Morsels of info regarding Fallout 76 have been handed out during the weekend’s QuakeCon panels. We learned about how the perk cards will work, we discovered how Bethesda intends to deal with griefers, but the fact that made the most noise (while being the least relevant) is that the game won’t be released on Steam. If you want it on PC, you’ll have to buy it on Bethesda’s store and use their launcher to play it. If the vocal minority of players on various subreddits is to be believed, it is literally the end of the world as we know it.
Why isn’t Fallout 76 coming to Steam?
The news was announced during a presentation, but more clarification followed in a Q&A panel with Pete Hines, Bethesda’s vice president of global marketing. According to Hines, the reason for not launching on Steam is that Fallout 76 is going to be different from the stuff they’ve done until now. It’s going to be more of a “games as a service”(bleurgh) type of thing, which means ongoing changes. The developers want to be in charge, as close to the players as possible, and they want to be certain that if something doesn’t work, it’s their own fault. It should make for better communication between the devs and the players, and for speedier problem solving.
Of course, there’s also the tiny matter of Steam’s 30% cut. When you’re as big as Fallout is, it kinda makes sense to ditch the middle man and keep all the profit for yourself. The Fallout brand has the strength to pull people away from the digital distribution behemoth, so there’s no dilemma there. Anything that weaknes Steam’s monopoly on the PC games market is a good thing, as far as we’re concerned.