Will Diablo 4 be on Steam?
Unfortunately, Diablo 4 won't be available on Steam at launch, and likely won't be for the foreseeable future. However, it's not impossible for the ARPG to make its way to Valve's platform one day, so don't lose hope.
Diablo 4 is a Battle.net exclusive on PC
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Steam is the largest and most popular game distribution platform on Windows PC by a very wide margin, and in general, nearly every new PC game is available on it at launch. This is why some will be surprised to learn that this isn't the case for Diablo 4, one of 2023's biggest releases.
The reason why this is the case is because Diablo 4, like the vast majority of Activision Blizzard's other titles, is exclusive to the company's Battle.net client. There's no way to get around it: if you want to play Blizzard's new hack-and-slash ARPG, you'll need to do it on Battle.net.
This will no doubt frustrate some players, though I can understand why Blizzard wants to keep the game tied to its own platform. After all, Diablo 4 uses Battle.net accounts and servers across both console and PC versions of the game to ensure full cross-play and cross-progression, so it might have been very difficult to integrate Steam accounts into its systems.
The good news is that the Battle.net client is widely considered to be easy to use and stable, and I can corroborate that based on my own experiences with the launcher. While it's annoying to have to install a new app just to play one game, at least Battle.net runs smoothly and won't hog system resources.
Could Diablo 4 come to Steam in the future?
So if Diablo 4 isn't available on Steam now, could it be in the future? The answer is fairly complicated, but the long and short of it is that it's possible, but unlikely.
Very few Battle.net exclusive games have become available on other clients post-launch in the past, with the migration of Destiny 2 to Steam in 2019 being the only recent example I can think of — and that only happened because Bungie split with Activision. With that said, though, Activision Blizzard has published some games on Steam recently, including Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022).
Also, since Valve's platform has been successfully integrated with Xbox, PlayStation, Origin, and Destiny's Bungie.net accounts and services before, it seems possible that Activision Blizzard could allow Steam accounts to link with Battle.net ones. There may be technical challenges discouraging the publisher from doing so, though, and it's also possible that Blizzard simply doesn't want to bring the game to a PC platform other than its own.
The chances of Diablo 4 coming to Steam would likely go up quite a bit if Microsoft was able to complete its $69b acquisition of Activision Blizzard King for Xbox, as the company has prioritized publishing most of its Xbox console exclusives on Steam as well as the Microsoft Store. Recently, the deal was approved by the European Commission, though a block from UK regulators still stands in Microsoft's way. This week, Microsoft filed its appeal to the UK's CMA.
Diablo 4 is slated to fully launch on June 6, 2023 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PC, PS5, and PS4, with June 1 Early Access coming to fans that preorder the Digital Deluxe or Ultimate Edition. It has the potential to be one of the best Xbox games for fans of dungeon crawlers and hack-and-slash combat, and we can't wait to jump in when it arrives.
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