Fallout 76 Won’t Be on Steam, Says Bethesda | Gaming
Over the last few days, Bethesda has confirmed several aspects about Fallout 76 and its forthcoming beta. For example, the Fallout 76 beta will include the full game (as opposed to a small portion of it) and beta progress will carry over to the game upon release. While this news has gone down incredibly well with fans, one other piece of information appears to have divided players.
On the game’s official FAQ page, Bethesda explains that the PC version of Fallout 76 will be available “via Betehsda.net only.” After being asked about this listing, a Bethesda spokesperson confirmed, “The PC version of Fallout 76, for both the B.E.T.A. and the launch, will be available only via Bethesda.net, not on Steam.” This will mean that Fallout 76 will be the very first game in the Fallout franchise to skip the Valve-owned platform.
The representative doesn’t appear to have elaborated on these comments, or detail exactly why Bethesda is skipping Steam, but it’s not difficult to see why. The biggest reason is likely that Bethesda wants a greater share of the profit for itself. For every purchase that a user makes on Steam, Valve takes a cut of around 30%. Given that Fallout 76 will have microtransactions and plenty of post-launch content, this game will continuously generate revenue for Bethesda after the initial purchase of the game. This is revenue that the company doesn’t want to share.
Another reason is that it serves Bethesda to get players using its own launcher. When players use the Bethesda launcher, they will solely see updates for information about Bethesda games. Unlike with Steam, which has thousands upon thousands of games all competing for eyeballs, Bethesda can promote its own games and merchandise all day long on its own launcher. Again, the reasoning comes down to money.
For many prospective Fallout 76 players and Steam users, the announcement may be incredibly disappointing. Fallout 76 is a social, connected multiplayer game, and yet many of Steam’s social features, including its friends list and its trading cards won’t be accessible. Many are also miffed that they won’t be able to use the money in their Steam wallets, which they’ve gathered from gift cards or sales on the marketplace, to put towards the game.
Bethesda isn’t the only one aiming to get people to use its own launcher. Epic Games uses its own launcher for Fortnite on PC (it’s also ditching Google Play for Android), while the PC version of Destiny 2 is hosted by the Battle.net app, as Blizzard and Bungie are technically one in the same. So, all things considered, players should expect to see more examples of this soon.
Fallout 76 releases November 14, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.