With the PlayStation 4 officially out in the open, the question now is which of the big PC games on the horizon not announced for consoles will make the jump to the PS4 (and Microsoft’s unannounced machine). But unless something dramatic changes about Sony and Microsoft’s digital distribution plans, Bohemia Interactive’s military simulator ArmA 3 will not be coming to next-generation consoles when the game is finished later this year. Bohemia announced on Thursday morning that ArmA 3 will only be distributed through Valve’s Steam.
“As an independent developer, we’re constantly evaluating the way we develop, distribute, and publish games,” said Bohemia CEO Marek Španěl, “Valve made tremendous improvements to their system, which made the installation/update process much more user-friendly—for both developers and customers. We realize that some people may find it difficult to migrate to a new platform, especially if they were used to purchasing and playing our games without any external third-party application. We have evaluated the pros and cons, but in the end Steam enables us to release ArmA 3, brings massive advantages to the game, and improves the end-user experience. Not to forget, the majority of our players already come from Steam.”
This does not mean that ArmA 3 will not be available as a retail game. Boxed copies of the military sim will ship with Steam Codes and a DVD copy of the game to speeds up installation even though the game itself will still have to run through Valve’s Steam client.
When will ArmA 3 actually come out then? The game was supposed to come out by the end of 2012, but Bohemia was forced to delay its release in December. Bohemia’s Joris-Jan van ‘t Land says that the studio is finalizing its plans right now, and adds that had the Steam partnership not come to fruition, ArmA 3 likely wouldn’t come out in 2013 at all.
It’s unclear whether this means that all Bohemia Interactive games will be Steam-only releases going forward. ArmA Tactics was announced on Jan. 30 for Nvidia’s Google Android-powered portable Project Shield.
It’s also developing a standalone release of the popular ArmA 2 mod DayZ. Creator Dean Hall said in November that DayZ would be distributed through Steam. “Release will be on Steam, using many of Steam’s key features,” said Hall, “Patches to Steam can be deployed by the click of a button in our build pipeline thanks to new technology developer by Steam, that is making our process extremely easy and exciting. We are very pleased that Steam is working with us so actively to make DayZ a great game and supporting us with quality features.”
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