Bethesda reveals why Fallout 76 won't be on Steam, fails to mention money

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Last week brought the somewhat surprising news that the upcoming Fallout 76 would be the first 3D entry in the series not available on Steam. Now, Bethesda has revealed why: it wants a “direct relationship” with the game’s players.

The Fallout 76 beta FAQ states that “the game will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net only),” which the company later confirmed will apply to both the B.E.T.A and the launch.

Bethesda never said why it decided people would need its client, but with Steam taking a 30 percent cut from publishers every time a game is sold, it appears that the issue revolves around money; specifically, Bethesda wanting more of it. But the firm claims this isn’t the case.

Speaking in a Q&A session at QuakeCon, Bethesda senior vice president of global marketing and communications, Pete Hines, offered several reasons behind the company’s decision, including its view that the multiplayer, online Fallout 76 is more akin to a game-as-a-service.

“We’ve done online games before, we’ve done some games-as-service. And with [Fallout] 76, it was just really important to us to have that direct relationship with the customer, that didn’t involve somebody else.”

Additionally, Hines said having more control over Fallout 76 means it won’t face issues arising from any Steam updates. “If there’s a problem, if there’s an issue, it’s on us. There’s no guessing,” he said. “There’s no, ‘oh, well somebody else updated something and now our thing doesn’t work and we have to wait to fix it.’”

Finally, Hines added that using Bethesda.net will improve the customer service experience for players who come across problems—which is a given in newly launched online games. They can deal with the company directly, instead of Steam acting as a middleman.

Unsurprisingly, there was no mention of the increased revenue Bethesda would receive as a result of its decision.

If you don’t mind playing Fallout 76 on Bethesda.net, make sure to check it out when the game launches on November 14.

In other Bethesda news, Pete Hines yesterday explained why the company stopped someone reselling a sealed copy of The Evil Within 2.

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
Yeah, that whole "direct relationship with the players" is a total cop-out. Even the most naive gamer knows this is about the money.

Having said that, I don't begrudge Bethesda or any other company launching their product on whatever platform they want. It's their product, after all.

Just try not to insult us about it with weak excuses, m'kay? ;)
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
Additionally, Hines said having more control over Fallout 76 means it won’t face issues arising from any Steam updates. “If there’s a problem, if there’s an issue, it’s on us. There’s no guessing,” he said. “There’s no, ‘oh, well somebody else updated something and now our thing doesn’t work and we have to wait to fix it.’”
This is funny coming from Bethesda, Kings of the Bugs.
 
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Dimitriid

TS Booster
In addition to the money cut will Bethesda be willing to honour some of the policies in place on Steam like being able to ask for a refund within a certain amount of time? A myriad of payment methods? Regional pricing to be more reasonable to non-US or West EU markets?

Sorry but knowing Bethesda's history of buggy releases and not having the ability to request a refund means that this just won't be a day 1 purchase for me. I'll take a look 6 months down the line once we have the verdict and some of the kinks worked out.
 
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Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
EA = Origin
Ubisoft = uPlay
Epic Games = Epic Launcher
CIG = RSI Launcher
Blizzard = Battle.Net
Activision = Battle.Net (only 2 games so far)

Now Bethesda.Net, great, another launcher, another thing to install and open and add friends to. Another service that I didn't want and another thing eating resources. Great...
 
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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
"Additionally, Hines said having more control over Fallout 76 means it won’t face issues arising from any Steam updates." - the only bugs I encountered were Bethesda's AND they were never addressed - but survivable due to help from the mod community.
 
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GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
I was on the fence about fallout 76 but with the no steam announcement I am just gonna skip entirely, at least on PC, if turns out decent I will grab a used copy on xbone.
 
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D

davislane1

It has to with getting rid of Steam's 30% sales commission and optimizing their sales funnel to increase units sold in addition to banking the extra 30%.

Zero issue with this personally. Though, I can see why people with multiple games using proprietary launchers would have a problem with this.
 

GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
It has to with getting rid of Steam's 30% sales commission and optimizing their sales funnel to increase units sold in addition to banking the extra 30%.

Zero issue with this personally. Though, I can see why people with multiple games using proprietary launchers would have a problem with this.
They don't get all of that 30%, they are responsible for the storefront, customer support for sales, and the download hosting.
 
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davislane1

They don't get all of that 30%, they are responsible for the storefront, customer support for sales, and the download hosting.
They get every penny of that 30%. That they may incur additional expenses has nothing to do with the % they keep on each unit sale. There's no reason for them to drop Steam unless it makes better financial sense to do so, which means those costs are projected to be less than Steam's commission for this product.
 

Faelan

TS Member
What a load of BS. I’ve been playing Final Fantasy 14 (an MMO) through Steam for years. When you start the game from Steam, it launches its own login/updater. There’s virtually no difference other than you paying through Steam, starting it via Steam and downloading the install via Steam. It’s the exact same community and the exact same game.
 

OcelotRex

TS Guru
Prepare to lose sales Bethesda!
This will be the first 3D Fallout I've skipped in part because of this. The other part is the move from Single Player. If the game is good and the player base persists I'll pick it up on the first sale of 25% off or greater.