Sunsetting the Bethesda.net Launcher & Migrating to Steam
February 22, 2022
We’re saying goodbye to the Bethesda.net Launcher this year. 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.
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. Many games will also have their saves migrated, with a few requiring some manual transfers. For games that require it, you will still use your Bethesda.net login to sign in to play. Your Bethesda.net account will not be lost and will still be accessible on our website and in-game, and we will continue supporting all Bethesda.net accounts with our future titles.
In early April, you will be able to initiate the migration process following detailed instructions we will have available to you then.
We expect you to have a lot of questions and encourage you to take a look at our comprehensive FAQ below. For those of you looking for questions specific to Fallout 76, in addition to the below FAQ we also have a Fallout 76-specific FAQ on Fallout.com.
Until May, you will still be able to access and play your games on the Bethesda.net Launcher, but we suggest that you start the migration process as soon as it’s available.
Q: How will I play my games?
A: We encourage our Bethesda.net Launcher community to continue their experience on Steam. In early April, you will be able to migrate your Bethesda.net library to your Steam account. Any title you own on the Bethesda.net Launcher will be available to you free on Steam. Your purchases will carry over to your Steam account. Many game saves will also transfer, however some may require manual copying. For more information on which games will require you to manually move your saves, please see our FAQ Entry "What happens to my game progression and saves?".
Q: What will happen to the Bethesda.net launcher?
A: You will continue to have access to the Bethesda.net Launcher and access your games until May. Starting in May, you will no longer be able to play and access your games within the Bethesda.net Launcher.
Q: Will I still need a Bethesda.net account if I no longer use the launcher after transferring to Steam?
A: Yes. Many of our games and services still rely on you to have a Bethesda.net account. This will allow you to retain access to Bethesda.net services including game mods, in-game items like skins, and access to exclusive news and updates.
Q: Will I have access to the games I own on the Bethesda.net launcher available to me on Steam?
A: Yes. You will need to take the steps to transfer your Bethesda.net account info to your Steam account. Once the migration process to Steam is available, we will let everyone know and update this FAQ with the link on where and how to migrate. Please note, that you may begin this process at any time after it becomes available, but in May you will no longer be able to play your purchased games on the Bethesda.net launcher. You will not lose access to your Library on Bethesda.net in May, only the ability to play them on the Launcher.
Q: What happens to my game progression and saves?
A: Should you choose to transfer your Bethesda.net library to your Steam account, we will provide instructions on how to migrate your game progression and saves over to your Steam account where possible, so you may continue playing where you left off. Some saves will automatically transfer, however some will require you to manually copy them to your Steam folder. We will have more information on manually transferring saves soon. At this time, we expect almost all save progress to be transferable automatically or manually with the exception of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, which currently is unable to transfer.
Virtual currency balances and game add-ons such as DLC and in-game skins will automatically transfer.
Q: Will my in-game virtual currency (Atoms, etc.) be moved to Steam?
A: Yes. Your Bethesda.net Wallet will transfer over to Steam once you have completed the transfer process.
Q: Can I migrate to PlayStation or Xbox instead of Steam?
A: No. We are only able to support transferring your Bethesda.net account information on PC. We cannot transfer PC account information to consoles.
Q: May I migrate my account to another PC service instead of Steam?
A: No. We are only able to support transferring account information from the Bethesda.net launcher to Steam.
Q: Does the Launcher closing affect my Bethesda.net account?
A: No. You will still need to login to your Bethesda.net account to play our live titles such as Fallout 76 and access other services offered. Our games will continue to use a Bethesda.net account in the future.
Q: What about Fallout 76?
A: We have a comprehensive Fallout 76 FAQ available here.
Q: Are all the same languages supported?
Q: Will friends lists be merged? Will I need to re-friend friends I added on Bethesda.net?
A: Games that have the Bethesda.net Friends List will be merged after migration. This includes Fallout 76, DOOM Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Rage 2, and DEATHLOOP.
Q: Will the Bethesda.net Launcher sunset affect my ability to play The Elder Scrolls Online on PC?
A: No. The Elder Scrolls Online is unaffected by this change.
Please continue to visit Bethesda.net and follow our social channels for any updates. To our Bethesda.net PC Community, thank you for your years of support and we look forward to continuing to supply you with great games on Steam.
25+ year old engine that is held together by tape and everyone who wrote it is probably long gone. Zenimax needs to either buy a new engine and hire developers who know it or clean house completely and invest in people who can build a new engine.Some of their recent published games are actually ok, such as Prey. But their own games...how the hell do their elder scrolls games have so much bugs even after so much unofficial patches?
Before Skyrim: the Elder Scrolls games that nearly broke Bethesda
Bethesda veterans Chris Weaver and Julian Le Fay talk about Battlespire and Redguard, two forgotten Elder Scrolls games that almost broke the Skyrim publisher
The mid ’90s were an auspicious time for Bethesda. The studio cut its teeth making sports and licensed Terminator games before moving into the (at the time) niche territory of RPGs Bethesda’s upper management were initially wary, but The Elder Scrolls: Arena was enough of a success to get a sequel approved, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, which struck gold for the small studio. The pioneering open-world game was a hit, so work on its sequel, Morrowind, started immediately after, and Bethesda was seemingly on the path to becoming the RPG juggernaut it is today. But there are two forgotten Elder Scrolls games that came first.
Rather than doubling down on what worked so well for Daggerfall, Bethesda took its new flagship series off-piste. An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire (1997) and The Elder Scrolls Adventures – Redguard (1998) were games whose titles hinted that they’d be the start of new Elder Scrolls spin-off series – expanding the IP into a genre-spanning saga. On a leaflet inside the Battlespire box, Bethesda co-founder Christopher Weaver even wrote that “Battlespire is the beginning of a hybrid genre based on your input.”
The question of why today in 2022 we’re not eagerly anticipating the latest Elder Scrolls ‘Legend’ or ‘Adventure’ can probably best be answered by the fact that neither game was that great. But given that these games contributed to the much-anticipated Morrowind being delayed and – according to some – a financial downturn for Bethesda in the late ’90s, perhaps a bigger question is how and why they came to exist in the first place?
Talking to Christopher Weaver and Battlespire (as well as Arena and Daggerfall) creator Julian Le Fay, it seems that not even those who were there have the best memory of making these tangential titles.
Something that Weaver does remember, however, is registration cards, and that they played a big part in Bethesda deciding what to make next. If you grew up after the days when games came in great hulking cardboard boxes filled with tome-like manuals and other toilet-reading materials, registration cards were little questionnaire forms that often came with boxed games to get player feedback on what they wanted next.
“We were basically inventing a recipe as we went along, and we tried to be very responsive to the registration cards that would come in,” Weaver recalls. “And one of the criticisms that we had gotten was that Daggerfall was so large – certain things that we thought were going to initially give people the sense of expanse started having the opposite effect where they were getting tired of seeing the same repeated landscapes all the time.”
From Le Fay’s perspective, Battlespire was very much a side project – something to squeeze in between the ‘bigger’ titles. The game was essentially a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler, albeit before the mechanics really existed to make this feel great in a first-person format. “After the success of Arena, top management pretty much left it to us to decide what to do next,” Le Fay says. “So Todd [Howard] had the opportunity to do Redguard, and I had some time on my hands to start doing Battlespire.”
Battlespire did away with the mainline games’ open worlds, trade, guilds, and levelling systems. It took place mostly in dark hallways and dingy corridors, focusing on what Bethesda at the time called “the best part of Daggerfall – romping through a dungeon and battling creatures”. Of course, contemporary scholars like myself know this was actually one of the worst parts of that game. Battlespire’s seven levels were expansive, mostly underground labyrinths filled with puzzles and battles. There were also some curious platforming sections, in which you jumped by aiming a floating prism at the point you wanted to jump to – awkwardly, the prism constantly moved away from you so you had to get the timing spot on.
Battlespire even had multiplayer – a feature Le Fay wanted to include in Daggerfall before running out of time. However, Le Fay remembers nothing about making it and during our chat had to look at the game code (which is still in his possession) to confirm that he did indeed code it in. When I jokingly suggest that he could use the code to build a Battlespire remaster, he sounds appalled at the prospect. “I wouldn’t go with this code, God I was terrible back then,” he scoffs, “I thought I was great, but then you actually learn about this stuff and realise how much better it could have been.”
At the time, Bethesda declared Battlespire’s engine “on par with the next crop of games like Unreal and Hexen 2,” which was a bold claim given that – unlike those games – Battlespire didn’t take advantage of 3dfx’s pioneering Voodoo 3D accelerators. And while Battlespire didn’t look terrible, it felt mechanically stiff and behind the curve next to other first-person games.
For all its flaws, Battlespire still contained some novel RPG ideas. You could have conversations with many of the monsters in the dungeons, who blabber at you with fully voiced and often amusing dialogue; if the interaction went well, you could avoid a fight, gain some info about how to progress, or even end up doing quests for them.
“Ken Rolston wrote that dialogue and did such a good job with it,” Le Fay tells me. “At one point I remember you’re looking for a key and you ask this scamp for the key and it says, ‘Ooh, it’s in a dark place near my tail – you want to see?’ And you only have one response option: ‘No, thank you.’ He was a very funny writer.”
Redguard, meanwhile, was the first and only Elder Scrolls game designed for a third-person perspective. It was a swashbuckling adventure set on a tropical island that was very much muscling into Tomb Raider territory. Critics liked it, even though its rudimentary 3DFX-powered graphics had a low internal framerate which gave it a strange stop-motion quality. Todd Howard took the lead for Redguard, and told German publication Gamestar (via Kotaku) back in 2014 that both it and Battlespire almost spelled catastrophe for Bethesda.
“Daggerfall did fine, then we spread ourselves thin. We started doing a lot of games, and they just weren’t good enough. And they weren’t the kind of games we should’ve been making at the time.
We did Battlespire, I did Redguard—a game I love, but it didn’t do well for the company. So there was this period… Daggerfall was ’96, maybe to 2000, we went through some very rough times. And that was when Bethesda became part of Zenimax, and that gave us kind of a new lease on life, really. And we went into Morrowind.”
Le Fay echoes Howard’s thoughts, adding that Bethesda wasn’t always an easy company to work for. “Neither Battlespire or Redguard took up a large amount of resources, but we were still a small-ish company at the time, so every person mattered a lot,” Le Fay says. “The company also lost employees during that period, including me. It was hard to replace people who have experience with new people who [didn’t] have any sort of comparable experience, even more so considering the relatively low pay at that time.”
Weaver, who was ultimately responsible for co-founding ZeniMax with his friend Robert Altman in 1999, retorts that the idea that Bethesda was nearly ruined by these games, and that the company was saved by ZeniMax during this time was just a rumour among developers, and “utter nonsense.” He does, however, admit that this was a difficult period for the company. “We did overextend on these games,” Weaver reflects, “and we had to cut back as the outflow was more than we wanted to bear and we had some immigration problems with a few key programmers so [we] had to close down one of our larger experimental projects.”
Weaver puts a more positive slant on the two games, saying that while they were never given the resources or time to establish spin-off series, they were vital to Bethesda’s creative growth. “I look at these games not so much as the quizzical offshoots that many from the outside would look at them, like ‘I wonder why they did that?’ Yes, they were completely different, but we were testing theories and giving people internally an opportunity to develop an empiric way to better inform the larger chapters that we were bringing out.”
Beyond the poor sales and what Weaver called – with a wry laugh- “passionate” fan reception where “some people loved what we were doing, some people hated it,” these games also caused The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind to be delayed. “They tried to synchronise things up to do the next Elder Scrolls and the timing got really messed up,” Le Fay says. “They couldn’t quite get everybody to be free at the same time and that was sort of what pissed me off. That was the final straw for me.”
Directly, it’s hard to see what either Bethesda or gamers gained from these two misadventures. Both Weaver and Le Fay struggle to recall what aspects of these games would go on to inform subsequent Elder Scrolls games, though you could make a case that the condensed island setting of Redguard anticipated Morrowind’s Isle of Vvardenfell – a much smaller but richer and more reactive setting than those of Daggerfall and Arena. Redguard was the first Elder Scrolls game to adopt a ‘less is more’ approach – a philosophy that Howard later implemented in Morrowind. Battlespire meanwhile, was the first game to let players traverse the planes of Oblivion. So who knows? Perhaps they deserve a little more credit than they get.
Battlespire and Redguard marked the end of an era for both Bethesda and the industry at large. With games growing in complexity and cost due to the rise of 3D-accelerated graphics, development teams grew exponentially, and even by the time Morrowind came out in 2002 it was already hard to imagine that just a few years earlier a couple of Elder Scrolls games were created by a handful of developers simply trying out new ideas based on customer feedback.
It wasn’t an easy time for Bethesda or those who worked there, but the missteps and mistakes of this time would eventually bring the studio together for the much-delayed Morrowind. And it goes without saying that Morrowind – easily one of the best RPG games of all time – wouldn’t have been the same game had it come out 18 months after Daggerfall when originally planned. Perhaps the series’ detours into the Oblivion dungeons and tropics of Tamriel were necessary for Bethesda’s treasured series to really find its identity.
Depends on the game. Many of the issues/bugs are actually engine-level and so it's not a simple matter of going into the Construction Set and fixing journal/quest stages, scripts, etc. The second part of the answer is that the authors of the Unofficial Patches (mainly Arthmoor) do a poor job, or add superfluous features/restore cut content instead of just fixing the bugs, essentially so that they have something to continue working on and to sustain donations. The Unofficial Patches are always a work in progress and it's probably by design. Fixing one thing also has a tendency to break something else because everything in Bethesda games is so interconnected.how the hell do their elder scrolls games have so much bugs even after so much unofficial patches?
The best saga in USLEEP is when Arthmoor added Oblivion Gates to all of the cities which, 1. made no sense, and 2. conflicted with literally every single city mod. He then threw a massive tantrum when people asked him to get rid of them, although he did eventually relent. Arthmoor is the custodian of the unofficial patches but the truth is that he's actually not a very good modder and many people have come to realise this over the years. The Oblivion patches for instance are pretty much settled and don't have or introduce any new issues, because he's not actively developing them. RUASLEEP was an option for Skyrim but that got nixxed, and then the author released Purist's Vanilla Patch which doesn't fuck with the game as much as USLEEP/USSEEP. The problem is that a lot of mods either rely on the Arthmoor patches or carry over changes from them, so you need to mess around with bashed patches and xEdit to fix things in heavily modded setups.the skyrim unofficial patch has a ton of shit that has nothing to do with fixing bugs, the guy who maintains it is a typical insane modder
Even IF they were to code a new engine from scratch, the most important feature would be the ability to import all those decade old scripts. Saving the team time and... money.
It's hard to compare simple corridor shooters or semi open world ones with Bethesda's game. Those require a lot more scripting under the hood than games that simply pop some enemies in your way.
On the visual front Beth constantly upgrades to make it... decent looking, but the old database system, insistence in their radiant AI routines and blindly reyling on legacy scripts to do the job throws spanners in the works.
Sunsetting the Bethesda.net Launcher & Migrating to Steam
Sunsetting the Bethesda.net Launcher & Migrating to Steam
The article is updated. Migration starts on April 27.
With that they will release several titles that was previously unavailable on Steam, including TES: Arena, Daggerfall, and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.