Bohemia Interactive has announced that they've partnered with Valve to release Arma 3 as a Steam exclusive, adding that the decision was a step in getting the game back on track for a 2013 launch.
In a blog post on the studio's site, project lead Joris-Jan van't Land said that the studio was motivated to go with the choice when it became clear the game would otherwise not make its 2013 window.
The developer explained that the game was at a difficult stage when he took the position four months prior, and that the prolonged imprisonment of two team members in Greece around the same time added a much more serious layer of turmoil on top of the development issues.
The first two months on the job were all about taking an inventory of the project and team, seeing what was going well, what was not, and coming up with plans to fix it all. The mission set by our CEO, Marek Španel, was clear: do all we can to release Arma 3 in 2013,” van't Land wrote.
One of the steps in this plan has been to select Valve's Steam as our primary platform. Not only is Arma 3 PC-exclusive, but now we have decided to make it Steam-exclusive as well. Since we expect this will upset some of our fans, I'd like to take the time to honestly explain our motivations.”
Španel himself added that Valve's platform, and more specifically its SteamWorks tool suite, makes for a more user-friendly experience on both the developer and consumer side.
As an independent developer, we're constantly evaluating the way we develop, distribute and publish games. Valve made tremendous improvements to their system, which made the installation/update process much more user-friendly - for both developers and customers,” Španel said.
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.”
No word on a specific release date, though Bohemia did tease that an announcement regarding full release plans for Arma 3 isn't far off.