiences as well as fund the completion of their games via early sales.
Now, a major publisher is jumping more enthusiastically onto that train, with Ubisoft deciding to bring its free-to-play shooter Ghost Recon Online to the service. It had already experimented with The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, and Might & Magic X: Legacy, but this marks the first time it's offered an IP this big to the Early Access player base.
Ghost Recon Online is currently playable globally via its website, but today Canadian players will be able to access it via Steam Early Access. By this spring, that will be the case worldwide.
"Bringing Ghost Recon Online to Steam has been our goal since the game's inception," Ubisoft producer Corey Facteau said in a statement. "We took the time necessary to reach a quality level that can go head to head with the best online games available today before releasing on Steam... To ensure a seamless transition to the new platform, we will use Early Access to fine tune the Ghost Recon Online experience before releasing it to the rest of the world."
UPDATE: The original version of this story stated that Ghost Recon Online was Ubisoft's first Early Access game. That error has been corrected.