What just happened? Ever since Microsoft acquired Zenimax and Bethesda, many have wondered about the long-term fate of Bethesda’s PC game launcher. Bethesda now has a definitive answer with its announcement of the client’s closure and the migration of its content to Steam.
This week, Bethesda announced that it would start letting its PC game client users start migrating their purchases and wallets to their Steam accounts in early April. The launcher will no longer be accessible beginning in May.
Bethesda will provide details on migrating games when the feature becomes available, but it won’t cost anything. Save files will also transfer. Most will carry over to the new platform automatically. However, users might have to move some manually. If that means copying the files in Windows Explorer, checking where each game stores its files at PCGamingWiki would be prudent. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the only known title that will not automatically or manually transfer game progression over for some unstated reason.
Bethesda accounts themselves won’t go away. You’ll still need one to play Fallout 76, download Bethesda-hosted mods for Fallout 4 and Skyrim, and use some online features in other games. Friends lists in Fallout 76, Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Elder Scrolls Legends, Rage 2, and Deathloop will also transfer to Steam.
Bethesda’s next major game is Ghostwire: Tokyo, launching on March 25. It isn’t on the Microsoft Store yet because of its console-exclusivity deal with PlayStation, which pre-dates Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, just like Deathloop. Unsurprisingly, Ghostwire’s pre-order page doesn’t even include an option for Bethesda’s launcher–only for Steam and Epic Games.