ARMA 3 Is Steam Exclusive
This just in: ARMA 3 will not only be PC-exclusive, but it will also be Steam exclusive, as announced on Bohemia Interactive's developer blog by Joris-Jan van't Land, the current project lead. An action that stuns many, and will probably lead to heated arguments as to the decision being a good or bad thing for PC gaming and gaming in general, it was not made without reason. In fact, most of the post is dedicated to explaining this choice.
At the very basis of this, lies the decision and determination of Bohemia Interactive to release ARMA 3 in 2013. As to quote Joris, "The bottom-line: we feel that without going Steam-exclusive, we would not be able to release ARMA 3 in 2013." He further states that Steam is a "proven distribution platform" and Valve "has been a good partner", stating that other platforms "simply do not have the reach, support and status Steam does." Furthermore the recent upgrades to Steamworks have made this all the more enticing an option. Other reasons include the fact that there will be no need for too many distributed versions, and "ready-made functionality" made available by Steamworks. Lastly, he also pulls in the issue of Piracy, stating that with the removal of DRM, the only choice left is to place it on Steam, where "it will be possible to run Steam in Offline mode and still play the game". Lastly, they will be able to focus on game development rather than other nitty-gritty details.
As for the players, he states that moving to Steam will give them a "smoother experience", with automatic patching and advanced tools available, as well as online services that other platforms can provide. Further questions are answered in a quick Q&A shown below. All in all, I believe this was a tough decision handled very well, with clear explanations as to the reasons. Thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.
1. So, when will you release ARMA 3 then?
a. "Soon" has become an overused word, but we are preparing all we need to unveil our plans right this moment.
2. Do I have to run the game through Steam?
a. Yes, it will be required to run the game through Steam. We do not believe in always-online types of DRM however, so Offline mode will be supported.
3. Will I be able to buy a boxed copy of ARMA 3?
a. There will be boxed copies in most regions. These may either be Steam Codes in a retail package, or also contain DVD data (speeding up installation). You will still have to run and update through Steam the first time.
4. I don't want any of the benefits Steam brings me, so why should I care?
a. There was a very real chance there would be no ARMA 3 this year otherwise.