Up For Debate - Having multiple launchers is annoying and developers need to stop

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Apr 24, 2021 5:00 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

The digital age of video games has brought forth many benefits to the gaming community, but there’s also a lot of downsides too. One of the biggest issues that comes with digital games is multiple storefronts with different launchers to then play your downloaded games. But having multiple launchers is annoying and developers need to stop.

There used to be a time where you would only need 1 launcher: Steam. That was back in the glory days before companies started creating their own storefronts and launchers to bypass the fees for selling on Steam and bring more players into their own ecosystem.

Now we have anywhere between 1 and 10 launchers, maybe even more. I can’t be bothered to count them all, but at least a good third of my Windows 10 taskbar is taken up by the various launchers needed to play the games I have purchased.

I even came across a thread on Reddit titled: Am I the only one fed up with extraneous launchers? In which the user, u/PaleBlueHammer, talked about their experience with the recent integration of the 2K launcher whilst trying to play XCOM 2.

In it, they proclaimed how the launcher simply did nothing but negatively impact the overall experience. At first it did nothing but make you click the PLAY button a second time, but then they went to detail how it also takes up your system’s resources and even can negate any and all mods you have installed.

Now you could work around this, as u/PaleBlueHammer also mentions, by getting a custom launcher from somewhere like GitHub, or declining the terms of service each time they launch the game, or even getting locked out of gameplay options and content etc. But should gamers really have to jump through so many hoops before they can play the game they want?

I think the worst culprit is when one launcher launches another launcher. Who’s to say where the line stops? Some games on Game Pass will require you to launch EA’s own launcher, so what if Game Pass at some point comes to Steam? Then to play a game you’ll be launching Steam, then Game Pass, then Origin.

I know the situation is not that bad yet, and probably will never be, but it’s an interesting thought when one launcher already requires a second launcher as well.

There have been movements to create a unified game launcher. Stuff like GOG Galaxy already lets you integrate multiple launchers so you can start a game from different clients all from the same window. But it's not a perfect solution, as it still requires some level of negotiation and agreements, and you still need the other launchers installed on your PC even if you don't open them.

The thing is, launchers wouldn’t be that bad if they actually brought something to the table. At worst a launcher can negatively impact your gaming experience, at best they’re just completely worthless (at least in terms of the gaming experience that is - I am well aware of the benefits of having a launcher to organize and categorize a list of owned video games).

So what do you think? Are multiple launchers annoying? Or are we just complaining about an extra bit of effort needed to launch a game? Should developers just all just agree on a unified launcher for every game? What other alternatives are there? And what benefits actually come from using dedicated launchers? Let’s debate!

How many launchers do you have installed?

How do you feel about having multiple launchers?

Do you use GOG Galaxy or a custom launcher to unify all your installed clients?

What is your experience with a unified launcher like GOG Galaxy?

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
14
Offline
admin approved badge
17:40 May-04-2021

Do emulator launchers count? If not, it's 6. Doesn't really bother me, but I do prefer to have all my games in one place. Otherwise, i forget what i have.

0
Rep
-1
Offline
05:44 Apr-27-2021

Ubisoft launcher is still somewhat okay- it has its own store, demos, free giveaways, achievements, etc. But origins and epic are just absolutely garbage-they have no feature, nothing to customise your experience, origins especially ****ty

0
Rep
1
Offline
22:30 Apr-25-2021

To me 1 or 100 it doesn't matter.
Solution - physical games in the forms of Micro SD cards of flash drives, or both.

0
Rep
28
Offline
07:22 Apr-25-2021

"Having multiple launchers is annoying and developers need to stop". Imma stop you right there thats sound like a publisher decision to maximize profits in their digital store. Do we give steam 30%(25% after 10M earned 20% after 50M earned) OR we dont give them a cut and make our own digital platform and save money in the long run. Just watch whats happening to the steaming services right now.

2
Rep
136
Offline
03:29 Apr-25-2021

Origin is the worst, opening browser to click on Play?!!! What is the point of having a launcher then? Give us browser add-on and be done with it.

4
Rep
-6
Offline
02:15 Apr-25-2021

Ubisoft, Origin, Steam, Epic, Battle net, Rockstar launchers...

0
Rep
160
Offline
23:55 Apr-24-2021

what's annoying are those pesky updates every time you open a launcher (I don't get how they manage to have 100+MB updates so often), especially if your internet isn't that fast. Also when they forget your username/password even if you selected the "remember me" checkbox (and then force you to solve those stupid captchas)

6
Rep
76
Offline
admin approved badge
22:48 Apr-24-2021

I got 8, Steam, GOG Galaxy, Epic Launcher, Origin, Ubisoft Connect, Battle.Net, Rockstar Launcher and Bethesda Launcher. Not really badly annoyed, I use GOG Galaxy to have most of things in one place. But then again, if any of them shuts down, I still got plenty of games on others... :-D Makes you wonder how screwed some would be, if Steam just suddenly shut down. :-D

0
Rep
116
Offline
20:52 Apr-24-2021

I dislike clutter. I don't like having multiple different programs that do exactly the same thing. It's unnecessary. I like to run a clean system with only stuff I need, know how to find and what to use for.
Having a launcher per game just seems excessive. Another DRM store to add to the collection.

1
Rep
30
Offline
19:49 Apr-24-2021

In general, it doesn't bother me. I have Steam, GOG, Epic, Battlenet, maybe some others I forgot... I think people make way too big a deal out if it. I know if I want to play "insert game" I launch "insert Launcher. No big deal.


What does bother me is the chain launchers mentioned in the article. Launching a game just to be prompted by another launcher is absolutely ludicrous.

5
Rep
55
Offline
19:37 Apr-24-2021

And Blizzard is the worst offender right up with Rockstar Games forcing us to download a launcher just to access their games.

0
Rep
11
Offline
19:35 Apr-24-2021

I've got my old-school launcher, a folder with shortcuts. Launches all my games from one source and after each game I close steam, or Origin, etc, so no wasted resourses.

2
Rep
-25
Offline
00:37 Apr-25-2021

Sounds like a good idea!

0
Rep
-6
Offline
02:17 Apr-25-2021

lol same dude, thought I was the only one doing such thing

1
Rep
3
Offline
19:12 Apr-24-2021

It's ridiculous to have multiple launcher just to run a game, also keep in mind that all these launchers take up RAM and CPU. So yeah i don't like the idea of "Multiple launchers" Steam is enough, and i like the experience that Steam gives to me :).

2
Rep
80
Offline
admin approved badge
22:45 Apr-24-2021

"also keep in mind that all these launchers take up RAM and CPU" i guess you are one of thos who never close/kill process after finishing using the program and the always leave them all to launch on startup

0
Rep
3
Offline
09:59 Apr-25-2021

Nope i don't have such programs on startup and yes i close the programs when i quit the game :D.

0
Rep
80
Offline
admin approved badge
12:22 Apr-25-2021

then how would having multiple launchers incress resource consumption if only 1 is open at a time(not including thos games that require multiple of them)

0
Rep
3
Offline
14:09 Apr-25-2021

I meant, if you have multiple launchers opened, of course a closed program doesn't consume anything :D.

0
Rep
93
Offline
senior admin badge
18:06 Apr-24-2021

The best launcher there is at the moment is Steam. GOG is way too slow to handle my library, fortunately you don't even need their launcher to play the games.

2
Rep
-19
Offline
17:25 Apr-24-2021

the worst for me was when you'd buy an EA game on Steam and then have to have an Origin acct to be able to play. Then one day Ubisoft started doing it too. Now the number of stores is ridiculous.

0
Rep
10
Offline
17:59 Apr-24-2021

Origin & Uplay were awful in the past now they are less awful but they are bloat either way.

0
Rep
93
Offline
senior admin badge
18:10 Apr-24-2021

EA has a more lightweight launcher for it now. Still weird, but better than a full Ubisoft launcher. Neither is good though

0
Rep
-19
Offline
16:41 Apr-29-2021

They aren't as bad now but the fact I needed to have to then play Alice madness returns or NFS hot pursuit was crap. EA went so far as to require registering the game with them to play Hot Pursuit on Xbox 360.

0

Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Sapphire Pulse 6GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz Intel HD Graphics 4400 Mobile 2GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti MSI Gaming 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| Low, 1080p
Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Radeon HD 7970 OC Sapphire Edition 16GB
Core i5-9600K 6-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 64 Gigabyte 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Zotac Gaming Twin Edge 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB 16GB
Xeon Processor X5690 GeForce GTX 1070 Zotac AMP! Xtreme 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-870 Quad 2.93GHz GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Edition 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Gaming OC 3X 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz Intel HD Graphics 630 Mobile 32GB
0% No [2 votes]