“Exodus” from Steam: why major publishers leave Valve 


The list of AAA games that can be played on Steam is shrinking.

Recently, Steam has been losing more and more major releases – it has recently become known that Fallout 76 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will not be released on the Valve platform. Let’s try to figure out how the “exodus” trend of the publishers from Steam started, and what consequences may result.

EA and Origin

In 2011, Electronic Arts launched its own gaming platform called Origin – the service had to directly compete with Steam. Since then, EA games on Steam have not appeared.

Unlike other major publishers who are trying to develop their own services, continuing to release games on Steam – for example, Ubisoft, – for many years EA has continued to release games only on its platform. The company does not disclose detailed Origin statistics – EA representatives refuse to answer questions about the number of players and copies of games sold.

In the autumn of 2018 in the service of Valve, you can not wait for the appearance of several large games – first of all Battlefield V and FIFA 19, but this, of course, does not surprise anyone: Steam has existed for many years without these series.

Destiny 2

On May 18, 2017, representatives of Bungie, Blizzard and Activision announced that the PC version of the Destiny sequel will become the exclusive platform owned by Blizzard. Mike Morheim, the head of the company, then explained this decision with a desire to “unite the Destiny and Blizzard community”. Up to this point, only Blizzard’s own games, Diablo, StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone and Overwatch, were released in

In an official statement , which was published a little later, Blizzard noted that it would focus only on support for Destiny 2 and has no plans to accept other games from third-party developers in its “family”.

Six months after the release of the game, Activision stated that Destiny 2 was the largest PC release in the company’s history – the lack of a game on Steam hardly hurt sales. It is known that only Call of Duty: WWII sold better in 2017, but Activision did not disclose exact figures from which it would be possible to conclude about the ratio of sales on PC and on consoles.

Fortnite battle royale

The main hit of Epic Games has never been released on Steam, and the company’s management is not shy about talking directly about the reasons for this decision. Tim Sweeney, one of the co-founders of Epic Games, claims that the 30% that Valve picks up is too much.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The system of gaming stores is pretty unfair. All stores take 30%. This is strange, because Mastercard and Visa may well carry out a transaction for three dollars.[/perfectpullquote] [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We should not put up with the current state of affairs. We must constantly look for new solutions. We need to look for ways to get rid of the mediator.[/perfectpullquote]
Tim Sweeney
Epic Games head

Probably, Epic Games liked “getting rid of the middleman” so much that now the company decided on an even bolder step – the game goes on Android, bypassing Google Play.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

In May 2018, Activision announced that the new part of Call of Duty will be released on PC not on Steam, like the previous parts of the series, but on Dan Banting, one of the managers of Treyarch, responsible for the production of the game, said on the same stream that the studio plans to “focus on PC gaming” and “give players on the PC what they deserve”.

According to Piper Jaffray, a reputable investment management company, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will sell 21.5 million copies and become the best-selling game of the year, surpassing even Red Dead Redemption 2, analysts predict 15.5 million.

Eric Kane, a Forbes analyst, suggests that Black Ops 4 may encounter certain problems, but they are all related to the lack of a storyline campaign in the game, and not to the platform chosen for release.

Fallout 76

The fact that Fallout 76 will not be released on Steam – at least at the time of release – was learned not from the official announcement, but from the inconspicuous textabout the Frequently Asked Questions on the Bethesda website.

Analysts suggest that at some point the game will still appear in the Valve store – after all, franchise games are “sold on Steam like hotcakes”. In addition, Fallout Shelter, published in in 2016, still got on Steam after almost a year.

However, at the start the game will definitely be exclusive to – this information was officially confirmed by the company . The company refrains from commenting on the reason for this decision.

Many analysts believe that a few years ago such a move would be considered insane, but now Bethesda’s actions are in line with the trend – more and more major publishers are running from Steam.

Experts agree that the reason for this “outcome” is obvious – these are the very 30% that companies that are confident in the popularity of their products do not want to give to Valve.

According to Jay Powell, the founder of the consulting firm The Powell Group, which specializes in games, the current market shifts, if they don’t destroy Steam, will definitely become the “beginning of the end” for the notorious thirty percent. Jeff Grubb, an analyst at VentureBeat, in turn, notes that the lack of new Fallout and Call of Duty on Steam is unlikely to do much harm to Valve by itself, but the tendency of the “outcome” of large publishers to launch their own launchers and subscription services become destructive for the company’s business model.


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