There have been plenty of indications this would be the case, but Battlefield 3 community coordinator Seeson Mahathavorn took to the official Battlefield 3 message boards to explain the current situation.
"We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game," said Mahathavorn, "and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers. We hope to work out an agreement where Steam can carry Battlefield 3."
Electronic Arts' relationship with Steam has been strained, as of late, due to an apparent change in Steam's policies regarding downloadable content. An exclusivity agreement over such content for Crysis 2 had Crytek's shooter pulled from Steam. When Dragon Age II: Legacy released last week, Dragon Age II came down from Steam, too. It's likely the same policies were going to be in place for Battlefield 3, too, which is why EA can confidently say Battlefield 3 will not appear on Steam without changes.
"EA offers games to all major download services," said Mahathavorn. "Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices.
The complete list of other digital retailers where Battlefield 3 will eventually be available is lengthy, and it's not as though EA is positioning Battlefield 3 as an Origin-only exclusive. The complete list, which includes everything from Amazon to Best Buy, is available at the official Battlefield 3 website.
"We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play the game," said Mahathavorn, "and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with consumers."
For the moment, that doesn't include Steam.
Since EA started having issues with Steam, Valve has been--and continues to be--silent.