Game publisher and developer Bethesda has silently released its alpha version of Bethesda.net launcher alongside with its Elder Scrolls Legends card game. Bethesda has not yet revealed the plans and purpose of this launcher and the store front is not active right now.
A key code redemption link suggest that Bethesda will soon be releasing its games on PC through this launcher. This does not mean that Bethesda is completely separating itself from Steam(no yet), but they certainly don’t want to share their revenue with Valve.
Bethesda is not the first publisher to release its own game launcher or store front, but EA took a more extreme approach by releasing its own store front Origin and completely taking off their games from Steam.
Ubisoft also have its own store front uPlay but Ubisoft still releases its games on Steam. However, if you buy Ubisoft’s game through Steam it will inevitably launch uPlay launcher and request a sign-in to play the game.
GOG Galaxy is perhaps most lenient and neutral in its authentication practices but still GOG is closely related to CD Project Red.
Below is the list of launchers which are required to buy or play games. Sometimes multiple launchers are required to play games.
- GOG Galaxy
- Epic Games Launcher
- Nexon launcher
- Rockstar Social Club
- Windows 10 store
Although, competition is a good thing, but we are not convinced that it is being implemented effectively through first party developers because requiring multiple bloatware just to run one title is not efficient.
If Bethesda.net turns out to be buggy as hell, then Bethesda will launch a creation kit for modders to fix the bugs.