Games studio Bohemia Interactive has made a surprise announcement that fans of its Arma series may want to check out: Arma 3 is going to be exclusive to Valve's Steam digital distribution service.
The latest entry in the company's military simulation series, Arma 3 has suffered something a schedule slip from its originally-forecast 2012 release - not helped, in all likelihood, by the arrest and subsequent bailing of some of its developers
under accusations of spying on a real-world military base. Despite this and other hiccoughs, the game is getting ready for release and - as our preview of the title from Gamescom 2012 shows
- is looking pretty damn impressive.
If you're looking to upgrade from the four year old Arma 2
, however, you're going to need to grab yourself a copy of Valve's Steam software - or use the one bundled with Arma 3, which is to be a Steam exclusive.
'As an independent developer, we’re constantly evaluating the way we develop, distribute and publish games. Valve [has] made tremendous improvements to their system, which made the installation/update process much more user-friendly - for both developers and customers,
' explained Marek Španěl, company founder and chief executive, in a statement to press. 'We realize that some people may find it difficult to migrate to a new platform, especially if they were used to purchasing and playing our games without any external third-party application. We have evaluated the pros and cons, but in the end Steam enables us to release Arma 3, brings massive advantages to the game, and improves the end-user experience. Not to forget, the majority of our players already come from Steam.
The announcement comes as developer Joris-Jan van't Land published a blog post
detailing some of the difficulties that have led to the game's schedule slip, and defending his company's decision to switch to Steam - and, at the same time, eschew consoles by making Arma 3 a PC exclusive.
' van't Land claims, is this: 'we feel that without going Steam-exclusive, we would not be able to release Arma 3 in 2013.
As well as being made available for purchase directly through Steam, Arma 3 will receive a retail release which includes a DVD with the game and a copy of the Steam client for those who have a limited or slow internet connection. Thus far, however, the company has not provided a firm release date beyond promising that Arma 3 will be a 2013 title.