Fallout 76 will not be launching on Steam when it comes to PC on November 14, Bethesda confirmed today. Instead it seems like Bethesda will forgo Valve's marketplace altogether and release Fallout 76 directly through Bethesda.net.
The Fallout 76 beta FAQ page mentions the fact that "the B.E.T.A. [Break it Early Test Application] and the game will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net only)." The game's store page also doesn't mention Valve's popular Steam marketplace either, and Bethesda confirmed this is intentional.
"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," said a Bethesda rep in an email to PC Gamer.
The news isn't a huge surprise considering this is the general trend of the Triple-A video game industry at large. EA's games are only available through EA Origin, and Activision-Blizzard have started keeping major franchises like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Destiny 2 on Blizzard's Battle.net. Even the biggest game in the world, Fortnite, is only available through Epic's launcher on both PC and soon-to-be Android.
There's also the matter of pay cuts. The reason Epic is ditching the Google Play Store is to not pay a 30 percent cut of the Fortnite profits to Google, and marketplaces like Steam have similar arrangements with games that become available on that platform.
Bethesda also says that the full game will be available for the beta. "Our current plan for the B.E.T.A. is it will be the full game and all your progress is saved for launch." So, you should be playing a full version of Fallout 76 during the beta and whatever progress you make will carry over.
The Fallout 76 beta begins in October while Fallout 76 comes out in full on November 14. Unlike previous Fallout games, Fallout 76 is a multiplayer game set in the Fallout universe. Players will try and survive with other players in a post-apocalyptic West Virginia. It's unclear how the experience of a Fallout multiplayer game will play out in practice, but we will have impressions for you when the beta drops.
For more check out our Fallout 76 guide with trailers, news, and other release info.