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Fallout 76 won't be launching on Steam

The PC version of the post-apocalyptic multiplayer effort will only be available for purchase through the Bethesda.net website.

It's one of the year's big-name releases, but Fallout 76 won't be available on Steam when it launches on November 14. 

Instead, the PC version of the post-apocalyptic multiplayer effort will only be available for purchase through the Bethesda.net website. That marks the first time a main entry in the franchise hasn't been available on the platform at launch since Fallout 3 landed back in October 2008. 

The news was confirmed by Bethesda in an email sent to PC Gamer, which contacted the publisher after noticing the Fallout 76 beta notes explained it would only be available on "Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC (via Bethesda.net only)." 

"The PC version of Fallout 76, for both the beta and the launch, will be available only via Bethesda.net, not on Steam," confirmed a company representative, before also revealing that the beta will actually present players with the full game, with all progress being carried over at launch. 

Bethesda hasn't explained why it's decided to cut Steam out of the equation this time around, but it could have something to do with wanting to avoid losing any revenue to the platform. 

It's a tactic that's also being employed by Fortnite developer Epic Games, which just yesterday announced it would be bypassing the Google Play store for the shooter's Android release to avoid paying the 30 percent store tax. 

Still, Fortnite is a different beast, and the battle royale phenomenon has already won the hearts and minds of players around the world. Fallout 76 remains an unknown quantity among fans, so it'll be interesting to see what impact -- if any -- circumventing the most popular PC game marketplace on the planet has when launch day rolls around.

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