The Division 2 has more PC preorders than the original, despite skipping Steam

Ubisoft surprised a lot of people in January when it announced that The Division 2 will be released on the Epic Games Store and not Steam—and that at least some of its future PC releases will be given the same treatment. Ubi said at the time that it believes Epic will "deliver a smooth journey," from preordering to release, and that Epic's effort to "disrupt" the industry is "something Ubisoft wants to support." 

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot went deeper into the company's reasoning for changing stores today during an earnings call, and the short (and obvious) version is that Ubisoft believes it can make more money outside of Steam. So far it sounds like the strategy is working out well. 

"There is a growing number of distribution platforms fighting for great content. With this deal, we saw an opportunity to increase player's exposure to our own store, while at the same time supporting a partner that greatly values our games and provides materially better terms," Guillemot said. 

"Early indications are supportive, as PC preorders are higher than for the first Division, and preorders on the Ubisoft Store are six times higher. We believe this deal is a long-term positive for Ubisoft." 

He reiterated the point during a followup Q&A session. Being on the Epic Store "really helped to actually do more of our business on our own store, and to have a better revenue per unit sold via the Epic deal," he said. "So altogether it's really helped us to go smoothly from Steam."

Ubisoft hasn't made an official forecast for Division 2 sales, but Guillemot said "it has all it takes to be a bigger seller, lifetime, than Division 1." All told, it doesn't sound like Ubisoft will be walking this one back anytime soon. The Division 2 comes out on March 15.