Deathloop on PC could mark Bethesda's coveted return to Steam

Deathloop PC codes will exclusively launch on Steam, rather than Bethesda's own launcher, according to reports, a move that could mark the publisher's return to new releases on Valve's platform.

As reported by Exputer, earlier this month Steam codes for Deathloop appeared on authorized retailer Green Man Gaming's website. In response to a Twitter user who asked whether the game will be delivered as a Steam code on PC, Green Man Gaming replied confirming that it will "be offering Steam keys for all versions of Deathloop and also retroactively". The retailer then confirmed on Twitter that it will now be selling Steam codes for the time looping FPS, including existing orders.

In addition, according to ResetEra user dex3108, online retailer Game Billet confirmed to them via email that Bethesda recently decided to "switch" Deathloop PC codes to Steam codes recently, with the publisher initially intending to provide Bethesda launcher keys to players who bought the game on PC. The email also clarified that those who buy the physical edition of Deathloop on PC can redeem their codes on Bethesda.net, but will be redirected to Steam to launch the game. However, it's worth treating this with skepticism.

According to marketing materials, Deathloop was set to launch for PC on Bethesda's own launcher - as recent Bethesda new releases have. But with Deathloop now set to launch on Steam (possibly exclusively), could we be seeing Bethesda's new releases returning to Valve's platform once more?


Opinion: a long time coming

Doom Eternal creature shooting a flamethrower

(Image credit: iD Software)

Bethesda hasn't confirmed that it's shifting to Steam codes for the PC version of Deathloop so, right now, it's unclear if the title will launch on both Steam and Bethesda's launcher. What we do know - thanks to Green Man Gaming's confirmation - is that a Steam version will be available.

The Bethesda launcher was released back in 2016 as a digital distributor exclusively for Bethesda games, allowing players to buy and play the publisher's titles on PC - a bit like EA's Origin launcher.

In recent years, new Bethesda games have launched exclusively through Bethesda.net rather than Steam. While the likes of Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein: Youngblood are available on Steam, these releases were added at a later date after launching exclusively on Bethesda.net.

If Bethesda is opting to launch Deathloop on PC exclusively through Steam, it will mark the first time a new Bethesda title has launched on Steam since the release of Fallout 76 in 2018.

Bethesda's return to releasing new games on Steam is welcome news. While it's understandable given that Bethesda has its own launcher, giving it more control over the distribution of its PC releases, it's just an extra launcher that we don't need. Between Origin, Battle.net, Uplay, Epic Games Store and the various other game launchers available, jumping between them can be extremely tedious - I personally prefer having all my games in one place. 

In addition, there has been criticism from fans over the Bethesda launcher since its release, particularly with the launcher's refund policy which is somewhat less forgiving than that of Steam's. But with new Bethesda games in recent years launching exclusively on the launcher, there hasn't been any other choice. A Steam launch could change that. 

We're also expecting Deathloop to (at some point) land on Xbox Game Pass for PC. While Deathloop is currently a timed PS5 console exclusive, Microsoft's purchase of parent company ZeniMax Media means that we expect Arkane's shooter to land on Xbox platforms at some point when that timed agreement runs out - but we'll be waiting until at least September 2022. While Deathloop's arrival on Game Pass hasn't officially been confirmed, given Microsoft has confirmed future Bethesda titles (which will be exclusive to Microsoft) will release day one on the subscription service, we can safely assume Deathloop will arrive on the service at some point, giving PC players another way to play.

Bethesda hasn't confirmed whether Deathloop will indeed launch exclusively on Steam for PC. TechRadar has contacted Bethesda for comment and will update this story as soon as we have a response. 

Deathloop will release on September 14 for PS5 and PC.

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