Bethesda Outline Plans to Sunset PC Launcher App This May

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅22.02.2022 23:38:03

You can't say that the writing wasn't on the wall. Bethesda, game publisher and only Xbox's second-most glittering billion-dollar acquisition in the last five years, has issued a tentative timeframe for the mothballing of the Launcher. A phasing-out of the ill-liked desktop app will begin this April, with its eventual discontinuation occurring in May 2022.

The Launcher was developed with motivations similar to Activision-Blizzard's and Ubisoft's UPlay ecosystems: funnelling more users through the first-party storefront, leaching fewer to Steam, and thus encouraging more direct sales (particularly microtransactions and paid game mods). Like UPlay however the Launcher and associated storefront was met with scepticism is not outright hostility at times.

Starting this April users will begin migrating both game libraries and Bethesda Wallet balances to Steam, the ubiquitous PC videogame storefront. That's doubly notable because it's not Microsoft's own Windows Store, another ecosystem that gamers have tended to avoid when given the choice.

Game-specific game accounts will not be depreciated at this time however, so you'll still want to retain those credentials for the likes of Fallout 76 etc. Some saved game data will be transferred automatically where possible, but others will require manual copying. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the sole exception; saved games for this title cannot be transferred at present.

The Launcher will be inoperable from May 2022, at which time Steam will be required to run the affected games. Game management via's web portal will also remain an option for the time being. Friends lists will apparently be merged, although this could cause its own problems in the short term.

A full FAQ for the transition to Steam can be found here. Fallout 76's unique status in Bethesda's portfolio also means it warrants its own FAQ which can be found here. The change is not expected to impact players ability to launch The Elder Scrolls Online.

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