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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Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, How is that different from every other credit card company targeting high school and college students?07/30/2014 - 1:40pm
Sleaker@EZK - I think some people are concerned beacuse it's a predatory technique targetted toward younger people that don't understand on top of offering the worst interest rates of any retailer around.07/30/2014 - 11:33am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/30/europe-gets-long-detained-shin-megami-tensei-4-at-cut-price/ "Sorry you had to wait a year for SMT4, would a price cut make it sting less?"07/30/2014 - 10:29am
NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
MaskedPixelanteBut that's not the issue, the 3DS is perfectly capable of emulating GBA games. The problem is that it doesn't have enough available system resources to run it alongside the 3DS OS, and thus it doesn't have access to stuff like Miiverse and save states.07/29/2014 - 5:45pm
Matthew WilsonI am well aware that it requires more power, but if a GBA emulator could run well on a original psp, than it should work on a 3ds.07/29/2014 - 5:36pm
ZenThe reason the SNES could run Gameboy, or the Gamecube could run GBA was because their adapters included all of the necessary hardware to do it in the respective add-ons. The systems were just conduits for control inputs and video/sound/power.07/29/2014 - 4:51pm
ZenMatthew: Emulation takes more power than people realize to run a game properly. You can make something run on less, but Nintendo...as slow as they are at releasing them..makes them run as close to 100% as possible. Each game has its own emulator for it.07/29/2014 - 4:47pm
 

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