EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

July 7, 2011 -

When EA launched its personal digital distribution service late last month, the company insisted that it was never meant to compete with other digital distribution services like Steam. Now a company representative seems to be singing a different tune.

David DeMartini, head of Origin is talking about a "conflict" between its service and Steam. DeMartini says that recent business decisions by Steam have shown "areas of conflict" between the two services "on a going forward basis." DeMartini is referring to the sudden disappearance of Crysis 2, which, EA says, Valve took down because DLC for the game was being sold exclusively somewhere else.

"Crysis was taken down because the DLC was not available through Steam; it was available through [Direct2Drive]," said DeMartini in an interview with Gamasutra. "That would, I guess, be a situation where two partners didn't see eye to eye, and by their choice, they were going to take that product down because they were insisting that the DLC be available through Steam."

"We believe in absolute freedom of choice to allow customers to buy through whatever retail outlet... as long as they're buying an EA game, we're delighted," he added.

While DeMartini had sassy things to say about Steam, he did not say that EA was done distributing its games on Valve's digital distribution service:

"We feel like if you buy the product with Origin, where we're going on a long-term basis is we'll integrate some of the Origin feature set into many of our highest-profile IP... but by all means if your preferred retailer is Best Buy or Direct2Drive or Impulse or Steam or Amazon... we're going to make our product available to you."

But the million dollar question is, what does this mean and why is EA saying it now? Speculation is that EA will offer a number of its most popular titles via its own services first. This saves them from paying commissions on sales and allows them to offer deals that only a publisher can offer directly to a consumer. Could be.

We'll continue to follow Origin to see how EA plans to utilize it for future AAA releases.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

Orgin is pretty much EA Store renamed.  Same rules apply such as you have a limited time to redownload the title you purchased or you must die again and then you must buy insurance only to extend this window window for a very short period of time. All and all EA Store now known as Origin is not worth it.

Also EA has announced Star Wars The Old Republic will be in an Orgin exculsive. If EA decides not to sell anywhere else but Origin I doubt LucasArts will be able to profit. Here is hoping EA doesn't get any more brilliant ideas on how to hurt sales.

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

It all boils down to this issue for me:

I can trust Steam. Origin is an unknown.

In looking at EA's own website for things like game patches I'm not impressed so far. If EA's horrible support knowledgebase and subsequent deeply burried patch download page are any indication as to how Origin is going to work. Yeah... no thanks EA.

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

Not to mention the fact that with Steam, you can redownload and reinstall your game as many times as you need to. With Origin, that will not necessarily be the case. It may have changed, but I remember reading that you had a one year window to install your game with Origin (extendable to two years for a fee). After that? Screw you, buy it again.

Again, this may have changed, but given that EA's games on Steam are all infected with SecuROM and shackled with limited activations, I don't think they're going to change it for Origin.

So I guess for me, I already know if I can trust Origin, and the answer is a resounding no.

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

 

I agree that a lot of this EA stuff sounds fishy, Crysis 2 being ejected from Steam but not a game like The Sims 3 with its in-game content store, but seriously, why is it so bad for something not to be on Steam?

I've seen people say this, so I'll ask: is Steam that important that you can't be bothered to buy something if it doesn't appear there?

Have you ever tried your hand at the stock market? Or heard of the idiom "don't put all your eggs in one basket?" Do you need to be connected with everyone you know or have played any game with over Steam, or for that matter, Xbox Live! or the PSN, every second of every day while you're playing any and every game? Isn't that what social networking, IM, and Skype are for?

Ever think how angering it'd be if you lost access to your Steam account? Maybe your ISP screws up and you lose internet for a day and you don't have the chance to go into Offline mode, let's say, as a not-so-random example...for 26 hours? At least I could still play my retail copy of Crysis 2...or any of my Xbox 360 games and all but the MMO games I have for PC, oh, wait, except for my one Steam game, Supreme Commander 2, which I would have appreciated if it had mentioned being a Steamworks game anywhere on the retail box before I opened it up and saw the serial key card.

Maybe you did something illegal, or Valve incorrectly suspects you of wrongdoing, or you breach the terms of service in a way that you didn't think anything of, but Valve did and your account is suspended or banned. What would you do then? Open a new Steam account and buy everything again? Just re-buy the games you've played recently? Tell all your Steam friends your new account and start over again on all your achievements?

Pre-post edit: Actually, Left4Dead raises a good point, license transfers. I've always hoped to be able to add games I bought at retail to my digital distribution accounts so I wouldn't always have to dig through boxes to find older games for re-install, but I think that most distributors view that idea the same as cable companies on stealing cable or wireless carriers on unauthorized tethering, they don't want you using their network in any way other than what you're paying them for.
 

 

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

re: Your Pre-post edit. Some retail games (not all, mind you) can be added to your steam account. I added Guild Wars to my steam account long after having the retail copy. I later bought the other three campaigns while they were on sale on steam and added them to my existing GW account. I've also bought items from the GW ingame store and not had any problem with my account access with steam.

I think the issue at hand is that Valve felt slighted by EA that they were not given access to the DLC for Crysis and decided 'screw it, if we cant have it, we'll stop selling your game altogether.'

 

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

The whole Crysis 2 "crisis" makes me want to cry 'sis'.

I was organizing my wishlist recently on Steam and discovered that Crysis 2 no longer had a pricetag.  Clicking it sent me to the Steam homepage.  Repeated the process a couple times and then ran a Google search and discovered EA and Valve being stupid.

Valve, EA, both of you need to stop acting like small children.  You should be working toward letting me transfer my digital licenses to and from whatever DRM platform I want to use.  This is a step in the WRONG direction.  As such, I'm not buying Crysis 2 anywhere for a really long time.  I probably wasn't going to buy Crysis 2 until the GOTY edition came out and its price was reduced to the $10 range, but stupid stunts like this makes me REALLY not want to buy it.  Crysis was "okay".  Keep that in mind.

- 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 Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

"We believe in absolute freedom of choice to allow customers to buy through whatever retail outlet"

Then make the dlc available through Steam maybe? No? Ok, you're just doing preemptive media attacks on Steam then.

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

My thoughts exactly. Seems pretty hypocritical of EA to make a statement like that and then make their DLC a Direct2Drive exclusive. That's NOT what I call "freedom of choice to allow customers to buy through whatever retail outlet" because you are forced to use Direct2Drive if you want access to that DLC. It's plain unfair competition if some other digital retailer gets the superior version.

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

Did you not read the article?

They originally had the DLC on Steam, they didn't want to have it removed. It wasn't their fault that Valve decided to remove it because it wasn't exclusive to their service.

I would compare Valve's action, in this case, to GameStop refusing to sell a game because it can also be brought at Walmart. It's so stupid. Most goods and services have some form of competition, removing an entire product from your shelves because you don't want to face such competition is just counterintuitive; You don't make any money when nothing's on your shelves.

And aside from that, plenty of people use Steam over D2D anyway, enough so that Valve removing the game from their store seems rather foolish.

Re: EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

Actually Mr. Tastix, you didn't read the article properly. Valve was selling the game. Then the DLC is released elsewhere and not made available for steam. Then Valve pulled the game, not the DLC. They never had the DLC in the first place.

It's more like Gamestop selling a game that Walmart also sells. Then the publisher (i.e. EA) puts out an expansion pack but only makes it available at Walmart. Then Gamestop decides to stop selling the game altogether. Not the greatest of ideas, but a slightly more understandable.

Valve didn't stop selling the game because of competition (unlike some UK chain stores). Valve stopped selling the game because they made the DLC exclusive to someone else.

 

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?
 
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