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Dragon Age II Pulled From Steam, EA Points Finger at Valve

Valve remains quiet about its strained relationship with Electronic Arts.

Dragon Age II is the latest game to be caught in the middle of tensions between EA and Steam.

The continued, confusing relationship between Valve, Steam and Electronic Arts continues, with Dragon Age II coming down from the digital platform as the game's downloadable content launches.

Dragon Age II: Legacy, the first major expansion for the RPG sequel, launched this week. Soon after, Dragon Age II came down from Steam without an explanation.

As has been the case in the past, EA was quick to issue a statement about the reason why.

"At EA, we offer our games and content to all major download services including GameStop, Amazon, Direct2Drive and Steam," said EA senior VP of global e-commerce David DeMartini in an emailed statement. "Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content. No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam."

"We hope to work out an agreement to keep our games on Steam," he continued.

So far, that hasn't happened. Dragon Age II still isn't available through Steam.

Crysis 2 still isn't available on Steam, after being pulled over downloadable content issues.

The erratic process of pulling EA games from Steam started a few weeks back, when Crysis 2 disappeared. EA said the reason was a change on policy regarding downloadable content, as EA and Crytek had brokered a deal for another distributor to be the exclusive host of that content.

Thus, Crysis 2 came down.

"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," said the company at the time. "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."

Rumors persist Battlefield 3 will not be on Steam when it releases in October. A list of digital distributors on the official website didn't include Steam, but was eventually pulled down. EA has not officially commented, except to say the decision rested completely in the hands of Steam, not them.

When Crysis 2 came down from Steam, Alice: Madness Returns went up. I asked about Battlefield 3.

"No new information on BF3 or what Steam will decide to do with other EA titles," said the company. "We are glad they chose to post Alice on Steam."

You can still purchase Dragon Age: Origins on Steam.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
195 Comments
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Posted by AuthenticM

What happens to the people who've already bought the game? Can they still redownload it at will or have they effectively lost a game?

Posted by OldGuy

Hey look! I can use Amazon as a digital storefront to get EA games...
 
Oh, right... Origin is EVIL! Sorry.

Posted by MEATBALL

@Peewi said:

@MEATBALL: Since you clearly know all about Steam's business terms, I think we'd all like to hear the details.

Easy, pally, where did I make that claim exactly? Hell, I didn't even make any kind of definitive statement. I only know as much as various news reports on the matter have told me, and as far as I can see this situation isn't as black and white as Steam being the good guy and EA being the bad guy or vice versa.

Posted by Meltbrain

@Jackhole said:

I guess this means I'm going to buy The Old Republic on Origin... gross.

I'm not buying it for that reason.

Posted by avidwriter

EA points finger at Valve? Oh that's rich. Yep. This has nothing to do with Origin(aka shitstore). Riiiiiight. I hate you EA. HATE.

Posted by tourgen

Weird. So is EA just throwing public temper tantrums like a spoiled 3 year old to get Origins in the news on a regular basis? Any advertisement is good right?

Valve has handled the EA crybaby tantrums with a lot of class so far. No comments or very little and just the facts.

My guess is that it comes down to the DLC terms and conditions. EA wants to wholesale rape their customers and Steam's terms and conditions don't allow all the filthy deals and tricks necessary to pull it off.

Posted by Nocall

Oh no! Not Dragon Age 2!

Posted by Marz

Would really like to hear what Valve has to say. 

Edited by OldGuy

<sigh> *almost* everyone here fails reading comprehension <sigh>

Posted by Doogie2K
@Jackhole said:
I guess this means I'm going to buy The Old Republic on Origin... gross.
You always were. TOR is Origin-exclusive, and frankly, there's no good reason to want it on Steam, other than the convenience of having all your games on Steam. EA provides all support, anyway, so why bother with the middleman? It'd be like buying WoW on Steam instead of Battle.net: it's an extra unnecessary complication.
Posted by Olymp1c

EA could easily stop this nonsense by allowing the consumer to have the choice which platform to buy the dlc on. Other games that have in-game stores also allow you buy the dlc through steam.

EAs newer games give you no choice, which isn't allowed by Steam. If they allowed that, then they would open up the door to abuse by free-to-play and inexpensive games being downloaded on their service that are basically hubs for people to buy dlc outside of steam. At least give people the choice to use steam to pay for their purchases EA. I bet Steam would even allow some kind of system where you buy Origin Bux or whatever through Steam.

Posted by natetodamax

The responses by EA seem like they were written by robots. I hate that.

Posted by Silver-Streak

Hm...is this whole thing is from EA making the PC version of the DA2 DLC exclusive to Origin and/or another Download provider?

Crysis 2 was taken down as the developer(Crytek) got an exclusive deal for the DLC with D2D, apparently.

Has anyone seen the DA2 DLC anywhere other than Origin for PC? If so, I guess thats why.

Posted by afrofools

When Battlefield 3 comes out Valve will be really stupid if they do anything to prevent it coming to Steam & EA will be really stupid if they don't comply with Steam's terms.

Can you download stuff you've purchased if it's been pulled from the store?

// And relating to that: I hate it how on Xbox Live MS populate DL history with free shit so you can't get to your old stuff.

Posted by DoctorLazy

There are plenty of games on Steam, even EA games, that have DLC you have to get through non-Steam means.   This seems to be EA trying to influence people to think poorly of Valve's service and move over to Origin.

Posted by insanejedi

This is because of Steams policy, and not some powerplay by EA to force you to play and buy games only on origin. If that was the case, why are there still EA games for download on Direct 2 Drive which actually has Dragon Age 2, and EA games on Amazon and GAMESTOP. GAMESTOP of all places! You know, the one evil that EA has publicly said against their evil brick and mortar industries with their used games practices are holding EA games for download. 
 
Oh right, some of you are rabid Valve fanboys who think their saints and can do no wrong, and if something goes wrong it's certainly not their fault.

Edited by sear
@Eujin said:

Hm...is this whole thing is from EA making the PC version of the DA2 DLC exclusive to Origin and/or another Download provider?

Crysis 2 was taken down as the developer(Crytek) got an exclusive deal for the DLC with D2D, apparently.

Has anyone seen the DA2 DLC anywhere other than Origin for PC? If so, I guess thats why.

This is exactly it.  Valve don't want the DLC to be platform-exclusive, at least with newer games, they want to have the DLC and a cut of the profits on their storefront, even if it uses another system like LIVE for the downloading etc.  Meanwhile, EA are signing exclusive details with other companies and are trying to promote Origin, by offering exclusive features on them instead (including future patches).  Valve finds that offering an inferior product is unacceptable, and they don't want to be left out of the profits that EA are effectively getting from Valve's own customers.  If you think about it, Valve would be handling part of the distribution, yet not getting anything out of it... that's just not good business for them.
 
It's hard to say who is in the right and who is in the wrong here.  As business, there's always two stories to be told.  I don't think EA are as sweet and innocent as they're making themselves out to be, and Valve have shown class by avoiding a shouting match, but if you think Valve is some sort of dream company who only wants the absolute best for each and every one of its partners and customers, even at the expense of profits, you're lying to yourself.
 
Anyway, I'm not exactly mourning the loss of Dragon Age II.  Most pathetic, rushed, badly-written, badly-designed, ugliest "AAA" game to be released in several years.  EA'd be doing a service by stuffing the leftover copies in the landfill next to E.T. on the 2600.
Posted by Jackhole
@Tom316 said:

@Jackhole said:

I guess this means I'm going to buy The Old Republic on Origin... gross.

You do know that Origin is going to be required to play SWTOR right. It was announced awhile back that Origin will be required to download the patchs and to play the game. Even the boxed copy is going to make you install Origin just like Steam based games that you buy in a box.

I didn't actually know that. I haven't been following the game that closely. I was just excited because, you know, Star Wars and Bioware. 
Posted by OldGuy
@insanejedi said:
This is because of Steams policy, and not some powerplay by EA to force you to play and buy games only on origin. If that was the case, why are there still EA games for download on Direct 2 Drive which actually has Dragon Age 2, and EA games on Amazon and GAMESTOP. GAMESTOP of all places! You know, the one evil that EA has publicly said against their evil brick and mortar industries with their used games practices are holding EA games for download.   Oh right, some of you are rabid Valve fanboys who think their saints and can do no wrong, and if something goes wrong it's certainly not their fault.
Hey, hey, hey... don't confuse them with facts...
 
Oh, right, they won't be confused, since they'll just ignore you...
Posted by GreggD

@Rhaknar said:

@Chibi_Kaji said:

Has any other publisher had this problem with Steam?

not yet. the closest example would be Games For Windows live games, they have their own marketplace as you know, but they also release their DLC on steam, like the Fable 3 stuff for example. Actually, Dirt 3 has a fuckton of GFW dlc that isnt on steam, and the game wasnt pulled...

And that doesn't raise any red flags in your mind on Valve's part? Why are they singling out EA? Why does THQ/Codies get to keep their DLC on a different platform?

Posted by EpicReflex

EA are entitled to compete with Steam -  i get that not having all your games in one place can be upsetting but competition is usually beneficial for us consumers.

Posted by DoctorLazy
@GreggD: Maybe because this has nothing to do with Valve's policies?  Because its about EA trying to strong arm their way into the DD market?   
 
What does Valve have to gain by being antagonistic towards the second largest publisher?
Posted by DeadDorf

If Steam would simply chime in with exactly what their terms are, then we would know...

Posted by ajamafalous

@GreggD said:

@Rhaknar said:

@Chibi_Kaji said:

Has any other publisher had this problem with Steam?

not yet. the closest example would be Games For Windows live games, they have their own marketplace as you know, but they also release their DLC on steam, like the Fable 3 stuff for example. Actually, Dirt 3 has a fuckton of GFW dlc that isnt on steam, and the game wasnt pulled...

And that doesn't raise any red flags in your mind on Valve's part? Why are they singling out EA? Why does THQ/Codies get to keep their DLC on a different platform?

My guess is that the deals for those games were made before Valve changed their hosting agreement.

Posted by GreggD

@ajamafalous said:

@GreggD said:

@Rhaknar said:

@Chibi_Kaji said:

Has any other publisher had this problem with Steam?

not yet. the closest example would be Games For Windows live games, they have their own marketplace as you know, but they also release their DLC on steam, like the Fable 3 stuff for example. Actually, Dirt 3 has a fuckton of GFW dlc that isnt on steam, and the game wasnt pulled...

And that doesn't raise any red flags in your mind on Valve's part? Why are they singling out EA? Why does THQ/Codies get to keep their DLC on a different platform?

My guess is that the deals for those games were made before Valve changed their hosting agreement.

Maybe, but it still seems kind of odd, to me. EA doesn't seem like the kind of company that would put up a game for sale, and then do something that would have it taken down within months of its release. That doesn't seem like good sense.

Posted by Bravestar

If it's terms are that restrictive, why is only EA having issues with steam? Why aren't more games disappearing?
Stop pointing fingers EA. I woun't install Origin, just because you are quick with statements that it's other people's fault.

Posted by NoXious

@Bravestar:

Because EA is trying to pull exclusive DLC deals to certain platforms.

So you can't buy DLC X because you happened to have bought it on Steam for example, or that's what it sounds like.

Posted by Vextroid

@ajamafalous said:

@GreggD said:

@Rhaknar said:

@Chibi_Kaji said:

Has any other publisher had this problem with Steam?

not yet. the closest example would be Games For Windows live games, they have their own marketplace as you know, but they also release their DLC on steam, like the Fable 3 stuff for example. Actually, Dirt 3 has a fuckton of GFW dlc that isnt on steam, and the game wasnt pulled...

And that doesn't raise any red flags in your mind on Valve's part? Why are they singling out EA? Why does THQ/Codies get to keep their DLC on a different platform?

My guess is that the deals for those games were made before Valve changed their hosting agreement.

I've never used GFWL before or played any games that used it but I though it was because EA were trying to sell the DLC in-game (which is running on top of steam) as opposed to games like DiRT3 which have the DLC on a separate service (GFWL-Marketplace Client/Website) Meaning if EA sold their DLC on Origin and not within the game they could keep the games on Steam.

I could be wrong though.

Edited by Tennmuerti

@OldGuy said:

But... is it really about Origin? Since I can go to DirectToDrive to get my DAII and Crysis 2...

Sorry... I shouldn't have shifted focus from the EA is EVIL vibe... carry on...

Steam is the biggest online retailer.

If you decrease their sales while offering your product on Origins with other bells and whistles they are increasing Origin's use.

It's quite simple math. Not sure whats so hard to understand about it. I'd probably do the same in their position.

Posted by Pinworm45
@EpicReflex said:
EA are entitled to compete with Steam -  i get that not having all your games in one place can be upsetting but competition is usually beneficial for us consumers.
Not being able to purchase something from a store and only being able to purchase it from other specific stores is the opposite of competition. 
 
It'd be like if only Best Buy was able to sell PS3 games and only Gamestop was allowed to sell Xbox 360 games. That's not competition, that is the opposite of competition. 
Posted by Konanda

So basically this article is EA wants to use a seperate distribuitor, so Valve decides to take it's ball and go home. Cool.

Posted by GreggD

@Vextroid said:

@ajamafalous said:

@GreggD said:

@Rhaknar said:

@Chibi_Kaji said:

Has any other publisher had this problem with Steam?

not yet. the closest example would be Games For Windows live games, they have their own marketplace as you know, but they also release their DLC on steam, like the Fable 3 stuff for example. Actually, Dirt 3 has a fuckton of GFW dlc that isnt on steam, and the game wasnt pulled...

And that doesn't raise any red flags in your mind on Valve's part? Why are they singling out EA? Why does THQ/Codies get to keep their DLC on a different platform?

My guess is that the deals for those games were made before Valve changed their hosting agreement.

I've never used GFWL before or played any games that used it but I though it was because EA were trying to sell the DLC in-game (which is running on top of steam) as opposed to games like DiRT3 which have the DLC on a separate service (GFWL-Marketplace Client/Website) Meaning if EA sold their DLC on Origin and not within the game they could keep the games on Steam.

I could be wrong though.

That makes sense, but if that's their policy, it is incredibly dumb.

Posted by lockwoodx

Awww did wittle EA take their ball and go home?

Posted by caryrabbit

Open way for Steam fan boys vs. Origin. I'll take steam.

Posted by artofwar420

This looks like a case of two dudes trying to sit on the same chair, at the same time, with no desire to compromise.

Not my best analogy.

Posted by ptys
Can't blame you Steam, I'm getting rid of my copy as well.
Posted by zungerman090
@MEATBALL said:

This rubbish needs to end, Steam's terms seem a bit too restrictive, but it feels like EA are all too happy to simply take their ball and go home. Hopefully both sides will figure out something at some point.

Pretty much this. Makes me wonder why this didn't happen a while back. Dragon Age: Origins had the same DLC delivery system and it didn't get pulled. If it does though, I will be expecting my refund. 
Posted by sins_of_mosin

This is why we need a online service that isn't owned by another dev/pub.

Posted by AttroPheed

EA you so fucking fail.

Posted by Kasswara

I'm sticking by Valve, Origin can burn in hell for all I care.

Posted by lacke

EA has enough games that I'm interested in to warrant having Origins installed. I don't care about my e-penis either (having a huge Steam library) so I really don't mind Origins. Only that the prices are a bit more expensive than Steam.

Posted by Agent47
@lacke: Wow a smart person who isn't sucking VALVe's cock for once.Pretty rare breed.
Posted by Rhaknar
@Agent47 said:
@lacke: Wow a smart person who isn't sucking VALVe's cock for once.Pretty rare breed.

anti-valve fanboys are as bad as valve fanboys, you realise that. The whole situation is too messed up on both parties to pick a side in my opinion.. 
 
and this deffinately goes deeper than just crysis 2 and now DA2, some weeks ago during the steam summer sale, EA was the only publisher to not have their catalog on sale throughout (but they did have some daily deals), publisher catalog sales are on the PUBLISHERS, not on valve for example... so yeah, there is something rotten in the EA / Valve relationship, that much is clear, no matter how goody 2 shoes press statements EA puts out saying its not us its them. Again, not siding with anyone, i think its a shitty situation on both parties (and one where they both are probably right in their own ways to be fair)
Posted by PJ

@AttroPheed said:

EA you so fucking fail.

Your a fucking fail. Valve is being the dick in this scenario not EA. Why else is Steam the only place thats pulled EAs games?

Posted by urban_ryoga
@Pinworm45: It is more like you can buy a ipod from the apple store or best buy, but you can only buy apple accessories from the apple store.
Posted by Gav47

It comes down to who is hosting the data required to play these DLCs if Valve hosts the files for steam users then it is understandable that they would want a cut of the profits if EA is hosting the content then perhaps they should be allowed sell through their own in-game store. Valve need to distinguish between F2P games and full retail games.

Posted by hmmisee

Steam has proven itself, origin is just terrible. Good one EA.

Posted by Applederp

"At EA, we offer our games and content to all major download services including GameStop, Amazon, Direct2Drive and Steam," said EA senior VP of global e-commerce David DeMartini in an emailed statement. "Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content. No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam."
 
TRANSLATION:
 
"Valve thinks Day 1 DLC is immoral, and they're being super mean about us making obscene amounts of money from this immoral practice".

Posted by Robin_Gr

Until a game besides one published by EA is removed from steam, EA are not completely free of any blame in my mind.

Posted by outerabiz

dunno who's right or wrong in this, do know that steam is awesome and where i buy all my games so too bad for you EA.

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