Bethesda has confirmed that Fallout 76 and its beta will be launching on its own service and won’t be coming to Steam.
It feels like the iron vice that Steam has on the digital storefront market has begun to loosen just a little bit. While a few years ago Steam held a monopoly with a few fringe services like GoG and Origins, that has seemingly freed up a little bit with some games having great success off of Steam. From Xbox’s Play Anywhere to Origin Access and, of course, Epic’s launcher with Fortnite, it seems that games and services can be pretty successful away from the platform.
Fallout 76 is going to be the next game to try going it alone away from Valve’s store. Confirming to PCGamer, Bethesda said both Fallout 76 and its beta would be available only on Bethesda.net at launch.
This is a big departure for the company, which has seemingly had a long-standing relationship with Valve. The mod integration for games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim has proven to be very popular, and their games sell consistently well on the Steam platform. It seems as if Bethesda is going to take a crack at really pushing its own client instead, something we are seeing more and more from companies like Ubisoft.
This certainly is an interesting development. The real question now is: will we see other publishers becoming bolder and bolder as time goes on? Fortnite proved you can be the biggest game in the world without the help of Steam, and I wonder if other publishers want to try their hand at their own client. The implications of this certainly should be interesting to see play out in the long term.