When Bethesda started dropping more information on Fallout 76, it was confirmed to be skipping Steam. Instead, it will be exclusive to Bethesda.net and available through the company’s launcher. With the success of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 4 on Steam, what motivated the company to take this step, aside from possibly garnering the majority of revenue for itself?
According to Bethesda’s Pete Hines, this move was done to ensure a “direct relationship” with players. Speaking to GameSpot, he said that the always-online nature of the title required this approach.
“Well, because of the kind of game it is,” said Hines when asked about the reasoning behind the change. “Because it’s an online, always-on game-as-a-service. Based on our experience, based on other things that we’ve done, we felt like having a direct relationship with our customers was super important to us.
“And so doing it through Bethesda.net, exclusively, allows us to have that one-to-one relationship with customers, that quite honestly you don’t always have when you go through another third-party where they might own the relationship with the customer in terms of being able to email them or to reach out directly and contact them.”
Hines also mentioned that being exclusive to Bethesda.net “simplifies things”. “We believe it’s going to help us deal with some issues and challenges that we’ve seen in the past,” he said. “And again, its a new experience, like the game itself is and we’re going to see how it goes and how it works and what benefits it allows us to have in making sure that our customers have the best experience possible.”
One possible benefit of launching exclusively on Bethesda.net is being able to release hotfixes, updates, and events on a faster basis. Plus, given the emphasis on Bethesda’s own section for mods, it wouldn’t be strange if this was another way to more tightly regulate mods for Fallout 76 before they release. Regardless, the game skipping Steam isn’t the trend for future titles, so those anticipating The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield can rest easy.
Fallout 76 will be releasing on November 14th for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Its beta will arrive on October 23rd for Xbox One, before coming to PS4 and PC the week after.
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