PC players will have one less proprietary launcher to download in a couple of months as Bethesda sunsets its own version. In a post on its website, the company announced that the Bethesda.net Launcher would slowly shut down over the course of this spring, giving users plenty of time to migrate their games and saves over to Bethesda’s new PC platform of choice, Steam.
📣 ATTENTION PC PLAYERS: We are retiring the Bethesda Launcher and moving to Steam.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) February 22, 2022
According to the post on Bethesda’s site, users will be able to begin migrating their accounts in “early April,” although a specific date was not mentioned. That migration will account for everything users have on their accounts, from games and game saves to different virtual currencies. Throughout the post, Bethesda makes it clear that users “will not lose anything from your Bethesda.net account.”
Bethesda recommends that anyone who has games on the Bethesda.net launcher move them over to Steam as soon as they can. Starting in May, games left on the launcher will become inaccessible. While it’s not immediately clear why Bethesda is shutting down its launcher, the decision could be a look into the future of the studios acquired by Microsoft. Bethesda’s own parent company, ZeniMax Media, was purchased by the tech giant in 2020 for $7.5 billion.
In the time since, Microsoft has either acquired or begun acquiring other companies, including Activision Blizzard. Notably, Activision Blizzard has its own launcher, Battle.net. Despite having a much smaller catalog of games than Steam, Battle.net has remained a must-have for most PC gamers due to its library. Numerous modern Call of Duty games, along with Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, can only be played through Battle.net.
If Activision Blizzard is successfully acquired, Microsoft could fold all of the publisher’s games into its already-established Xbox PC app or Steam and shut down Battle.net. However, due to its massive popularity and user base, it’s likely that the launcher won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
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