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Even physical copies of Fallout 4 for PC will require Steam installation

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If you’re one of those who wants to sidestep DRM as a means of sticking it to the man, Fallout 4 on PC apparently won’t lend that opportunity. That’s because even if you buy a physical disc version of Bethesda’s highly anticipated first-person shooter RPG, you’ll still need to use Steam to download the game — or at least a portion of it.

This news stems from Bethesda’s VP of PR and Marketing Pete Hines, who broke it on Twitter.

“Yes, though you will still have to download from Steam,” he responded to a fan inquiring about the plausibility of installing Fallout 4 from a disc directly. “The disc doesn’t contain the entire game.”

Then, when asked why Fallout 4 on consoles does include the full-game on-disc, Hines retorted, “PC requires activation on Steam. Console does not. Console ship on Blu-rays [sic], PC ships on DVDs.”

But that’s not the end of this seemingly incessant controversy. No, later on, Hines followed up on his original post later on explaining that the reason for cutting content on the disc has to do with none other than “piracy.”

Of course, this only stirred the pot event more, causing many users to respond vigorously.

“I’m sorry, but this is BS,” responded one user. “If anything, this encourages piracy. You guys should learn a thing or two from [CD Projekt Red].”

To that, Hines said, “Well we’ve been doing it this way more or less for 10+ years. Seems to be doing ok. Lots of people bought Skyrim, Wolf, etc.”

In fairness to Bethesda, this is hardly the first game to ship with a Steam installation requirement even if the game is on physical disc. It’s certainly among the most high-profile titles to do so, though, and the lack of full content on the disc is sure to strike a sore spot among those who dislike the recent trend of huge launch-day patches.

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Gabe Carey
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A freelancer for Digital Trends, Gabe Carey has been covering the intersection of video games and technology since he was 16…
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