We've given various entities flak for exclusive games, whether it's titles that are tied to particular console hardware or specific distribution services on the PC, so it's only fair that we point out that Arma 3 will be a Steam exclusive. In a blog post on its website, developer Bohemia Interactive revealed that it's going all-in with Valve's popular distribution service for the next version of its FPS franchise. Arma 3 was already a PC exclusive, and now it'll be available only on Steam.
According to the blog post, there are several reasons for Bohemia's Steam-only approach. The big one seems to be the expanding array of built-in features offered by the service, including developer-centric enhancements that make it easier for Bohemia to manage and patch the game. Having to maintain only one version of the game will further save development resources, the company says. Bohemia will also be able to save time by using Steam's DRM instead of another anti-piracy solution. On that note, the post makes it clear that Arma 3 will be playable using Steam's offline mode, although obviously not for multiplayer.
Bohemia goes so far as to claim there was "a very real chance there would be no Arma 3 this year" had Steam not been targeted exclusively, so it seems the move really will save development time. Unfortunately, there's no mention of whether zombie survival shooter DayZ, whose standalone release is being developed by Bohemia and will use the Arma 3 engine, is also going to be a Steam exclusive. I can't say I'll be terribly disappointed if it is. Exclusives can be a pain, but I can sympathize with the plight of smaller developers trying to compete in waters swimming with much bigger fish. Plus, I tend to buy everything on Steam even when I have a choice to use other outlets. A developer chosing the best solution isn't necessarily the same as a publisher restricting a title to an inferior one. Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.