Update [2:55 p.m. ET]: A representative for Ubisoft has sent USgamer the same statement quoted previously, confirming that the three-day early access period is being stripped from Watch Dogs: Legion's premium editions. At the time of this update, both Ubisoft's official store page and listings for the premium editions on Amazon and Best Buy have not yet been updated to reflect the change.
The original story follows.
For a while now, Ubisoft has offered brief windows of early access to some of its blockbuster titles as a bonus for folks who pre-order premium editions of its games. At least with Watch Dogs: Legion, which already had an early access bonus listed for all three of its premium options, it seems like the practice is coming to an end.
Word of the change comes from Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners, who shared a message credited to Ubisoft on Twitter. The statement says that Ubisoft has "worked to refine the content of the game's premium editions with additions and adjustments to improve the player experience," and in doing so, has decided to abandon the initially promised three days of early access across the board.
The Season Pass has been enhanced to offer players additional story-based content while still delivering the premium characters and cosmetics from the original pass. Additionally, all editions of Watch Dogs Legion will be released simultaneously on 10.29.2020. As a result, the "3 days early access" has been removed from the Gold, Ultimate, and Collector's Editions of Watch Dogs Legion.
At the moment, "3 Day Early Access" is still listed as a feature for the three premium editions on Ubisoft's official U.S. store website. Conversely, a press release about Legion published after yesterday's Ubisoft Forward presentation makes no word of the early access perk in its descriptions of the Gold, Ultimate, and Collector's Edition bonuses. USgamer has reached out to an Ubisoft representative for clarification.
Past Ubisoft premium releases, including ones for Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Ghost Recon Breakpoint, have included similar early access bonuses, making it something of a regular offering at this point. Notably, Assassin's Creed Valhalla's store page lacks any mention of an early access period for premium editions.
USG recently had hands-on time with both Legion and Valhalla, getting an early look at what all players will see when they launch in October and November, respectively. Legion was delayed from an early 2020 launch, so it may pain diehards to hear that they'll need to wait a bit longer before they can start messing around in its dystopian open-world London. That said, three days isn't that much of an early access phrase to begin with, and if this change does indeed reflect a broader trend with Ubisoft's launches, it may well be overshadowed by the news surrounding the ongoing investigations and changes at the company in the wake of serious harassment, abuse, and assault allegations.