Fallout 76 - Multiplayer, online, BGS Austin


Well there is the value of the Steam Store and then the value of Steamworks though. So being tied into the later can still provide a lot of value compared to the former for some developers\publishers. Obviously that will vary on a game by game basis since some games may not need the functionality Steamworks can provide. However, not everyone wants to establish and maintain their own multiplayer service for example, and third-party options like Gamespy are a bit rarer these days.

Being on the Steam Store? Likely not as valuable as it once was for developers\publishers. Being on Steam(works) to make use of the features it provides? Certainly more valuable and a harder case to argue leaving, especially once embedded in. And some of the issues around game discoverability and the like on the store either are less pronounced or not present currently for the bigger entities left on Steam; such as SEGA’s financial success with porting Bayonetta, Vanquish, Yakuza, etc to PC.


I think that this is an important thing to bring up. Steam does offer a lot of service for that 30% cut. They have systems for trading cards, marketplaces, mod support, communities, bug support, recommendations, sales, reviews, mobile access, etc.

These are all things that any competitor will have to run themselves. Steam helps a lot with discoverability, maintaining an engaged user-base, and a lot of other stuff.

I don’t get the same feeling using Origin or GOG (GOG’s launcher is pretty good though)

If Bethesda wants to take that all on themselves, fine, I am sure they got the money to try, will it be worth the 30% extra in sales? Maybe?

If they really want to sell a Bethesda launcher, they should offer skyrim special edition free for the first month if you set up an account. Or heck, offer ESO base edition for free if you sign up.


Not entirely, part of it is me saying screw you for trying to stiff arm me. I find this attitude enhanced given the vids I’ve watched of one of the leads, but that’s probably just me. I am most certainly their target audience, I own most of their games, that should concern them.


Good discussion!

All the below is from my personal perspective, I do not assume fellow gamers or developers feel the same way or have the same value proposition.

As a developer for me the only services that matter are UA (user acquisition), billing and hosting, in that order.

As a customer the only things I care about is a low friction to play my games (I can play offline, no weird login restrictions, great service uptime etc), billing (easy to buy games) and discovery, in that order.

I cant think of anything else that matters to me on the business side or the customer side. Other features frankly just build up as more and more of a hassle, either to integrate or deal with. In fact they become a negative.

I dont deny other features can be fun and or useful to other developers or customers but for me I just want a good sleek distribution platform that as a customer shows me great games and as a developer helps me sell great games.


If Bethesda wanted to sell their game and cut out Steam, they would simply do a digital download on their web store. They don’t need a whole always on service of their own.

Bloatware always sucks. That’s what this is. Bloatware and trying to fracture consumers.


Great post. I mostly value the same things (on the consumer side. I don’t develop games) and couldn’t care less what the service that offers them is called.

As part of the low friction to play a game, I would also add automatic patching when required. I don’t want to have to start downloading updates manually to play my games (though I like having control over which games get automatically patched, of course).

GoG didn’t use to do that, but that’s been fixed with Galaxy.

These days, it feels like a given, but I certainly would check whether a new digital store offered it.

As for Fallout 76, it really doesn’t matter to me what store front it’s sold on. If the game is good, I’ll buy it there. Just like I’ve done on Steam, GoG, UPlay and Origin.


This is good insight. Steam seems like an awesome option for middle-tier publishers, or developers. Steamworks is a great solution to a lot of problems that you don’t have to pay for in-house people to manage. 30% to Valve seems like a pretty easy way to go about it. Of course, if you have the infrastructure to DIY, it makes sense to go it on your own.

Bethesda is pretty big, Blizzard did it, and so can they, I guess.


This is a really good point, and one of the things that gets glossed over. People tend to view not using steam as just free money, not taking into account what it takes to build and maintain a service like that. It may not be 30%, but it’s not free either, it requires ongoing investment and staffing. Once you reach critical mass sales wise, I’m sure it adds up to a win, but how do you even calculate how many sales you’ve lost because you weren’t on steam? If the game under-performs, where will the blame be laid?


Bethesda is running a Q&A on Fallout 76.


They just mentioned they are committed to private servers.

Doh. Just caught the tail end. The stream will end soon. Hopefully, we’ll see a write up of what was said.



My favorite daddy-daughter activity for my daughter is still playing Fallout 4 with her running the iPad/Pipboy (she hated the actual pipboy with a phone in it). I don’t know how many times we’ve played it. Every summer break, every winter break, and the first time it came out. We’ve played WoW, Borderlands 2 co-op, The Division (which is probably her #2 favorite game to co-op with me), Sniper Elite 4, etc. I hate so much about how Bethesda handles their games. More than anything I want to play a co-op Fallout game with my daughter. She simply adores the Fallout universe.

But I absolutely do not want to support them putting their games in their own ecosystem. I think it is a terrible decision for them because they are going to kill the mod scene for their games by doing this and trying to get their cut of paid mods. Mods are what keep their games alive for years. The first playthrough of a Bethesda game is fine, but they age like fine wine. That 100+ mod playthrough 5 years later is so good.


EG has a good write up on what was said and the bounty system:

They also talk about PvP (and the reduced damage system until both players engage), PvP loot, VATS, perk points and mutations.

This all sounds pretty good to me. Seems like Bethesda has come up with some good ideas.


awesome new information

I can see this as my new ‘go to’ mmo

lets start talking about the economy now !! I recall somethin about having trade stations where you can sell stuff without being there


Meh, I’ll wait for the private servers and then play a ton of this.


I watched a bunch of that Q&A, didn’t make it through the whole thing.

When you level up you can choose a single perk card. They have literally hundreds of cards to choose from, and you get to choose from more cards as you level up. Every couple of levels you get a free perk card pack, which is a couple random cards, some of which can rarely be higher-level than your character. They didn’t come out and say it, but it’s pretty clear they will also be selling card packs for real money. I basically thought all that was fine.

Then they went into how players initially choose perk cards to do more damage, but then later on realize that since it’s a survival game encumbrance was a huge issue so you might want to spec into carry capacity or ammo scavenging, I remembered that I hate this kind of game, and I turned it off.

So far my impression is that if you enjoy survival games, this looks like a promising one.


“But Fallout 76 normalises, or flattens, the power difference between characters in PvP - but not PvE - so the level five character stands a chance. And if the level five character wins, the reward, owing to the level difference, will be great.”

This is why their entire bounty system won’t work. Griefers won’t be people running around level 80 with power armor, they’ll be level 5 characters that will just be re-rolled if they get too much bounty, rinse and repeat. It looks to me like it would be fairly easy to ge 3 of your buddies to run around with you and grief people, I think it actually encourages griefing with the PVP damage balancing.

This incentivizes people to grief, if you can even attempt to gank with a low level character, with the possibility of “great rewards” for success…this is like throwing blood in the proverbial shark infested waters.




I guess that explains why they didn’t want it on steam.


From Wendelius’ link:

UPDATE: [VG247 asked Bethesda’s Pete Hines whether you could buy the packs with real money and he said “no”.]



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