Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 30, 2014
arrowPress Releases
July 30, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


EA's Origin Service To Host Third-Party Games In November
EA's Origin Service To Host Third-Party Games In November
October 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

October 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
Comments
    13 comments
More:



Electronic Arts' recently launched digital distribution platform Origin will soon offer PC titles from outside publishers including Warner Bros. Interactive, THQ and Capcom, the company announced today.

Titles like WB's Batman: Arkham City, and THQ's Saints Row: The Third will be added to the service some time in November, EA said today, alongside undisclosed "top new releases" from the publishers.

"We are very pleased to partner with EA and have Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's key PC titles available on Origin," WB senior VP for digital games Greg Ballard said in a statement. "In growing our digital offerings for consumers we want to give fans increased access to critically acclaimed titles such as Batman: Arkham City."

EA has been hinting that third-party content would be joining EA's Origin offerings since at least July, and in September promised that third-party content would be coming to Origin 'very soon.

Origin now claims over 6 million registered users who can currently download a library of over 100 of EA's PC titles. By contrast, Valve's segment-leading PC game download service Steam boasted over 35 million active users choosing from 1,800 titles as of September.


Related Jobs

Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States
[07.30.14]

Visual Effects Artist
Nexon America, Inc.
Nexon America, Inc. — El Segundo , California, United States
[07.30.14]

Localization Coordinator
Firaxis Games
Firaxis Games — Sparks, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
[07.30.14]

Senior Visual Effects Artist
Gearbox Software
Gearbox Software — Plano, Texas, United States
[07.30.14]

Release Engineer










Comments


Bart Stewart
profile image
I've been expecting this for a while. As a strategic concern, EA was only going to allow Valve to get away with effectively owning this important future revenue segment for so long.



The interesting question remains how the physical retail distributors will react to EA's shift to Origin for distributing its games.

Steve Badley
profile image
Signature PC titles should still be available as retail box units at local retailers. Collector's Editions especially (think SWTOR & Blizzard's franchises) that include more than the game itself will continue to be good revenue sources - especially since there's always those who are willing to pay big for them.



Another consideration is bandwidth. Many ISPs are capping their customer's bandwidth based on the amount of data being uploaded & downloaded. Gamers who would consider using a game download service like a Kindle library might consider that. So I'm guessing retail disc copies won't be going away anytime soon. In fact, the biggest threat to PC gaming is probably the console market. But that's another subject altogether :)

Steve Badley
profile image
I agree @Enrique. Steam's client is WAY too invasive imho. In fact, my hard drive required reformatting for the system registry to be completely cleared of it. I won't ever go back to Steam (regardless of how exclusive to them a title is) having eschewed ALL of my Steam digital downloads in favor of purchasing disc copies of those games I continue playing. I've had good luck with Origin. While raw and light (I HOPE it remains that way) Origin is simple and stays out of the way. But the king of functionality is still Activision/Blizzard's Battle.net.

Mike Griffin
profile image
What exactly is the shady part about Steam's installation that causes you to believe it's "WAY too invasive"? Like, what's the bad part? I'm not defending or challenging; I'm genuinely curious, as I've never heard this argument used before, nor felt Steam was invasive myself.

Steve Badley
profile image
After uninstalling the client SteamService.dll was still active in the Task Manager's process window, and the launcher icon remained intact on the taskbar. I had to search the registry for applicable entries and manually nuke them, as well as the Steam directory in the Program Files folder (which remained largely intact.) The service never showed up in Services under Computer Management, so I had no way of setting it to manual. Ultimately I wrote 0s to the drive and started from scratch because my attempts at completely eliminating Steam from my system created stability issues. It's almost like the uninstall did little more than remove the obvious startup files.



Maybe I'm too old school but regarding gameplay experience, I don't want to be forced to go through a web launcher to play non-MMO games that are resident on my local system. I don't mind having to go through a launcher that gives me the option of playing either online or offline (like GFW Live, though not being able to save an offline game sucks), but I at least want that option! The Steam games I downloaded to my PC wouldn't start if the Steam client wasn't installed and running - which I find to be completely unnecessary.



As a digital download "accessory" Steam has every freedom to enhance the game acquisition experience. However they have no right to control access to it after it's been purchased and installed.

Tom Baird
profile image
Steam games are not chained fully to online, Steam has an offline mode.

As well saying things were good in the past, why change is a silly arguement imo. If that's the case we would stop all improvements on anything as soon as it was deemed "good".



That's not to say Steam can't be overly restrictive, or that Starcraft 2 should be chained to online (what this has to do with Steam I have no idea). But you can go offline on Steam for weeks at a time, and stopping when the current situation is satisfactory flies in the face of all sorts of concepts of innovation and improvement.

Ian Uniacke
profile image
I hear you Steve and agree. I'm not 100% opposed to steam I still use it but I don't like the way it's set up. Battle.net is certainly well implemented (but not a lot of software yet), also Good Old Games interface is very well done...although that doesn't have modern software is the caveat. But certainly I think these other service providers should look to those models for a nice user experience.

Abraham Tatester
profile image
I certainly don't mean to suggest that Steam is perfect, but If you guys think Steam is invasive, I'm surprised you all don't have a problem with Origin. Even EA admits that it's spyware. Read the EULA or just google "EA Origin data mining."

Steve Badley
profile image
Ya @Abraham, there won't be any safe haven for PC gamers before long... if we aren't there already. They all do it. I blogged on data mining as it relates to voter privacy and got some nastygrams back from "official sources." I think it will take a humungous and highly publicized boycott or lawsuit to get the right people's attention on this. Anyone have connections to G4?

Mike Griffin
profile image
I hear ya. But most Steam versions of PC games these days "ship" their Steam client with several of its platform services installed or active -- I.e., Steamworks and in-game Achievements, piggybacking Steam for voice chat, game community pages, leaderboards, etc. So they're effectively tied to the "service" you bought them on. But typically that enforced link results in positives for the player on Steam.



With regards to uninstalling the Steam client (i.e., when returning loaner PCs), usually I just run the uninstaller and leave it at that. I didn't realize the service remained as an active process after the fact. Oh well, it's probably not causing any harm.

Steve Badley
profile image
I agree completely that there are some good things about the additional services you mentioned. My best model for that is Battle.net and how it functions with/through Starcraft II. Battle.net houses all the achievements, campaign saves, access to online communities and of course the online PvP universe. Originally the service became Blizzard's defacto game launcher in answer to all the account hacking that once prevailed in WoW. But it quits completely when I quit SC2, just as it does when I quit WoW or Diablo II.



Origin remains active when I quit games played from my Origins profile, but once it's closed it stays closed. Neither Steam nor GFW Live likes being closed, and both actively attempt to reopen themselves when they are. So I don't trust them, which means I will no longer purchase any games exclusive to those services.



An interesting hybrid I came across is Dirt3. I purchased a ddl of the game through Steam, and the game requires GFW Live for online play (career saves, achievements, etc.) I had to launch it using Steam, then had to log into Windows Live to run it. Both had to be concurrently active to play the game and all that did was bog my system and hammer my bandwidth. I uninstalled Steam and the game wouldn't launch. I tried uninstalling the game after that and it wouldn't uninstall, stating that uninstalling required the Steam client. So I reinstalled Steam to uninstall the game, then uninstalled Steam. What a mess...

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
Origin's localization is better than Steam's one. Payment has lower barriers for those that don't have international credit cards. Price is adapted to forex and local realities. Keep the good work, EA.

Keith Nemitz
profile image
Indie game developers need to find some of this EA love.


none
 
Comment: