WAR MIGHT NEVER CHANGE, but Bethesda's distribution of post-apocalyptic games has, with Fallout 76 shunning Steam to instead launch on Bethesda.net.
Bethesda has previously used Steam as the main PC platform for its Fallout games, going back to Fallout 3, when the developer rebooted and reimagined the game series.
But now it looks like Bethesda wants to go it alone, a little like Epic Games plans to do with the long-awaited Android version of Fortnite.
"The B.E.T.A. will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net)," noted the Fallout 76 FAQ. "Both the B.E.T.A. and the game will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net only)."
There's no word as to why Bethesda has made such a move but it's likely down two to points. First, by hosting the game's distribution itself, Bethesda avoids giving Steam's overlords Valve a 30 per cent cut of the profits it makes from game sales and any in-game purchases.
Secondly, Bethesda will have tighter control over Fallout 76 and the community likely to spring up around it, which will likely be needed as it has been designed as a multiplayer-centric game rather than the single-player orientation of previous Fallout titles.
All this seems pretty sensible, but then Steam has been very useful for Bethesda games in supporting mods for Fallout and The Elder Scrolls titles, thanks to the Steam Workshop. So moving away from Steam could make integrating mods into Fallout 76, if indeed the PC version will support them, a bit more challenging than in previous Fallout games.
For Valve, Bethesda's move away from Steam could affect its revenues a tad, but the one-time game maker makes so much money supporting all manner of PC games, it probably made a collective shrug at the idea of losing Fallout 76. µ
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