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Electronic Arts 'Appreciates Steam's Decision' to Put Alice: Madness Returns Back on Steam

Are you confused? We're confused.

The launch of Origin may have something to do with the weirdness between EA and Steam.

The confusing back-and-forth between Steam and Electronic Arts continues. Crysis 2 and Alice: Madness Returns listings all disappeared from Steam earlier this week, followed by a statement from EA stating certain business terms had changed.

The change violated an existing agreement Crytek had regarding Crysis 2 with another company, EA said, thus forcing Crysis 2 to come down from the store.

That didn't really explain what happened to Alice: Madness Returns, though.

Alice: Madness Returns returned to Steam today. EA sent me an odd statement explaining why.

"EA Partners and Spicy Horse Games appreciate Steam’s decision to sell Alice: Madness Returns," said the company. "The game is also available on several other download services including Amazon, Gamestop and Origin.com."

This doesn't answer several questions: why isn't Crysis 2 back? Why was it "Steam's decision" to allow Alice: Madness Returns back into Steam? Will Battlefield 3 ever show up? Does this impact future EA releases? What business terms changed that prompted this in the first place?

At E3, EA launched Origin, a proprietary digital platform for serving up EA content. Though neither company has said so, there's reason to believe these moves have to do with Origin.

I'm asking all of these to try and learn more. When (and if) I hear back, I'll let you know.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
The launch of Origin may have something to do with the weirdness between EA and Steam.

The confusing back-and-forth between Steam and Electronic Arts continues. Crysis 2 and Alice: Madness Returns listings all disappeared from Steam earlier this week, followed by a statement from EA stating certain business terms had changed.

The change violated an existing agreement Crytek had regarding Crysis 2 with another company, EA said, thus forcing Crysis 2 to come down from the store.

That didn't really explain what happened to Alice: Madness Returns, though.

Alice: Madness Returns returned to Steam today. EA sent me an odd statement explaining why.

"EA Partners and Spicy Horse Games appreciate Steam’s decision to sell Alice: Madness Returns," said the company. "The game is also available on several other download services including Amazon, Gamestop and Origin.com."

This doesn't answer several questions: why isn't Crysis 2 back? Why was it "Steam's decision" to allow Alice: Madness Returns back into Steam? Will Battlefield 3 ever show up? Does this impact future EA releases? What business terms changed that prompted this in the first place?

At E3, EA launched Origin, a proprietary digital platform for serving up EA content. Though neither company has said so, there's reason to believe these moves have to do with Origin.

I'm asking all of these to try and learn more. When (and if) I hear back, I'll let you know.

Staff
Edited by DrKatz83

weird decision

Posted by Ventilaator

wat

Posted by eezo

i don't even..

Posted by doejonathan

Still no word from Valve?

Posted by AlexanderSheen

Why do they even bother with the whole Origin.com thing?

Posted by Kyle

So are we thinking now that it might have been Steam who took the games down as a jab at EA for promoting Origin so heavily or something?

This whole situation is bumming me out. No one wants a different digital distribution service, EA. Steam killed your last thing and they'll trample over Origin. Just knock it off...

Posted by TadThuggish

Everyone is stupid.

Posted by Matte_G

EA acting so weird, it's like they saw the internet rage and are now just pointing fingers at Valve going

'It their fault, honest!'

Seems very playground to me...

Posted by Beaudacious

WHAT is going ON?

Posted by ElectricBoogaloo

Will probably pick Alice up now considering it's cheaper and I won't have to use Origin.

Posted by Skogen

This translates to "it wasn't selling well enough on the PC platform"

Posted by benjaebe

@Matte_G said:

EA acting so weird, it's like they saw the internet rage and are now just pointing fingers at Valve going

'It their fault, honest!'

Seems very playground to me...

Or, you know, Steam actually did take the games down since they haven't come out and said "no, we didn't do that." It's interesting that people are so quick to assume that EA is at fault when Valve has offered literally no explanation or even denial of EA saying that it wasn't their fault the games got taken down.

Posted by Jeffsekai

Patrick, after a night of making people salty at SSF4AE still hard at work.

Posted by ScaryGaryofAk

I am pretty sure, Ea is playing the EA Game

Posted by Chris2KLee

The direct download space is definitely getting more interesting, but I can't see Steam getting knocked off so easily. I'm sure the meetings EA and Valve have been having have been a mix of legal jargon and thinly veiled challenges.

Posted by granderojo

Am I a bad person to still want steam achievements for the game?

Posted by AndyS

Did anybody ever see BF3 on Steam at all? I know I've looked and I've never found it, although it's been available for a long time at sites like D2D. 
 
I'm also unclear if Alice was ever there, either.
 
EA has been having games go up very late on Steam for months. Which is weird with EA being Valve's console publisher of choice recently.

Posted by Matte_G

@benjaebe: How do you know Steam took the games down?

We don't know anything as of yet, just EA pointing fingers with not actual facts about the situation.

My point is still valid even if Valve was the instigator in this, EA has handled this poorly imo.

Posted by TechHits
@TadThuggish said:

Everyone is stupid.

yes! just yes!
Edited by MattyFTM

I think EA are trying to confuse the issue here. Alice was exclusive to Origin until today. The origin page had a message saying this. They weren't selling it on any other digital distribution services until today. It was clearly a marketing plan to get people to use Origin. They removed it from steam because they weren't going to be selling it there (or anywhere other than origin) until a few days after launch. And June 17th has rolled round and they've started selling it elsewhere, including steam, just as intended and just as was always going to happen.

The whole "we appreciate steam's decision..." stuff seems like spin. They're trying to paint Valve as the big bad monopoly of the digital download space when in reality absolutely everything has gone to plan with Alice's digital release, and there was never any question of it not going to plan. It's release today rather than on Tuesday has nothing to do with Steam and is an EA decision.

Moderator
Posted by benjaebe

@Matte_G said:

@benjaebe: How do you know Steam took the games down?

We don't know anything as of yet, just EA pointing fingers with not actual facts about the situation.

My point is still valid even if Valve was the instigator in this, EA has handled this poorly imo.

The fact that EA has said "hey, Valve took the games down" and Valve hasn't responded at all is reason enough to be suspect. You'd imagine that, had EA made false claims in it's accusation, Valve would've stated such pretty quickly instead of being completely silent on the issue and then putting Alice back up a few days later.

Posted by DaBuddaDa

It is so blatantly obvious that EA is trying to carefully play with words here, Patrick.

Posted by Foggen

Just a guess, but I suspect it might have something to do with Steam games requiring DLC to come from Steam.

Posted by Sin4profit

I still think it has something to do with some violation involving the new DLC for Crysis 2. Maybe Steam wasn't allowed access to it; ORIGIN exclusive DLC?

Posted by Enigma777

I see the Steam fanboys are still in denial. Lol.

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

I bet the reason that Crysis 2 was taken down has something to do with the DLC that was announced for the game shortly after. If steam actually changed it's TOS I would assume steam requires every DLC for any give game to be on their service day and date with any other service.

Posted by DG991

@MattyFTM: I agree that is what it looks like. Man EA is pissing me off since E3 ended... and I was getting close to liking them.

Posted by Vexxan

EA, use Confusion!

Posted by Damian

EA is proceeding... cautiously.
Doubt we'll ever get the info on Crysis 2. But all the rest seems to reek of trepidation on EA's part, with a good bit of douchey stick-it-to-'em on Valve's part. 
 
Speculation aside, I bet Crytek and Spicy Horse are just LOVING the business side of this industry right now. 

Posted by metalsnakezero

Hear that Vinny, you can now get it on steam!

Posted by RVonE

@Enigma777 said:

I see the Steam fanboys are still in denial. Lol.

Denying what, exactly?

Edited by 2HeadedNinja

@benjaebe said:

Or, you know, Steam actually did take the games down since they haven't come out and said "no, we didn't do that." It's interesting that people are so quick to assume that EA is at fault when Valve has offered literally no explanation or even denial of EA saying that it wasn't their fault the games got taken down.

Thats just a sign of how much trust steam/valve has earned with it's userbase. Thats no just something that comes over night, trust like this has to be earned.

Posted by CrossTheAtlantic
@MattyFTM said:

I think EA are trying to confuse the issue here. Alice was exclusive to Origin until today. The origin page had a message saying this. They weren't selling it on any other digital distribution services until today. It was clearly a marketing plan to get people to use Origin. They removed it from steam because they weren't going to be selling it there (or anywhere other than origin) until a few days after launch. And June 17th has rolled round and they've started selling it elsewhere, including steam, just as intended and just as was always going to happen.

The whole "we appreciate steam's decision..." stuff seems like spin. They're trying to paint Valve as the big bad monopoly of the digital download space when in reality absolutely everything has gone to plan with Alice's digital release, and there was never any question of it not going to plan. It's release today rather than on Tuesday has nothing to do with Steam and is an EA decision.

Came to say this. Definitely does sound like spin. I'm curious to find out what this change was Valve made though.
Posted by StingingVelvet

I'm assuming that Steam want to keep anything Origin off their service.  If an EA game comes out on Steam they want it to be absent any Origin ties.  Origin is slowly being built as an eventual competitor, after all.
 
Maybe Crysis 2's in-game DLC used Origin in some way?

Posted by Enigma777

@RVonE said:

@Enigma777 said:

I see the Steam fanboys are still in denial. Lol.

Denying what, exactly?

That Valve is the one to blame here.

Posted by Aarny91

I think more and more companies will start using their own DD services. This may lead to a good bit of games getting taken on Steam :(

Edited by benjaebe

@2HeadedNinja said:

@benjaebe said:

Or, you know, Steam actually did take the games down since they haven't come out and said "no, we didn't do that." It's interesting that people are so quick to assume that EA is at fault when Valve has offered literally no explanation or even denial of EA saying that it wasn't their fault the games got taken down.

Thats just a sign of how much trust steam/valve has earned with it's userbase. Thats no just something that comes over night, trust like this hat to be earned.

Don't get me wrong, I love Valve and they do great things. But just because they have a fair amount of good will in the community doesn't mean that they're infallible or at the end of the day still a business. Considering they control a huge amount of the digital distribution market share, people should be extra vigilant if a publisher like EA accuses them off pulling games off and Valve says nothing in response.

@StingingVelvet: I doubt that's the issue since Origin and Steam are two very different platforms. As far as I know, Origin is just a rebranded EA Download Manager. Steam works as a digital distribution platform first and a form of DRM second. You don't even need Origin running to use the games you download through it - it's no different in that respect than Direct2Drive or other digital distribution sites. Nothing will ever "require" Origin because it's not a DRM system - it's a download manager.

Posted by Origina1Penguin

I think Patrick is the only one confusing the issue. It was supposed to be a timed exclusive for Origin but ended up on Steam for little while before it was intended to. EA probably asked them to take it down until it was supposed to come out and now they are just stating that they are grateful for their cooperation. An overly complicated message as a response is nothing out of the ordinary since companies always try to be politically correct.

Posted by AndyS

I'm wondering if this is tied to Steam's Free to Play launch. If Crysis 2's issue is the purchase of DLC in game without ever going out to a web site or through Steam, that might imply that the agreement changes that allowed Steam to offer F2P titles via a revenue of DLC type agreement might have gotten Crysis 2 caught up in the middle. 
 
Most games that you can buy DLC outside of Steam require you to leave the game to do it. Dragon Age, Mass Effect, GFWL stuff... 
 
Crysis 2, once you link a credit card to your Crysis account allows you to start and complete a transaction 100% from within the game.

Posted by Binarynova
@ElectricBoogaloo said:

Will probably pick Alice up now considering it's cheaper and I won't have to use Origin.

This. I had decided Alice was a 'no sale' because I heard you were forced to download EA's Origin software to play the PC version. There aren't too many other EA titles I'm really excited about, but regardless I'll be holding off on any EA games that force me to use Origin. I'm looking at you Battlefield 3.
 
More importantly, given the recent security breaches in the gaming community, I'm not looking forward to a future where I need a separate log in for every game publisher I buy a game from. Valve, Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft... How many username/password combinations do I need just to be a PC gamer? :\
Posted by bybeach

What MattyFTM says. It was how I understood matters a few days ago when all this started.To be specific, that Alice Returns was to be an Origon exclusive till the 17th. Despite the wierdness, I thought that understandable. Now I'm back to thinking EA is b.s.ing. Christ, they are trying this on gamers, who might see devious intent in Gandhi's words. At least till they finished the Gandhi game...

Posted by benjaebe

@Binarynova: There are no games that require Origin. None. Those were just lies and misunderstandings that people continue to say as if they were true. They may be exclusive to Origin as a digital distribution service i.e. The Old Republic, but if you get the box copy there's no need for Origin to even be on your computer.

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

@benjaebe said:

Don't get me wrong, I love Valve and they do great things. But just because they have a fair amount of good will in the community doesn't mean that they're infallible or at the end of the day still a business. Considering they control a huge amount of the digital distribution market share, people should be extra vigilant if a publisher like EA accuses them off pulling games off and Valve says nothing in response.

Yeah, I understand that and you are right, it's just that the good will they have explains why most people think that if there is something "sinister" going on it's probably not steams fault.

Edited by Zidd

Its strange that you can't get a copy of the original Alice for pc on anything if you didn't preorder when its in every console copy of the game. Even if you bought it on origin you don't get it.

Posted by RVonE

@Enigma777 said:

@RVonE said:

@Enigma777 said:

I see the Steam fanboys are still in denial. Lol.

Denying what, exactly?

That Valve is the one to blame here.

Having no vested interest in any downloadable service I have to say that I don't see how you can claim such a thing when the information regarding the matter is so unclear. I'm sure Valve is doing something weird and their reluctance to make a public statement regarding this matter is off-putting for sure. That said, EA's unwillingness to describe in clear terms what is going on, exactly, makes them suspect as well.

Just because A is pointing the finger at B doesn't automatically make B guilty.

I'm still curious to read a response by Valve.

Posted by mrhankey
@benjaebe
 
Or maybe Valve just doesn't deal with bullshit? Yeah, I think thats the answer. Viva La Revolucion! (VALE SOFTWARE WILL TAKE OVER YOUR PC!!!)
Posted by Forsythia

Am I the only one who hasn't seen a listing for Madness Returns at all on Steam until today, when it's on sale? So what is EA saying, they're "glad Valve put Alice: Madness Returns back"?
Posted by Winternet

EA, please, don't be a fucker. Let Steam own our lives completely.

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