Bethesda’s Pete Hines has said that, despite Fallout 76 skipping Steam in favour of its own exclusive launcher Bethesda.net, it doesn’t mean that all future Bethesda games will forego Valve’s platform.
There was a bit of a storm in a teacup last week, when it was announced that Fallout 76 wouldn’t be coming to Steam. Bethesda has a long and productive relationship with Steam, their games seemingly sell well and the mod support has been integral to the PC community, all made easy by the Steam Workshop.
However, with the persistent online nature of Fallout 76, it seems that Bethesda thought it would be best to keep its next game to itself. Speaking to IGN, Bethesda’s Pete Hines explained that this doesn’t mean its future games won’t get Steam support. He said:
We did not announce ‘all future Bethesda games will not be on Steam. That is not what we said. We said ‘this game will be available exclusively on Bethesda.net.’
Hines went on to explain that for games like Doom Eternal, that decision hasn’t yet been made:
We haven’t decided on anything else, this is specific to Fallout 76 given the kind of game it is — it’s an online, ongoing game. [Doom Eternal] may or may not, but it hasn’t been decided on anything else yet.
Lastly, on specifically why Fallout 76 will be missing Steam, Hines said the company wanted a more direct line to its players.
We feel like the best way for us to provide the best experience and service to our customers is to be dealing with them directly, and not through someone else. There are some different things that have happened or have come up where having everyone work directly with you does make things a little easier in terms of talking to your player base, having them talk to you.
Of course, this likely won’t satisfy everyone, as it is certainly convenient not having to split your digital library across several launchers. Having a launcher for most major game studios can be a lot to keep track of and certainly makes things a little harder. At the same time, it does loosen Steam’s iron grip on the PC market, which has its benefits too, making sure Valve doesn’t have a monopoly on the space. We will have to see how much of an issue this is for the player base with Fallout 76. I assume Bethesda will make its decision on future titles on that.