Extra launchers are like per-channel streaming services: not needed
Another launcher bits the dust. The Bethesda launcher is no more by the time May 2022 hits, and you can transfer to Steam a month early in April.
Here’s the gist, and the bolded part is important:
“We’re saying goodbye to the Bethesda.net Launcher this year. We would like to thank you for your support and assure you that all of your games are safe. If you’re not playing PC games through the Bethesda.net launcher then your work is done here. Thanks for reading! If you do have games through the Bethesda.net launcher, don’t worry. Starting in early April you’ll be able to migrate your games and Wallet to your Steam account. For more details on what this process will look like, read on. You have plenty of time to plan and begin migrating your Bethesda.net library to your Steam account. The migration to Steam will include your game library and Wallet – meaning you will not lose anything from your Bethesda.net account.”
Basically everything will transfer from the Bethesda launcher. Saves, character progress for Fallout 76, atoms (microtransaction currency), seasonal progress, friends lists, the works. The only game saves that cannot transfer, curiously, involve Wolfenstein Youngblood. This seems to be as painless as possible, which is a huge plus.
If you’re impacted, you can find the entire article here with all the details. Fallout 76 has its own FAQ here, which is relevant because testing took place in the Bethesda launcher exclusively. According to the publisher, “going forward, playtesting for all future PTS phases will only be available on PC through Steam.” Again, easy!
As for the closure; competition is good, in theory. Steam is a monolith, and if someone wants to come along and provide products in a different way, with advantages (like how GOG provides DRM-free games), so be it. Competition benefits everyone, as Steam has added consumer-friendly features in direct response to other services in a bid to stay relevant.
Having said that, not every publisher needs their own launcher, especially if it’s adding nothing of value.