EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

June 3, 2011 -

It looks like Electronic Arts wants to go head-to-head with Steam - or at least save some money by avoiding Valve's digital distribution platform altogether. This morning the company dusted off its Origin label (you know, the company founded by Richard Garriott) as the name of a new digital distribution service. EA is calling Origin a "direct-to-consumer gaming platform where consumers can find, purchase and download all the best content from EA." Origin launches today with more than 150 games. In the months ahead, Origin will be the place to purchase and download exclusive limited edition copies of EA games, including Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12, and content from EA Partners including Alice: Madness Returns and 38 Studios' Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Later this year, digital downloads of Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available exclusively on Origin.

Also launching today is the Origin beta application. Available for download at www.origin.com, the Origin beta is a desktop application that lets users find and connect with friends, see what they are playing, and download and play PC games straight from EA.

Origin will also be available to mobile devices giving gamers access to an Origin mobile profile where they can connect and play with friends in EA's smartphone titles, including SCRABBLE and the upcoming mobile version of Battlefield 3. In the future, mobile gamers will also be able to see what games their friends are playing, as well as compare high scores.

Yes, it does sound a lot like Steam. The service is basically a rework of the EA Games Store.


Comments

Re: EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

EA for the lulz.  I'm not installing anything other than Steam until I can TRANSFER DIGITAL LICENSES between platforms.

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

If they want to stand a chance against Steam, a good start would be NOT charging a $5 fee to let you download the game again at a later date...like their current Download setup does.

Re: EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

Current? Nope.

I've never had any issues redownloading games from the EA Download manager. Everything I've ever owned on it is as accessible as they day I bought it. The way people still talk like it's a currently existing issue seems like total BS.

If such internet legends are so strong this long after they stopped doing it, any kind of EA store is dead in the water, no matter how many times they rebrand it.

Re: EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

Poking around the FAQs:

"Q: Will my game download ever expire?
A: Digital download rights remain available for at least one year after purchase. Origin typically doesn’t retire games, and we’ve only retired about 10 of the 200 games we sell, and these have generally been because of the expiration of licensing rights."

So looks like an improvement from the old horrible 'charge to redownload' model, but the fact that redownloads are only guaranteed for 1 year still puts it far below steam.

I really want to buy alice returns on digital, looks like i may have to wait longer to see if it pops up online elsewhere or resort to retail for the first time in years...

*sigh*

Re: EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

Seriously.  The one time I was about to make a purchase at the EA online store, I noticed their policy about redownloading games, and I was horrified.  You got a minimal window in which to download the game, but for an extra fee, you could extend that window to 2 years.  If you failed to do so and wanted to download the game again later, you had to buy it again.  I couldn't believe someone could actually attempt to sell things under such a horrible system, when Steam already existed and offered you unlimited downloads of your games, forever, from anywhere.  I said nuts to EA's online store, and went and bought a physical copy of the game instead.  If they don't change that policy for Origin, it's going to be one of Steam's more short-lived "competitors".

 
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E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
 

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