It looks like Rage 2 will be exclusive to the Bethesda launcher on PC. Pre-orders for Rage 2 went up after yesterday’s Game Awards, although the game still doesn’t have a Steam page. The move coincides with Bethesda pushing to bolster its own launcher, as Fallout 76 is exclusive to the launcher on PC.
The Avalanche Studios-developed open-world FPS got a big trailer at The Game Awards 2018 yesterday. The trailer showed off a lot of the world, and announced a release date of May 14, 2019. On PC, the game is nowhere to be found on digital storefronts like Steam and GOG. The Humble Bundle listing of the game says, “Rage 2 is provided via Bethesda.net key for Windows. For key redemption, a free Bethesda.net account is required.”
Bethesda’s proprietary launcher has had a rough few months, particularly with Fallout 76. The multiplayer-only Fallout title is exclusive to Bethesda’s launcher, which has been a point of contention for fans. A bug with the launcher deleted the entirety of the Fallout 76 beta if users clicked anything. Then the launcher wouldn’t let users delete the 76 beta if they didn’t buy the game. Since Fallout 76‘s release, issues with the launcher have lessened, but many are still frustrated by the company’s move away from Steam.
Valve’s Steam has built a near-impervious monopoly on PC games, with few exceptions in recent years. Steam has become the go-to digital storefront for PC games since it launched in 2003. At the time it was almost entirely devoted to supporting Valve titles like Counter-Strike and Half-Life 2. Soon enough other publishers put games on the platform, and it monopolized the sector. EA abandoned Steam around 2013 for their Origin platform. This year has seen Bethesda, Activision, and recently Epic Games move away from Steam.
Rage 2 being exclusive to the Bethesda launcher on PC may not stick in the long run however. CD Projekt RED launched Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales exclusively on GOG (CD Projekt’s service), but brought the game to Steam due to poor sales on GOG.