With the release of Assassin’s Creed II in 2009, Ubisoft launched the Uplay network, which is activated either in-game or via the Uplay website. Uplay allows players to connect with other gamers, and to earn rewards based on achievements (called “Actions”) in Uplay-enabled games, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stating that “the more you play, the more free goods you will be able to have”.
Each Uplay-enabled game has four specific Actions that can be accomplished, earning the player Uplay points, which are referred to as Units. Each Action grants the player either 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 40 Units, which can then be used to unlock game-related rewards; though the Units are not bound to the specific games they were earned in, and may be used to purchase rewards from any available game.
The Uplay desktop client was released on 3 July 2012, replacing the Ubisoft Game Launcher. The desktop client connects Uplay’s currency and reward features, and links a player’s Ubi profile across platforms (consoles, Facebook, PC, and mobile) into a single app. The client is similar to Valve’s Steam and EA’s Origin desktop clients – where the user is able to purchase and launch games from the application.