The Fallout franchise has always been especially popular with PC gamers, particularly on Steam. However, according to an announcement, the upcoming Fallout 76 will be skipping the Steam storefront in favour of being sold via Bethesda’s own website.
Steam is the biggest online distributor of PC games, and for many is practically synonymous with PC gaming. However, Fallout 76 will only be available via Bethesda’s website, and not Steam. Considering the Fallout franchise’s significant popularity on PC with the modding community, skipping the most widely-used distribution platform is certainly a brave move. It is likely that this is a way of avoiding Valve’s 30% cut from all transactions made via Steam.
That said, more and more high-profile games are also skipping Steam nowadays. Publishers like Electronic Arts distribute games on their own proprietary Origin service and the wildly popular Overwatch is only available from Blizzard’s own service, Battle.net. This news also comes after the announcement that Fortnite will be skipping the Google Play store in order to avoid having to pay Google a cut from each transaction.
Bethesda has shown no signs of looking to sell their mobile games the same way though. Fallout Shelter is currently available on the App Store and Google Play store. The upcoming Elder Scrolls: Blades is also set to release on Apple and Google’s storefronts later this year. It is unknown whether this means that the in development Elder Scrolls VI will also be skipping Steam, or if this will just apply to Fallout 76.
Fallout 76’s beta will be available “in October” for Xbox One, and then later on PS4 and PC (via Bethesda.net). Any progress made on the beta can be transferred over to the final version, which will be released November 14.