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Bethesda confirms Fallout 76 won't launch on Steam

A few prominent games have skipped Steam over the past few months, and it looks like Fallout 76 is joining the club. According to a statement Bethesda issued to PC Gamer, the title's "B.E.T.A." test and final client will only be available through Bethesda.net.

This is somewhat surprising because usually publishers want to maximize the number of gamers who play their product on PC by putting their titles on Steam. However, Bethesda made a huge push for Bethesda.net at E3 2017 and E3 2018, so it's understandable that the company wants more people to use it. Fallout 76 is one of the biggest games launching this year. It's definitely a great way to promote the platform.

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,

Even though Fallout 76 is entirely online, it isn't a massively multiplayer online game. At any given time you'll be playing with dozens of people, not thousands. It's similar to titles like Anthem and Destiny 2. However, if you don't like playing with other gamers, you can also experience the title on your own. However, it's much easier if you have help, especially when it comes to gathering resources and building.

Fallout 76 isn't a hardcore survival game like Ark: Survival Evolved or Conan Exiles. Bethesda's Todd Howard called it "softcore survival", but it's unclear what that means. It seems that the focus will mostly be on completing quests rather than mining resources or chopping down trees. That's the type of "survival" many gamers prefer.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

26 Comments
  • *sigh* Not impressed with the way PC gaming is becoming like the subscription streaming market.
  • I understand why they are ditching Steam since they are player-hostile, but why not launch together with GoG?
  • This I'd like to see. But then again no point, like TESO does, there will be a Bethesda client running in the background, which you have to login through to the game.
    GoG is my favourite place for single-player games. DRM-Free is ❤ 😁
  • OH YES
  • Maybe ms should make a deal for the windows store
  • yea, it seems this game comes with no play anywhere support then. One has to wonder what's getting the port this time around, the xbox one x or the PC...
  • I'm going to take a stab in the dark and assume the retail game will come to Steam.
  • Probably after a year.
  • This game sucks to me now. Sorry but Bethesda games are glitch af and maybe they should worry about that instead of launching a service that's just gonna suck anyways
  • How many hours have you put into it?
  • The game isn’t even out yet.
  • Fallout: 76 is the crown achievement of Bethesda. They never cared about the lore nor the player base. All they wanted all along is paid mods and to spend as little dimes arriving there. They have bread a monster to justify their greed.
  • Good! Steam is cancer.
  • Well they are big enough to do this. I am pretty sure Rockstar will do the same with the next GTA or Red Dead Redemption game.
    They rather don't give 30 percent of the sales to a competitor and use that money to build their own storefront. These days more and more games become a service anyway.
    You will always face this thing with open platforms like MacOS, PC, Android etc. I always find it strange that people are praising how open an OS is but when a game publisher capitalize on this openness everybody is raising the pitchforks and want the product in 1 store.
    Only Xbox, PS4, Switch and the iOS AppStore are walled gardens so if you want one unified over expensive digital store...play there.
    Personally if I was the publisher I would take the middle ground approach. Put it on my own storefront at normal price and also in the competing stores and add the +30 percent Valve/Google/EA/... tax to the price. That way everybody is happy.
  • Developers have to pay a 30 % commission fee on sales to Valve. Its' too expensive and same with Microsoft store.
  • I wish devs would just start offering games as UWP through the store. We're going to lose so many games once Windows Core OS becomes the standard. And Play Anywhere would be a nice touch.
  • Even better as XPA!! Or cross-save integration. I don't mind paying twice if I soooo want to continue my progress on the go. But play twice? No way.
  • Core OS will still be able to run old code I believe.
  • This is BS. Having to use a program to download games is dumb enough, but having to get a different program for each company is even dumber.
  • This!
  • There are definite upsides to using a program to manage games (easy patch/DLC management, community features, etc) but I do agree that having to use 9001 different programs to do the same thing is definitely a bad experience ripped straight from the subscription streaming playbook.
  • It's all a clever ploy to widen their profit margins while forcing DRM on people. I exclusively use GOG for x86 games for that very reason.
  • 1. PC is a free market.
    2. Why contribute 30% to Valve? (Unlike MS, if anything happened between driver, OS or user-installed-background-services, Valve contributes no effort to help solving the issues. MS, OEM, HW provider and game developer are the ones scratching heads)
    3. It's not just for DLs, it's actually managing the license.
    4. Is Steam gearing up for ARM64?
    5. Store's occupied by indies. Maybe this is why they want to start their own.
  • Remember those days when games could be bought in a store you went to? You got a neat box and a floppy disc, than floppy discs, than CD, than CDs, than DVD, than DVDs and you just installed it from them and it did it's thing without extra stuff needed? But I also remember even then you had things like Xfire or whatever they were called that already some wanted/needed you to install as well, otherwise no-can-do internet play. And you still had to keep track of the game publisher/creator site for any news of a patch or anything. So, this isn't new, at least to me it isn't. And running a small program in the background on your 8 or 16 GB mem PC? Big deal. So it's not on Steam? Well, boohoo but the world just keeps spinning and nothing dramatic will happen. None of those services will survive anyway. Not because I don't like them or something, but that's just how things go. They come and go, come and go. Even things like Google and Facebook someday will wither away because something else will eventually supersede it. Facebook's decline seems to have already started. There's only 3 things that stay:
    - gamers
    - games
    - a platform
  • It'll be their loss, I guess...
  • 30% win margin for valve??? Ffs...