One Service Wants To Bring Steam, Origin & UPlay Together

One Service Wants To Bring Steam, Origin & uPlay Together

No more obnoxious switching.

Steam is pretty great. EA's Origin and Ubisoft's nearly u-seless uPlay? Less so. While more competition for Steam is never a bad thing, EA and Ubisoft have mostly succeeded at forcing people to jump through extra hoops to get at their games. Different stores, different friends lists, different DRM, different interfaces, etc. It's a pain. The goal of Project Ascension? To lessen that pain by unifying Steam, Origin, uPlay, and any other PC game client that might have built a little birdhouse in your e-soul.

In short, Project Ascension aims to bring everything under one roof. As the developers put it:

"Project Ascension's intent is to create an open-source and multi-platform launcher for storing games, searching for good deals and prices, and optionally using community features."

It's not meant to replace the likes of Steam, Origin, and uPlay. Rather, Project Ascension will (hopefully) cut down on hassle as much as possible. The interface looks functional enough, but it's obviously still early. I definitely like many of the ideas behind it, though — especially the deal optimizer.

Project Ascension is being created by a team of 18 volunteers, which ups the chances that not all of them will survive stick around until the end of development. That said, if all goes according to plan there will be an open beta this fall, followed by a full release sometime after that.

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To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @vahn16.


    *If* it worked flawlessly it might be ok, otherwise it will just be another hoop we all have to step through.

      I think you miss the point... instead of having to run 3 DRM apps to play games, this aims to be a centralized hub that controls everything, 1 app, 1 friend list, centralized achievements etc... its less hoops to jump through.

      Last edited 08/07/15 5:01 pm

        Sorta like Trillian was in the days of IM I suppose. Also loved the TMBG reference.

    As someone who plays games from their couch on a TV this would be a godsend.
    Most of my games are on Steam, however needing to go grab my mouse to open origin or something else is a pain.

    As much as I like the idea of bringing it all together, won't this just be another program running in my taskbar alongside steam, origin and uplay? Plus creating another community doesn't really help with the PC community fragmentation.

    There are already apps which link back to these services to give you windows 8/10 tiles.

    Last edited 08/07/15 3:19 pm

      There are multiple ways to do it so you never have to launch steam/uplay/origin again or at the very least once... that said it also depends on the companies and if they want to play ball. If they decide in their infinite wisdom they want people to continue to juggle DRM apps they can shut it down by blocking its various features making the idea a bust. If they support the idea it might mean the end of having to run so many drm apps.

      Last edited 08/07/15 5:05 pm

        Doesn't steam/origin/uplay launch as the DRM though? I've noticed pretty much every time I try to launch a game directly without the launchers open in the tray, especially with uplay and origin, the damned launcher needs an update.

          So one way to do it would be have all 3 running (with what they use and the amount of ram people have this no longer is an issue) but hidden they show up in the task manager but not in your tray etc.. so for instants you might go to launch farcry 4 then this app will say please wait .... while uplay updates, once done it will launch, it could also keep them uptodate checking in the background. So you should never see uplay origin or steam unless you want to.

          Last edited 11/07/15 9:31 am

    Hopefully this if means I am using this program and a mate is on Steam or Origin we can send messages without having to switch programs? If we both need Ascension running it will be a bit of let down, unless it becomes huge and everyone starts using it

    relevant xkcd

    Now watch as probably either Uplay or EA get the lawyers to throw a cease and desist on this...

    They Might Be Giants reference! \o/

    It appears this will support Mac/Linux users as well. Double yay.

    Also, apparently you need a Reddit username to make suggestions - it is a required field in their suggestion form. Sigh.

    """There are too many launchers for PC games. We propose to fix it by introducing a new game launcher."""

    Sounds interesting. The headline made me skeptical, but the details look better.

    I'm hoping this will function a lot like Trillian used to - a chat client that allowed you to log in to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and others, bringing them all together in one messenger app. Really useful in the 90s/00s.

    In theory, it's absolutely genius, being able to get rid of Steam, uplay and Origin and have just the one client that can handle all the libraries.

    Reality sets in and you realise that this might be a project too far, what are the chances that all three parties will play nice with each other and allow this to happen.

    Heyo! Legal advisor for the project here. We have been very careful to avoid the possibility of takedowns, at least legit ones.

    This is massive for so many reasons. I have always thought a program like this could revolutionize the PC gaming industry. Let me explain...

    Imagine this program takes off, and more importantly starts integrating some really powerful features, for instance it allows you to log in of course, buy and install games without ever having to launch origin, uplay or steam again (hopefully GOG soon).

    What is the response to this? Well EA and ubisoft see this happening, realize its taking off and weigh up the options, they could block it... or a very good option is no longer support their (lets face it) sub par DRM programs when this new one does it for them, making Origin and Uplay become essentially storefronts for this new Multi-DRM to use. They control everything server side such as hosting, features, updates etc while this app controls everything client side.

    They get their games sold, they have full control of prices and content releases, they spend no money on maintaining software, no cut or extra cost that is involved with getting a game onto steam. This app could even have Publisher specific features EA might offer refunds while Ubi don't... The store can be arranged multiple ways for easy access... the possibilities are endless.

    What about GOG and Steam? They too might even jump in, cutting DRM down the track (highly unlikely) to be a one stop hosting/storefront for developers to get their games out to the public etc. Their cut is made by not only hosting but implementing features such as refunds etc that a small company couldn't possible afford to do. all of which connects back into this one DRM hub.

    This of course wouldn't happen over night and it would take a long time for trust to be earned, however if this was truly going to work, I would happily pay a small monthly subscription to have everything housed in the one location, might even see something like customer service become a thing.

    Last edited 08/07/15 4:51 pm

    And give EA and Ubi excuses to claim that their active user rates have skyrocketed? No thanks.

    While I really like this idea, the problem is simply that unless it actually removes the requirement of running either UPlay, Origin or Steam from your games, it's basically just another unnecessary launcher.

    With that said, the simple fact of the matter is that if they try and use it to remove the DRM they'll either get a ton of cease and desist letters, or they'll get the accounts of every one of their users banned.

    So it's Trillian for game platforms.

    I'm in.

    Steam has this functionality already. All of my Origin,, retail, etc games are launched through Steam.

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