Activision is now starting to test the waters with forgoing the 30% distribution cut that Valve would usually take from a game being available on Steam. They’re doing this by using Blizzard’s formerly named Battle.net launcher, which is now known as the Blizzard Launcher.
Shacknews is reporting that Blizzard CEO, Mike Morhaime, revealed that Destiny 2 won’t be appearing on Steam and will be exclusively using the Blizzard Launcher instead.
This is a departure from the typical Activision roll out of their games, where they’ve previously launched on Steam, including all of their Call of Duty games. Now many might say that this is typical for Blizzard since none of their games are on Steam either, but Destiny 2 isn’t being developed by Blizzard… it’s being made by Bungie.
This could be Activision’s way of testing the waters to see if they can edge out Valve from the distribution equation and keep the 30% for themselves, similar to what EA has done with their games and Origin.
This also means that they can keep all the sales stats and potential revenue of the PC version of Destiny 2 out of the public and prying eye of Steam Spy. There’s a lot of data that can be gleaned about a game from Steam Spy, and forfeiting a game from appearing on Steam means that analysts, industry insiders, and the media are bereft from having that information, which benefits Activision and the message they want to send regarding their products.
For instance, we still have no idea how many units Overwatch has actually sold. All we know is that 30 million people registered to play the game, which includes millions of people who have played the game from PC cafes and PC bangs over in South Korea and China. Muddying the data helps secure the internal figures for Activision and Blizzard but does little to help illuminate where their properties stand on the market.
Anyway, you’ll be able to play Destiny 2 for the first time on PC starting this September, but you won’t be playing it natively through Steam.