Fallout 76 Won’t Run Through Steam

Fallout 76 Won’t Run Through Steam

Rumours have been kicking around for a while, and now it’s pretty much locked in: if you’re looking forward to playing Fallout 76, you won’t be using Steam.

Bethesda confirmed that the beta and release version of their latest Fallout would run exclusively through the Bethesda launcher and would “be available only via Bethesda.net”, in an email with PC Gamer. That’s not a huge surprise given the upgrades and changes Bethesda has been making to their launcher, but forgoing Valve’s platform will still have substantial practical effects.

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For one, it means you won’t have easy access to your friends list when it comes to invite people to your Fallout 76 squad. Secondly, Steam Workshop integration will be off the table, meaning mods will have to work through another system such as the Bethesda Creation Club. (Todd Howard confirmed at E3 that Fallout 76 would have mod support, although it would be restricted to private games and wouldn’t be added to 76 until after launch.)

One benefit of all of this, according to the official FAQ, is that beta progress will carry over into the full game. “Our current plan for the B.E.T.A. is it will be the full game and all your progress is saved for launch,” the FAQ says.

Dataminers, I imagine, would be thrilled with that idea. The beta for Fallout 76 will kick off on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in October, with the beta coming to Xbox One users first. Exact dates are still unknown.


  • Valve is starting to look at needing to make an acquisition in order to keep the number of first party titles on its store high.

  • Not surprising news really as it would of been on sale on Steam already.

    You can run mods from Bethesda.net already. Not a bad system actually I have my FO4 ones uploaded there

  • They’ve probably seen Fortnite succeed and decide that their game is big enough not to need to be tied to Steam. If it succeeds, I wonder if they’ll look at doing it with their other future titles?

    • I suspect we’re going to see this more and more, particularly from the big players. Steam does bugger all for visibility these days and then takes 30% of your sales. It’s not much of a value proposition.

      • I was thinking about this recently and I don’t discover anything on Steam – I still find out about new games from places like Kotaku. Steam still shows me a bunch of random stuff that I’ve never shown interest in and never will.

          • Steam has become the sphincter of the game industry. It just poops out the worse crap now. If you want decent indie/non-AAA titles, then go to GOG. If you want AAA titles, go to specific publishers.

            Steam lost me long ago when they abused Australia by continuing to charge us in $US.

        • Pretty much. It’s just a place to collate and launch your games from and that’s it. But really, that’s not much of an issue anymore.

          • To be honest, it was never an issue before either. I collated my games on MY DESKTOP and launched them from there just fine for a good 5 years before steam came along and just…. steamed the place up.

          • Pretty much. We’ve reached a point of stability where Origin is just as stable as Steam, despite peoples preference for one or the other, and even UPlay is stable now. Steam has however slid into being the Mos Eisley of the Online game lockerrooms unfortunately for Valve. They COULD fix this if they wanted, but by setting it as ‘international waters’, they’re reaping what they’ve sowed. I’m all for this idea, but the practice has its drawbacks.

          • Yeah I don’t get their hands off approach. I think opening the floodgates has ruined it.

            I remember deals, a way smaller selection of mostly good games. Now it’s just…. eck.

          • Yep, it’s one of those ‘utopia’ ideas, where ‘utopia’ is never what one dreams it to be. For a perfect society to exist, some sort of rule and regulation set must exist. Without it, it’s chaos to some degree or another, or will eventually sink into chaos. We’re seeing that now for sure. I wonder legitimately, how much longer Steam has in it? I remember in an interview, Gabe said that if Steam ever went under, everyone could download all their games over a period of time from Steam and would be given a list of their official keys. At 1000+ games now, or nearish it, I don’t relish having to flitter around the internet gathering all those up…

          • @weresmurf Can’t imagine it going under… but if it did I would use it as an opportunity to prune my collection. I would just take the good stuff and let the rest disappear into the digital abyss.

            Cos I hate owning games that I don’t play. It just reminds me that I waste money on things I don’t need.

            In other news, I bought Dead Cells for my switch yesterday. Already gotten my money’s worth, it’s really good.

  • I still wish that the games industry had gotten together and agreed on an open format for digital distribution. The current model is like saying “Oh, you can only sell games in our EB GAME BOXES, if you want to sell in another store, you’ll need to buy TARGET GAME BOXES and GAMESTOP BOXES”. It’s garbage.

    Splitting installs across multiple platforms is shitty for consumers.

    • There’s never going to be an ‘open format’ for distribution because of the logistics required to maintain it – Steam and GOG are as close as you’re going to get, and that simply means we approach an oligopoly. I don’t want either to have too much power in controlling video game distribution, or we’ll end up like the consoles. Can you imagine if Origin for example emerged as the top digital distribution platform?

      It’s less convenient but giving total power to one (or only a few) distribution platforms isn’t much better. If people stop demanding Steam control everything, Steam might start getting less shitty and Valve might have to invest some actual effort into it as opposed to reacting to things when it becomes too much of an issue.

      • To be fair they could have approached it in a consortium manner (like you get for web standards or MPEG and so on). However, that would have only guaranteed the distribution standard, not the infrastructure. And that’s probably where the biggest costs and issues are.

        I can’t see major companies wanting to give up control either. A lot of them work on the principle of cross-advertising, but only within their own products. So the idea of using an open-source equivalent to Steam would be abhorrent, since their products would be “lost” in among a ton of competing products on the storefront.

        I’d actually like to see a more decentralised system for friends, lobbies, etc. Maybe taking advantages of P2P techniques. Try to do away with a reliance on company hosted servers that get shut down at a whim. But I don’t know whether it’d be viable.

        • To be fair they could have approached it in a consortium manner
          This is meaningless though because it’s literally just a packet of data. They could distribute them as self-extracting zip files for all the difference it makes. It’s DRM and distribution that makes the difference – well, except for GOG I guess. Nobody’s going to want an open source DRM solution – nobody meaning ‘no publisher’ here.

          Again GOG is always the exception but they aren’t dealing in many big title AAA games like Fallout 76.

          • I stand by the comment. They could have defined *everything* to do with online distribution of games, compression, encryption, file types, DRM, even the store-front appearance and tags that identify a game’s genre, everything. Make all distribution a standardised practise, but again, it wouldn’t matter because the problem is the infrastructure. Ultimately someone needs to setup distribution servers and store-fronts and that (A) costs money and (B) creates competition that companies don’t want.

            Why would the PUBG guys be happy with helping fund a distribution platform that also sells Fortnite and other Battle Royale games?

            I suspect publishers would love an open source (ie: royalty free) DRM solution. That’d be great for them rather than forking out big money to Denuvo or the like.

    • We have that. They’re called consoles. Where all of the distribution is handled centrally on a box designed for gaming.

      The PC is an open platform, and that’s what makes it great. People play on PC because they like the ability to customise and do their own thing. That also comes with having companies having the freedom to distribute however they want. But this is a good thing. A central distribution channel leads to decreased freedom [and usually increased prices].

  • Still doesnt explain why it is not being sold on Steam?

    Ubisoft games Install and Execute by Steam only to autorun the Uplay launcher. A lot of free2play and massive multiplayer games also executectheirvown launcher/install.

    So the reason they are avoiding Steam is a financial one? Did the failed attempt at creation club with Valve sour their relationship? Or was Microsoft exclusive deal just that good that they ate selling it only there? (With a bad AUD price cause Bethesda doesnt understand how Australian dollar works)

    • Either of those reasons, OR… they just decided they can host distribution themselves at about the cost of paying lawyers to deal with Valve, and not having to pay a third of their revenue to Valve would make up for any shortfall in sales numbers.

      To me, this seems the most likely reason. Valve’s cut is pretty fucking huge.

    • Replying to myself because comment edits = moderation hell on this site for some reason.

      Not saying i live steam. I just wish we could go back to the days where i buy a game and install it and play it. I dont need 1000 different launchers taking up resources to start a game. just give me a freaking icon on the desktop and run it natively for once.

      • The launcher probably updates the game, which will happen a lot given it’s an online game – same as for WoW or ESO etc.

      • I wish I could upvote that more than once. I hate that I now have Battle.net, Steam, UPlay and Origin on my PC and it just seems to keep growing.

        It’s why I love GoG games, even though they have a similar client you don’t have to use it.

      • It’s funny, because this is actually a complaint that I’ve had around publisher-centric thinking in gaming since the 90s. In Windows 95, your default start menu directory for all new games was Start->Games->Publisher->Actual game folder. As if anyone actually wanted to go looking for their favourite EA/Microsoft/Ubisoft game by publisher. In those days, at least, you just renamed the install folder and grumbled about how annoying that was. Now… you have to install the launcher instead, and let it live on your desktop/start menu, and you really DO have to browse by your publisher to get to a specific game.

        Shit got worse instead of better. Hooray.

  • It’s sad news to me mainly because I love the way steam keeps things up to date. Open it once a day and the majority of your games will just do their thing. It’s part of why I rarely play blizzard games or fortnight – when I have a hankering for those specific games there’s always a massive update to download.

  • Will probably use a similar server shard and updater system as ESO. Can’t say yet what the game will be like, but I think it’ll be a divisive issue up to and through launch. Some are still raw about ESO.

  • Wow, a good reason to start ignoring these games, one hopes that they will use steam for the next actual game. As bad as steam may be most of the time, I’ve still got access and spent more on games since I initially started using it for games other then valve based games.

  • I think this might have something to do with the blowback steam and Bethesda got with their failed paid mods launch.

    I think Bethesda wants to remove itself from the steam ecosystem so they can try (try being the key word here) to be the sole distributor of modifications.

    This is only a theory though. I could be wrong.

    • Yeah that is one… scary option..

      And another is I believe is so they won’t be swarmed with negative steam reviews…
      Like what happened post paid mods.

      • That and they would have to offer refunds….

        Which you cannot get from bethesda.net once a code has been activated.

        • Well. They have to give refunds, by Australian law… just ask Valve and their multi-million dollar fine. I wonder if Bethesda’s been watching that whole deal.

  • Never been a Fallout fan, I tried Fallout 4 once but wasn’t into it. When I heard about this game I thought I could finally get into Fallout but now that I know it’s not on Steam and there’s no single-player, I won’t be playing it. They better not do this with the next Elder Scrolls.

  • One benefit of all of this, according to the official FAQ, is that beta progress will carry over into the full game.

    Hangabout. How is that a benefit of not being on Steam?

    You can do betas on Steam, and you can carry over progress on those betas to launch on Steam, too. Many, many, many games have done exactly that.

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