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Crysis 2 and Others Disappear from Steam, EA's Relationship With Steam Unknown [UPDATED]

EA claims Crysis 2 was taken down because the business terms on Steam have changed.

UPDATE: Electronic Arts has responded to my questions regarding its current relationship with Steam, claiming Crysis 2 was not removed from Steam because EA asked. Instead, EA claims Steam "imposed a set of business terms" that resulted in an existing agreement Crytek had regarding Crysis 2 that "violates the new rules," resulting in the "expulsion" of Crysis 2.

I've asked EA for better clarification on what "business terms" have changed and why games like Alice: Madness Returns are no longer on Steam. I've also requested comment from Valve.

The full statement is below:

"It’s unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service. This was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA.

Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service – many of which are not imposed by other online game services. Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.

Crysis 2 continues to be available on several other download services including GameStop, Amazon, Origin.com and more."

ORIGINAL STORY: When Electronic Arts decided to heavily push its Origin web portal and distribution service at E3, alongside word it would be the exclusive home to Star Wars: The Old Republic, it became an open question whether EA would continue to play ball with Steam. We appear to have an answer to that question, with Crysis 2, Alice: Madness Returns and Battlefield 3 all disappearing.

So far, I've been unable to get an answer from any party involved. Valve, EA and Crytek have all, to date, remained unresponsive. Other outlets are reporting a statement's coming later today.

You can still, however, purchase other EA games on Steam. Crysis and Need for Speed are still there, as is the Need for Speed series. It mostly seems that EA's chosen to start holding back its most recent and upcoming releases, in hopes of driving consumer traffic to its own service.

As soon as I know more, I'll pass it on.

302 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek

UPDATE: Electronic Arts has responded to my questions regarding its current relationship with Steam, claiming Crysis 2 was not removed from Steam because EA asked. Instead, EA claims Steam "imposed a set of business terms" that resulted in an existing agreement Crytek had regarding Crysis 2 that "violates the new rules," resulting in the "expulsion" of Crysis 2.

I've asked EA for better clarification on what "business terms" have changed and why games like Alice: Madness Returns are no longer on Steam. I've also requested comment from Valve.

The full statement is below:

"It’s unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service. This was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA.

Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service – many of which are not imposed by other online game services. Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.

Crysis 2 continues to be available on several other download services including GameStop, Amazon, Origin.com and more."

ORIGINAL STORY: When Electronic Arts decided to heavily push its Origin web portal and distribution service at E3, alongside word it would be the exclusive home to Star Wars: The Old Republic, it became an open question whether EA would continue to play ball with Steam. We appear to have an answer to that question, with Crysis 2, Alice: Madness Returns and Battlefield 3 all disappearing.

So far, I've been unable to get an answer from any party involved. Valve, EA and Crytek have all, to date, remained unresponsive. Other outlets are reporting a statement's coming later today.

You can still, however, purchase other EA games on Steam. Crysis and Need for Speed are still there, as is the Need for Speed series. It mostly seems that EA's chosen to start holding back its most recent and upcoming releases, in hopes of driving consumer traffic to its own service.

As soon as I know more, I'll pass it on.

Posted by Lopatnik1

wow really?

Posted by ScaryGaryofAk

alright... thats just dumb

Posted by White_Silhouette

With the amount they pushed Origin this is not surprising at all.

Online
Posted by SBYM

I liked it when you could just install a game and play it, and not have to deal with some other client.

Posted by ScaryGaryofAk

I can't wait to see origin become a failure and then ea going back to steam again lol

Posted by rargy

Guess i'll rent the console version of BF3.

Posted by Venatio

This is some serious bullshit

Posted by zebosausamite

This is a horrible move.

Posted by Arker101

Origin more like Bored again amirite?

Posted by Mijati

It's almost like EA doesn't want money.

Luckily, Origin and EADM are non intrusive. Have bought a few things through it and have no problem at all so not too huge a loss. But much easier to have everything in one place (steam).

Posted by Robopengy

What happens if you're pre-bought any EA games on Steam? A full refund I hope

Posted by DarkS2K
Posted by scraz

2 year limited re-download?5 install limit?Janky ass DRM?SIGN ME U...NO WAIT FUCK OFF.Also theres a thing in there TOS that if you account is inactive for two years they delete it.
 


5. Content and Entitlement Availability

Entitlements may only be held in Accounts belonging to legal residents of countries where access to and use of Content and Entitlements is permitted.  Entitlements may be purchased or acquired only from EA or an authorized retailer.  EA reserves the right to refuse your request(s) to acquire Entitlements, and EA reserves the right to limit or block any request to acquire Entitlements for any reason.

We do not guarantee that any Content or Entitlement will be available at all times or at any given time or that we will continue to offer particular Content or Entitlements for any particular length of time. We reserve the right to change and update Content and Entitlements without notice to you.  If you have not used your Entitlements or Account for twenty four (24) months or more and your Account has associated Entitlements, your Entitlements will expire and your Account may be cancelled for non-use.  Once you have redeemed your Entitlements, that content is not returnable, exchangeable, or refundable for other Entitlements or for cash, or other goods or services. 

Edited by MattyFTM

Alice: Madness Returns does say "ONLY AVAILABLE ON ORIGIN UNTIL JUNE 17TH!" on it's Origin page, so one would assume that it'll return to Steam and other digital distribution services after that date. They just want to encourage people to buy it on Origin by having it as an exclusive for a few days.

They've done that in the past with the EA store. The Sims 3 didn't appear on Steam for many many months after it was released and available on the EA store, and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit was a similar case. They're not really doing anything new by restricting new releases for a while. The Crysis 2 one is a bit of an oddball though. Removing a game that has already been on steam for months is a peculiar move.

Moderator
Posted by HeadNodShy

This has probably been exhaustly looked at but what does that mean for purchases that have been made on Steam previously. Can I still download those? Do I have to use a CD Key on Origin to gain access to it? Will there any future patches through Steam?

Posted by Jeffsekai

Good move on EA. People seem to forget that Steam is run by Valve, a video game company and a rival for EA. I mean, can you even buy TF2 or other Valve games anywhere else other than Steam? Nope, double standards need to go away.

Posted by Jassa

What, EA didn't learn from its past mistakes with running its own online services? I'm with ScaryGaryofAk, this is almost guaranteed to fail.

Posted by Gizmo

Battlefield 3 & SW:TOR on Origin only... 
 
 
EA are really gambling on this Origin thing then. Good luck to them, Steam has needed a competitor for a while now.

Posted by BigChief

Guess I should have seen this coming. Doesn't mean I'm planning to start using Origin. EA's last digital distribution service sucked and was half broken. This all just feels like EA's business guys looked up and said, "Someone's making money on our games other than us? THIS CANNOT STAND!"

Posted by SlashDance

Well... I guess I'm not buying EA games on PC anymore.

Edited by Xerxes8933A

Were Alice and Battlefield up for Pre-Orders on the site?  I know Crysis 2 was sold.  
And while I'm sure people who bought it can still download and play, as you can still download many games from steam that have been removed from the storefront, what does this mean for future patches for it?  
Will people who bought it on steam be unable to play multiplayer with the release of the next patch?

Posted by Foggen

I'm pretty much at 100% steam on PC. Not likely to change.

Posted by omgJOHN

Normally, I wouldn't care. But I want to play me some Old Republic, and the idea that I have to install another application just to run their game is kind of annoying. I already have Steam running all the time,and I almost never play a PC game that isn't attached to it in some way.
 
This is a serious point against EA on this, and will be a factor in me deciding just how badly I want to play The Old Republic.

Posted by Maluvin

Origin falls in the category of a solution in search of a problem.  It just really isn't needed in the current marketplace and sounds like something someone in marketing and sales is pushing as a personal initiative.   
 
Actual developers and designers probably just want their work available to purchase whenever and wherever.  Customers want whatever is cheapest and easiest to use.

Posted by Meowshi

Gee, I'm sure this won't inspire pirating at all!

Edited by moocow21

If they really want to promote their own platform, they could just offer a discount on games sold there (which would be easy to do considering the money they save not having a third party like Valve taking a cut).  But trying to force consumers to adopt their service is a disgusting move.  I hope Origin is about as successful as Games for Windows Live.
 
EDIT: Now that the story has been updated, I'm slightly less angry.  Hopefully we hear Valve's side of the story soon.

Posted by GrandHarrier

I remember, some seven plus years ago, when Valve forced me to install a piece of shit connectivity service onto my PC that ate up CPU and actually STOPPED ME from playing my legally purchased game for several days because their authentication servers were getting hammered.
 
We hated them then. We love them now.
 
Why can't this be the same for EA? You're pissed now, but in may be great in the future.

Posted by DirtyData

EA was putting using GameSpy for multiplayer in Crysis 2. That ish needed to get off Steam anyway.

On a different note. I think EA is HIGHLY under valuing the the community aspect that Steam offers. Origin is a digital store with some Games for Windows Live-ish features. Steam is an established platform that allows players the freedom to express themselves and create communities.

I can understand why EA is making this move but if they want to nurture a gaming culture with Origin they've got a LONG way to go.

Posted by crusader8463

Sigh... Guess I won't be buying any EA games any time soon. I will make the exception for TOR, but if I find out that I need to install origin in order to play it then I'm not buying it. Steam is where I buy my PC games, and I refuse to be spread out over dozens of different services for my games.
 
Stop being so dam greedy EA, and think of your consumers for once.

Edited by AndyS

I didn't think BF3 was EVER on Steam. EA's being doing the last minute releases to Steam for quite some time. Remember how the Dragon Age 2 pre-order availability on Steam was literally the day after the big pre-order DLC for free deal expired? 
 
Also this is odd, considering EA publishes recent Valve console ports.

Posted by emergency

@DarkS2K said:

Origin is great! I love how you can only download the game for a year after purchase. Woo EA!
http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/3333/1308102784038.jpg I'm sticking to steam. Thanks.

All that means is that they guarentee you can play it for at least a year after purchase...? Not that it can only be downloaded for one year after it. Way to go, bro.

Posted by moocow21
@GrandHarrier: The difference is that with STEAM you only needed it for Valve games.  EA, on the other hand, has a MUCH larger selection of titles.  I have absolutely no problem with EA offering their own digital distribution store (heck, the more competition the better!), but if they start restricting ALL of their PC titles to only their service that is a huge disservice to their PC customers.
Posted by WebScud

@DarkS2K: Good looking out.

Posted by Draugen

Sigh...

I guess it's their perogative, but I have no interest in a new online retailer for my PC games, unless it has a better selection or better prices, and I don't imagine that will happen if they only have EA games, and a monopoly to boot.

Not for me. I'll get their games in the store instead.

Posted by mnzy

So will it be just Stm then?
 
I'm sorry for that one, I played Duke Nukem and must've caught something.

Posted by Nocall

Oh, EA, every time it seems like you're getting better you go and do something like this.

Posted by TIIME

The fracturing of the PC digital download services begins. 
 
Unfortunately, I doubt Steam will when this war. Activision/Blizzard is only a few steps a way from making Battle.net their exclusive digital download service.

Posted by scraz
@GrandHarrier
If i buy something on steam and want to download it again in 6 years from now i can.With EA i can not or will in the least have to repurchase it.So why shouldn't i be a steam fanboy and shit on origin ever chance i get?
Posted by isomeri

Well, fuck. This better change before the release of Battlefield 3. Come to think if it, I might rather buy a boxed copy of the game than acquire it through Origin. That way I could at least link the game to my Steam-list.

Posted by picklecannon

Guess whose not buying EA games anymore? And its not because I'm boycotting them or anything, its just because i like steam and if your game isn't on that service i probably will never see it.

Posted by mewarmo990

I haven't had any problems with the Steam-wannabe EA Download Manager so far, but it is a pain to have to use a different app to start my EA games from now on.

I can understand why you wouldn't want to pay a major competitor to sell your own games, but as a consumer this is just more trouble for me.

Posted by demonbear
@Jeffsekai said:

Good move on EA. People seem to forget that Steam is run by Valve, a video game company and a rival for EA. I mean, can you even buy TF2 or other Valve games anywhere else other than Steam? Nope, double standards need to go away.

Ah common sense. Haven't seen you around here lately. Glad to see you!
Posted by GrandHarrier
@moocow21 said:
@GrandHarrier: The difference is that with STEAM you only needed it for Valve games.  EA, on the other hand, has a MUCH larger selection of titles.  I have absolutely no problem with EA offering their own digital distribution store (heck, the more competition the better!), but if they start restricting ALL of their PC titles to only their service that is a huge disservice to their PC customers.
I'm curious, does Valve put their games onto other Direct Digital platforms? (They don't to my knowledge) Are they doing their fans a disservice by restricting their titles to just one platform?
 
Personally, I think we need to give EA some benefit of the doubt. Give them a chance to build a competitor to Steam.
Posted by AuthenticM

Who did not see this coming.

Posted by polarbearadept

Just means I won't be buying EA games for a while. I'm already invested in Steam so why would I want to use yet another game service.

Posted by GrandHarrier
@scraz said:
@GrandHarrier:  If i buy something on steam and want to download it again in 6 years from now i can.With EA i can not or will in the least have to repurchase it.So why shouldn't i be a steam fanboy and shit on origin ever chance i get?
Because things can change? Steam was a fucking pile of garbage when it first launched. It was god damn terrible. Absolutely atrocious usage of CPU and it denied me the ability to play games offline for some time before that issue was fixed. The moral of this story? Services can change.
 
Also, you can download it again until Steam no longer exists. And while the thought of that may seem laughable, you never know what the future holds. And when that service is gone, your entire digital collection means shit.
Posted by sLiPdIsCo

Will retail copies of BF3 be tied to Origin? Hope not. That's where I'll be getting it if it's not on Steam.

Posted by mfpantst

Oh yay time to make use of that amazon prime account for shipping.

Posted by Zor
@GrandHarrier said:
I remember, some seven plus years ago, when Valve forced me to install a piece of shit connectivity service onto my PC that ate up CPU and actually STOPPED ME from playing my legally purchased game for several days because their authentication servers were getting hammered.  We hated them then. We love them now.  Why can't this be the same for EA? You're pissed now, but in may be great in the future.
From what i am reading, their ToS is horrible. It is along the lines of limited downloads, if your account is inactive (whatever that means, perhaps you have to keep buying games to be active, or maybe just logging in (it isn't clear to me)) for 2 years, you lose your account and all games tied to it, and they reserve the right to do anything to you at any time without reason... 
So yeah, if they change their ToS to be a lot more friendly, then yes, it might be great, but it is doubtful as of right now.