Bohemia Interactive have announced that their upcoming military sim Arma 3 will be Steam exclusive. As revelations go, it seems rather quaint - at this point developers tying their games to Valve's Steamworks suite is becoming increasingly the norm. It is, however, BI's first go at distributor exclusivity, and the team seem aware that the announcement will upset some members of their community. The reason for the move, according to Arma 3's project lead Joris-Jan van 't Land, is that, without Steam, the team wouldn't be able to release the game in 2013 at all.
"Some of you will remember the huge amount of different distributed versions for Arma 2, and all of the problems associated with it," he writes . "We needed to spend far too much time on creating and testing all the master copies. Every patch had to be tested for every conceivable combination of distribution, patch and DLC. This drained so many of our resources, that we could not support the game itself as much as we'd have liked. By targeting Steam as our primary distribution, we can take those resources and put them to much better use: making the most splendid game possible."
Van 't Land also points to Steam's proven distribution infrastructure and ready-made developer tools, as well as the dreaded P-word. "Think of it what you want, but piracy is affecting us as a business." He claims that Bohemia are working on expanding Steam's DRM solutions, announcing, "It will be possible to run Steam in Offline mode, and still play the game (with the exception of online services obviously, including multiplayer itself)."
As for the release, Bohemia say they're gearing up to announce further details in the near future.