I am thinking about buying Wolfenstein (2009), but on the packaging I noticed that it says something about Steam. Do I also need Steam for single player mode? Basically I want to avoid Steam for various reasons that are irrelevant to this question.

  • Ask the cashier. – user1306322 May 11 '13 at 7:24
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    @user1306322: hmm, if they know as much as about computers themselves - a field in which I know a little more - then they'll also just check the packaging and tell me what's written there ;) – 0xC0000022L May 11 '13 at 17:55
  • I guess we all here might know more than cashiers at retail stores, but hey, never hurts to try! – user1306322 May 11 '13 at 18:11

Yes, you need Steam to install the game. I will not run at all without Steam.

Steam is a DRM and content-distribution client, not a multiplayer service. Its main function is to manage the installation of the game, tie the serial number to a single account, and keep it up-to-date. All of these functions are independent of online multiplayer options in a game – in fact, there are many games that use/require Steam that have no online capabilities at all, but even these non-online-aware games require Steam because the Steam client manages them.

For Wolfenstein (2009) in particular, it was released for PC before it was released for Steam (August 2009 for original NA, AUS, and EU releases, October 2009 for Steam release)[1], so in theory there are copies out there for sale that don't require Steam at all. If the one you're considering buying says "Steam" on the packaging though, then that copy is not one of them and it will not run without first installing Steam.

  • thanks a lot for the comprehensive answer. Especially that remark about the August 2009 is interesting. Will try to find one of these. – 0xC0000022L May 11 '13 at 17:57
  • @0xC0000022L I'm not sure how easy they will be to find now, but it may be worth looking! – SevenSidedDie May 11 '13 at 17:59
  • Some Steam games don't even have multiplayer capabilities, let alone online mp. – user1306322 May 11 '13 at 18:10
  • @user1306322 Quite right. I incorrectly used "no online capabilities" to also mean "no multiplayer", but you're correct that there is still such thing as non-online multiplayer. – SevenSidedDie May 11 '13 at 18:26

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