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.
After a couple of teases and some inside information, we just got our first real look at Fallout 76, an upcoming survival RPG from Bethesda.
We know that Fallout 76, the latest in Bethesda's post-apocalyptic shooter series, will be an always-online multiplayer game set in West Virginia. Beyond that, how the game's open world will be laid out and what exactly it will look like remains a mystery. But that hasn't stopped fans from combing through every little detail currently available to create a speculative map of the game.
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.