Only a few days after Epic announced Fortnite would avoid the Google Play store, Bethesda has joined the list of developers choosing to release its games exclusively on its own digital distribution platform.
Last night Bethesda released an updated version of its Fallout 76 beta notes, which mention the Fallout 76 beta will be available on "Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and on PC (via Bethesda.net)". Steam is conspicuously absent from this list, and when contacted by PC Gamer, Bethesda confirmed the game will not launch on Steam. The rep stated "the PC version of Fallout 76, for both the B.E.T.A. and the launch, will be available only via Bethesda.net, not on Steam".
Although it confirmed the game will not be coming to Steam, Bethesda has not given a specific reason for avoiding Valve's platform. At a guess, it's probably a way for the company to gain better control of the revenue stream for Fallout 76 (Valve takes a cut - typically 30 per cent - of sales on Steam), and to help grow the user base of its own launcher. The fact the game isn't immediately available on Steam does not, however, mean it will never arrive on the platform. As highlighted by PC Gamer, Fallout Shelter was released on Bethesda.net in July 2016, and took nearly a year to arrive on Steam in March 2017.
The updated notes also confirm the Fallout 76 beta will eventually become the full game. Players who pre-order the beta version will have their progress "saved for launch," so if your base gets nuked in the early version, don't worry: it'll be staying that way.
If you want to try your luck in the nuclear wasteland, the Fallout 76 beta will be available this October. Xbox One will get the game first, but Bethesda has informed players to stand by for news on the launch dates for other platforms.