At QuakeCon this year, Bethesda confirmed that Fallout 76 is going to be releasing exclusively on Bethesda.net with no support for Steam. The company has since clarified that future games may very well remain on Valve’s platform going forward.
“We did not announce ‘all future Bethesda games will not be on Steam,’” Hines explained. “That is not what we said. We said ‘this game will be available exclusively on Bethesda.net.’”
The news comes from an interview done by Pete Hines at QuakeCon, where he expanded on Bethesda’s decision to limit Fallout 76‘s release to just the Bethesda launcher. He spoke about wanting to keep the game purely within their control – at least at the beginning – so they can more effectively troubleshoot when something goes wrong.
“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. I am 100% sure I know whose fault it is and whose problem it is when you’re having an issue with the game: it’s ours.”
Hines also addressed the state of Doom Eternal as it relates to Steam, and whether or not Fallout 76 might make it to Steam in the future. His answers to both questions were noncommittal, basically amounting to not being willing to confirm anything just yet.
It’s worth noting that both of the online Elder Scrolls games – Elder Scrolls Online and Elder Scrolls Legends – both released exclusively on Bethesda’s platform before eventually finding their way to Steam later on.
As companies like Bethesda, Epic, EA, and Blizzard all begin to stray further from Steam, Steam has become less and less of a vital tool in the arsenal of PC hobbyists. Bethesda making the choice to ditch the platform altogether, while unlikely, certainly wouldn’t be that surprising in the grand scheme of things. The future of the publisher’s games on Steam will likely depend on the success of Fallout 76.