Bethesda's upcoming post-apocalyptic role-playing game Fallout 76 may skip Steam at launch. According to the game's FAQ on the official Fallout 76 website, the Fallout 76 PC beta will be via Bethesda.net rather than Steam. Furthermore, there's no listing for the game on Steam yet. An oddity considering Fallout 4 was available for pre-order on Steam months prior to release. This wouldn't be the first time Bethesda has decided against a Steam release for its games. In the past, The Elder Scrolls Legends and Fallout Shelter weren't at Steam first. Instead they were available via Bethesda's own launcher and were put on Steam later.
"The beta will be available on Xbox One, PS4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net). Stay tuned for exact timing for each platform here and Fallout on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please note that the beta for Xbox One will begin first, followed by other platforms," reads the Fallout 76 FAQ.
That said, we won't be surprised if Fallout 76 is the company's first major attempt at pushing users towards its own platform. Granted its games have seen tremendous success on Steam, but with Steam itself unclear of its own policies with regards to censorship and ethics, now is a good time as any for major publishers to consider their options. Activision has done the same recently with Destiny 2 and now Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 being exclusive to Battle.net and has seen it work in its favour (at least in the case of Destiny 2 PC sales).
Throw in the fact that Bethesda hasn't outright stated if the game is coming to Steam just yet could imply its weighing its options. As for gamers, with Steam, GOG, Uplay, Origin, Battle.net, and perhaps Bethesda's own client, you may have to deal with multiple PC game clients as a regular occurrence if you want to play the latest and greatest at launch.
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.