EA Explains Why Battlefield 3 Might Not Appear on Steam

Posted by patrickklepek (2213 posts) -
EA has been a vocal critic of Steam's content policies. Valve has not publicly responded.

As it stands, Battlefield 3 will not be available on Steam when the game releases on October 25.

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."

Hope.

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.

#1 Posted by patrickklepek (2213 posts) -
EA has been a vocal critic of Steam's content policies. Valve has not publicly responded.

As it stands, Battlefield 3 will not be available on Steam when the game releases on October 25.

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."

Hope.

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.

#2 Edited by momofire (24 posts) -

Whoa.

#3 Posted by Dilenger93 (42 posts) -

that sucks

#4 Posted by Korne (625 posts) -

Steam is totally in the right with this one... if you use the service to sell your game, you should also use the service to sell content for it, rather than skipping the distributor all together (even though they are using the steam servers).

#5 Posted by shua310 (58 posts) -

damnit

#6 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.

Translation: We're going to be harassing some people when they try to play...
 
That comes off as them making players launch Origin with their Steam copy which Valve probably doesn't like.

#7 Posted by Tan (425 posts) -

Wish Valve would say something because this all still sounds really odd...

#8 Posted by Coldbrand (215 posts) -

I think "explains" is WAY too generous a word. This is just EA being greedy fucking pigs at the cost of the consumer and trying to forcibly kick start their inferior service.

#9 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5293 posts) -

So how come EA is the only one having problems with Steam? Are there other publishers out there that feel the same way?

#10 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@bigscottie said:

first!

Not even. It is a failure of a post that couldn't even succeed at your shallow goal. A failure inside of a failure.

As for the subject of the article, I still have a very difficult time seeing this as anything more than EA's attempt to force PC customers into using Origin.

#11 Posted by Silver-Streak (1383 posts) -

So the whole problem with this is that EA wants to Sell the DLC through their own separate-out-of-game store. The issue with Steam isn't that they can't sell to players direct (Steam still allows in-game stores. DA2 was pulled because, for some reason, unlike the PS3/360 version, if you goto DLC and try to buy, it will pop you out of the game to bioware's DA2 DLC site).

I think both sides are being stupid, but I think EA trying to make it sound like they're the victim because they want to sell the game through steam but then want players to buy additional content/download patches through their separate store to be silly.

#12 Edited by Sogeman (878 posts) -

PR speak for: "We want to sell DLC ingame and not via Steam so we don't have to give Valve 30% of our money. They don't like that."
 
If they really wanted (they don't, they want to push Origin), they could sell DLC via their website like GFWL games and keep the games on Steam.
 
Now every time EA adds DLC to an older game, that game gets removed (like Dragon Age 2)

#13 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -
@wolf_blitzer85 said:
So how come EA is the only one having problems with Steam? Are there other publishers out there that feel the same way?
Do you count Blizzard? Cause they won't sell their stuff on Steam, that probably has to do with them running Battle.Net, like how EA wants to run Origin.
#14 Posted by Dry_Carton (76 posts) -

"EA Explains Why Battlefield 3 Might Not Appear on Steam". They can say all they want, but that doesn't change the only thing that matters for their customers: Battlefield 3 Might Not Appear on Steam.

#15 Posted by Soffish (139 posts) -

What he really means is "We don't want steam to have a cut of our dlc sales" Oh well, even though my crappy laptop can barely run Bad Company 2, I still ended up buying it because of a steam sale. Looks like that won't be happening this time around.

#16 Posted by SomeJerk (3393 posts) -

EA totally did not make these changes on purpose, no absolutely not.. They want you to run their shit in the background to play some of their games on Steam, they want everybody using an EA game to have Origin, not just buy over Steam and play. They don't want you to get patches and updates from Steam, despite Steam validating that things work. EA wants full control, because.. they need more money and Origin to not be a failure.

This is 100% EA and the only reason we're not seeing the same from Activision is because Activision haven't dipped their toes into the download-service-store-applet business, and hopefully never will.

#17 Edited by BlazeHedgehog (1103 posts) -

EA Explains Why Battlefield 3 Might Not Appear on Steam

 
"Because we're going to exploit a loophole in Steam's TOS and try and pin the blame on them until we can turn it in to a trojan horse for Origin."
#18 Posted by Xenotu (3 posts) -

Dick measuring contest. I hope Valves is bigger.

#19 Edited by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -

@SomeJerk said:

This is 100% EA and the only reason we're not seeing the same from Activision is because Activision haven't dipped their toes into the download-service-store-applet business, and hopefully never will.

Keep dreaming. Only reason Activision hasn't had the balls to get going with it, is because they don't have the large library of games to sell yet.

#20 Posted by Krrutch (152 posts) -

"and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers."
 
aka spam them with the latest deals on origin

#21 Posted by hi_im_rob (209 posts) -

So the biggest PC shooter of the year will not be appearing on the biggest PC game retailer.

Way to fucking go EA/Valve.

#22 Posted by Cyborgmatt (93 posts) -

DLC is not the issue, GFWL have been selling their own DLC for ages, the issue here is probably on the lines of EA wanting customers to be forced to install Origin and to use it for all their patches (even though it just downloads the whole game again) etc.

#23 Posted by Xenotu (3 posts) -

Dick measuring contest. I hope Valves is bigger.

#24 Posted by MachoFantastico (4890 posts) -

Still can't help but think EA are shooting themselves in the foot here, certainly lose a degree of sales (probably won't be to hurtful for them though).

#25 Posted by Forsythia (24 posts) -

Strange that EA is the only publisher who has this 'problem' with Steam.

#26 Posted by iAmJohn (6135 posts) -

I wonder if the issue is that Valve wants to sell the DLC while EA wants to sell it themselves a la Bioware's site.

#27 Posted by DarkbeatDK (1370 posts) -

A "We like money" would have sufficed.

#28 Posted by chickdigger802 (502 posts) -

meh. Never bought EA games on steam anyways. It never worked great anyways.

Stop whining you pansies.

PC gaming is all about options. I buy where a game is the cheapest. direct2drive, origin, gog, etc.

For people that can't understand that you can purchase games on other platforms besides steam, go back to console gaming...

Sure steam makes it more convenient, but should that prevent you from experiencing some of the better games of this generation?

#29 Posted by amomjc (977 posts) -

I don't see the problem with EA wanting to push its own distributing service that Steam wont allow. There is nothing wrong with that, just a couple of people on the internet that want another thing to bitch at because they don't like change or EA.

#30 Posted by Nocall (356 posts) -

I don't think either company is "right" in this case.
 
All I know is that, as a consumer, I do not want to have multiple gamestore-apps installed on my computer.

#31 Posted by Vitefish (445 posts) -

If EA wants to jump-start Origin at the cost of a small margin of B3 sales, that's perfectly fine. There's more people willing to buy it over Origin than there are people who won't buy it. But what I don't get is why they continue to say "well we would put it on Steam, but they won't let us." Why are they continuing to press the issue when they are launching their own distribution client in the first place?

#32 Posted by Shuborno (938 posts) -

Linked from the post linked to from the BF3 boards is EA's specific issue with Steam: http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/7372195.page

when a download service forbids publishers from contacting players with patches, new levels, items and other services – it disrupts our ability to provide the ongoing support players expect from us

The way Steam forces all installation and updating to be pain-free is helpful to me so I'd love to know what parts of that are too restrictive for EA. Valve's own games offer patches, new levels, items and other services transparently so there must be something EA's not telling us.

#33 Edited by Donos (1197 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

I wonder if the issue is that Valve wants to sell the DLC while EA wants to sell it themselves a la Bioware's site.

To my knowledge, this is it.

EA seems pretty justified to me. Just because Valve sold the base game shouldn't mean they have the exclusive right to sell every piece of related content. It sucks for Steam users that Valve won't let EA mange their own game.

#34 Posted by MisterMouse (3564 posts) -

It is weird that it only seems like EA is having a problem with steam...

#35 Posted by iAmJohn (6135 posts) -
@Cyborgmatt

DLC is not the issue, GFWL have been selling their own DLC for ages, the issue here is probably on the lines of EA wanting customers to be forced to install Origin and to use it for all their patches (even though it just downloads the whole game again) etc.

The way EA is putting it, it sounds like Valve has changed their ToS to stop companies from doing that. Sure would explain why Bethesda is selling New Vegas and Brink DLC through Steam when they used to use GFWL.
#36 Posted by whatisdelicious (1290 posts) -

I love how everyone is so quick to blame EA for all of this. Oh, poor Valve. Yep, let's all pity the guys who have the biggest fucking conflict of interest I've ever seen in the gaming business, and nobody cares. I forgot that it's totally OK for Valve to pull this shit, but not anybody else. Because, ya know, Portal made us laugh, and it's more fun to think of Valve as "the little guy." I'm sorry, but can you guys find me anywhere on the Internet to download Valve games other than Steam? No? Oh, okay.

So why are we all up in arms against EA again?

#37 Posted by Oni (2113 posts) -

If DLC policy is the culprit, why wasn't Mass Effect 2 taken down as well? There seems to be more to this than we know.

#38 Posted by Kingloo (87 posts) -

I hope Steam don't change their policies. I want to be able to buy all DLC for a game from the same place I bought the game itself. That appears to be the crux of the disagreement. EA want to insist that you buy it through them and them alone.

#39 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

And we just had the:"Which publisher do you hate more, Activision or EA" thread. This should clear up any and all confusion.

#40 Posted by Lobst (151 posts) -

Remember when EA did this with Xbox LIVE? Now you have to read through a EULA to use multiplayer in any EA title -- and it usually stutters and lags like crazy, of course.

Here's the problem with EA's plan: Unless you're Blizzard, Steam is the only game in town. There are other services, of course: GamersGate, Direct2Drive, Impulse -- but none of them have anywhere near the level of committed, loyal users that Valve has earned over the years. With the PC game market the way it is, a non-Steam Battlefield 3 has no choice but to flop hard.

#41 Posted by onimonkii (2464 posts) -

"ea explains why i might not buy battlefield 3"

#42 Posted by StingerMK2 (386 posts) -

i can see why EA are doing this, they have a massive library of good games, if this move means there is more money for EA to push quality products, im all for it, not really a fan of the way their pussy-footing around the point, but you know, PR bullshit and all that, they are probably the only publisher at this point who have a good enough games library to do this, so why not?

why should it be assumed valve automatically claim their share of the PC gamers money just because they have the biggest platform? its a ballsy move, i kinda like it

#43 Posted by Korne (625 posts) -
@Shuborno: It has to do with DLC sales. Steam does not allow a game to be on their service if they do not allow Steam sell the DLC for that game. It doesn't have to be exclusive to Steam, but they want it to be available through the service. EA has not been doing this, and has been releasing DLC that can be bought through an in-game menu that takes you to an EA store. So it sounds like EA wants to cut out the middle man and sell the content directly, while Steam is against this since it basically uses the Steam service to sell the content without Valve getting a penny.
#44 Posted by NoelVeiga (1128 posts) -
@SomeJerk said: 

This is 100% EA and the only reason we're not seeing the same from Activision is because Activision haven't dipped their toes into the download-service-store-applet business, and hopefully never will.

http://us.blizzard.com/store/
Online
#45 Posted by Vexxan (4614 posts) -

Too bad.

Online
#46 Posted by jediknight00719 (141 posts) -

I'm confused, there is really no explanation here. Just very vague comments. What is it about the DLC issue that is causing this. The Dirt series requires (i think) to install game for windows and to download and install DLC you go through GFWL so i have a hard time believing DLC is just the issue. Something else is an issue that EA and Steam aren't willing to budge.

It really isn't an issue, just a nuisance since Steam just streamlines it. Very curious on the impact on sales this will have (if any).

#47 Posted by aGuyNamedJustin (11 posts) -

This doesn't explain anything. Valve gives developers the ability to sell, patch and communicate with their customers. What they don't allow, is someone to have an in-game store that uses anything other than real human currency processed through Steam. No spacebucks, EA Dollars or anything else. And you can't have your own credit card charges inside of the game unless they're tied to Steam's payment system.

That's what this is all about. Nice doublespeak though EA.

#48 Posted by Lobst (151 posts) -

@whatisdelicious said:

I'm sorry, but can you guys find me anywhere on the Internet to download Valve games other than Steam? No? Oh, okay.

So why are we all up in arms against EA again?

Nice try.

#49 Posted by kollay (1942 posts) -

Now how will I get a BF3 TF2 hat!?

#50 Posted by Pr1mus (3951 posts) -

So where is the explanation the title promised?

Online

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.