EA Launches New Digital Retail Service, Makes It the Sole Way to Purchase Star Wars: The Old Republic Online

  • 162 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Posted by Alex (1933 posts) -

In the realm of online download services, Steam has few legitimate competitors. It's ubiquitous with the concept of digital distribution on the PC, to the point where anyone directly challenging Valve's online retail behemoth would need to come with some serious firepower to even make a dent in the thing's usage numbers.

Evidently, EA is betting that it has the firepower necessary to be successful with its own entry into the digital distribution space. EA today announced Origin, a new online download service that, on the surface, looks more or less like a re-branding of the publisher's original online store. However, EA is banking on turning Origin into the go-to place to purchase EA products online. Over 150 titles, including PC and console titles (which, yes, you will still have to have shipped to you) are now available on the newly-launched website.

More interestingly, EA plans to offer "exclusive special editions" of games like Battlefield 3, Alice: Madness Returns, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and FIFA 12. And then there is the small matter of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which EA states will only be available online via the Origin service. Yes, those married to the antiquated notions of "stores" and "physical copies of games" can still go buy a boxed copy in a retail store, but for those looking to pre-order and download online, Origin will be your sole option in the matter.

Origin does have some other practical uses, especially in the mobile space. Origin will have its own mobile application, and will be integrated directly into EA's mobile games. There are also social networking features, including friends lists and the ability to see what EA games your friends are playing, though those are things most any gaming service includes nowadays.

This whole thing becomes extremely interesting when you consider that EA has traditionally been Valve's distribution partner for its various console games. EA most recently acted as distributor for Valve's acclaimed puzzle/adventure sequel, Portal 2. One might think that this would leave the relationship between the two companies perhaps... a bit strained. Though if EA just plans to stick to selling its own games, maybe Valve will simply treat this like the buzzing of flies around its all-powerful head, and simply go on about its business as usual, paying no mind to this new player in the game.

Regardless, it's an intriguing shift in priority for EA, who clearly see online distribution as something they want a bigger piece of in terms of marketshare. As a streetwise stick-up man once said: "You come at the king, you best not miss."

So is Origin going to be Avon Barksdale, making lots of noise but ultimately unable to bring down the king? Or will it be Kenard, the deadly threat you just don't see coming?

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (1933 posts) -

In the realm of online download services, Steam has few legitimate competitors. It's ubiquitous with the concept of digital distribution on the PC, to the point where anyone directly challenging Valve's online retail behemoth would need to come with some serious firepower to even make a dent in the thing's usage numbers.

Evidently, EA is betting that it has the firepower necessary to be successful with its own entry into the digital distribution space. EA today announced Origin, a new online download service that, on the surface, looks more or less like a re-branding of the publisher's original online store. However, EA is banking on turning Origin into the go-to place to purchase EA products online. Over 150 titles, including PC and console titles (which, yes, you will still have to have shipped to you) are now available on the newly-launched website.

More interestingly, EA plans to offer "exclusive special editions" of games like Battlefield 3, Alice: Madness Returns, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and FIFA 12. And then there is the small matter of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which EA states will only be available online via the Origin service. Yes, those married to the antiquated notions of "stores" and "physical copies of games" can still go buy a boxed copy in a retail store, but for those looking to pre-order and download online, Origin will be your sole option in the matter.

Origin does have some other practical uses, especially in the mobile space. Origin will have its own mobile application, and will be integrated directly into EA's mobile games. There are also social networking features, including friends lists and the ability to see what EA games your friends are playing, though those are things most any gaming service includes nowadays.

This whole thing becomes extremely interesting when you consider that EA has traditionally been Valve's distribution partner for its various console games. EA most recently acted as distributor for Valve's acclaimed puzzle/adventure sequel, Portal 2. One might think that this would leave the relationship between the two companies perhaps... a bit strained. Though if EA just plans to stick to selling its own games, maybe Valve will simply treat this like the buzzing of flies around its all-powerful head, and simply go on about its business as usual, paying no mind to this new player in the game.

Regardless, it's an intriguing shift in priority for EA, who clearly see online distribution as something they want a bigger piece of in terms of marketshare. As a streetwise stick-up man once said: "You come at the king, you best not miss."

So is Origin going to be Avon Barksdale, making lots of noise but ultimately unable to bring down the king? Or will it be Kenard, the deadly threat you just don't see coming?

Staff
#2 Edited by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -
@alex: Nice one. :) 
 
*edit* Oi!
#3 Posted by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

Exclusive mofos!

#4 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

Microtransactions vendor spotted!

Online
#5 Posted by Generic_username (588 posts) -

The last EA download service was awful, wasn't it...? Or am I wrong?

#6 Posted by seamus85 (116 posts) -

no thank you ea

#7 Posted by DharmaBum (1035 posts) -

Nobody likes you, EA.

#8 Posted by Doctorchimp (4067 posts) -

Sounds like Origin is going to be an annoying speed bump for me when Battlefield 3 comes out.
 
I wonder what the hell kind of voodoo EA is going to do.

#9 Posted by knownspace (85 posts) -
I could be tempted if the BF3 and FIFA "exclusive" stuff is significant. 
 
@Generic_username
said:
The last EA download service was awful, wasn't it...? Or am I wrong?
Yeah it was shite. I had the misfortune of buying Battlefield 2142 from there which only compounded the problem I guess.
#10 Posted by Bass (692 posts) -

You are pretty incessant with your The Wire references. 

#11 Posted by Doctorchimp (4067 posts) -
@Lebensbaum said:
Nobody likes you, EA.
@seamus85 said:
no thank you ea
EA, the shitty drug addicted uncle you have to put up with to hang out with your awesome cousins.
#12 Posted by Spikey (21 posts) -

I assume that the article means to say that Origin will be the only place to get The Old Republic.  Knights of the Old Republic is still available on Steam.

#13 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

Sigh...

#14 Posted by Vorbis (2749 posts) -

Yeah because that's going to help the game that people are already worried about to sell.

#15 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

This seems like a really terrible idea. I can't imagine that people who I would like to think know what they're doing sat in a room and approved this.

#16 Posted by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -
@Generic_username said:
The last EA download service was awful, wasn't it...? Or am I wrong?
I have Mass Effect 2, Sims 3, Crysis 2 and Medal of Honor there and I have no issues with it. 
 
Anyway. I just reinstalled Origins and it looks no different from the new features they added in EA DLM. Friends list and so on. Not seeing anything different so far. 
#17 Posted by Brendan (7663 posts) -

Like I said in a thread about this earlier, if I have one physical shelf for games regardless of publisher, I want one virtual shelf for all my digital games.  I do not want several publishers trying to divide up my collection into different accounts with different passwords diluting the potential permanence of my collection.  

#18 Posted by Alex (1933 posts) -

@Spikey:Yes I did. And I have fixed this. Stupid hurried editing!

Staff
#19 Edited by TadThuggish (900 posts) -

This, on its own, guarantees that TOR will not overtake WOW.  (At least) Thousands of people who consistently use Steam won't be able to get this game.  It's like EA decided to not put their products in Wal-Mart but create an all new exactly the same store like Wal-Mart in which to sell their products, except that you aren't able to give them your money because their store is three towns away. 
 
It fails within 8 months. 

#20 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

WHY!

#21 Edited by sixpin (1286 posts) -

The Old Republic isn't going to be on Steam then? Good job EA. Why don't you just not sale retail copies at Wal-Mart while you are at it?
 
Edit:
@TadThuggish: Looks like we had the same thought.

#22 Edited by Nokterian (61 posts) -

It is still EADM only with a new name! Before even this name it had all those silly things... really that name sucks tbh...origin. Like i am telling to my friends yeah gonna buy a game on origin! Then they will think oh you mean your gonna buy Dragon Age Origins?  
 
And yeah Star Wars will fail since Steam is i think still the best product there and EA has still what i have learned the most horrible support.

#23 Posted by deltaalphabravo (141 posts) -

I buy my PC games on Steam; Thank you. Good-day Sir!

#24 Posted by Pop (2591 posts) -

Hmm, I thought activision would do this before EA, so they won't sell anymore games on steam? Just another thing to install on my hard drive and never open unless they have a massive sale.

#25 Posted by CaLe (3895 posts) -

I really doubt ANY other digital store can make me move away from Steam. I'm already $2000+ deep.

#26 Posted by MikkaQ (10261 posts) -

Wait, TOR's not on steam? 
 
Oh well, guess I'm not getting TOR then. 
 
Kinda seems stupid not putting it on steam given they're competing with WoW, but hey whatever.

#27 Posted by SSully (4117 posts) -
@Generic_username said:
The last EA download service was awful, wasn't it...? Or am I wrong?
Oh you are correct, you are very correct.
#28 Posted by Wuddel (2077 posts) -

Fuck that.

#29 Posted by AlisterCat (5468 posts) -

Considering digital prices I will be better off just buying a boxed copy online. Seems ridiculous to buy online to get something physical to me that only works digitally.

Online
#30 Posted by PieGuy (313 posts) -

Shoot yourself in the foot why don't you.

#31 Posted by TheAdmin (710 posts) -

Do I still need to pay 5 bucks to be able to re-download my game anytime I want? 

#32 Edited by RedHatDrew (329 posts) -

EA's Origin... Activision's Call of Duty Elite... It's nice to see two powerhouses compete over who can come up with the worst idea and make the most money.

#33 Posted by RYNO9881 (625 posts) -

Whatever the service is, Steam will probably better. EA will not have the kind of sales steam does.

#34 Posted by Ezekeilpurger (320 posts) -

Well, there goes my TF2 promo items..

#35 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

NO THANKYOU EA.

#36 Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2088 posts) -

I hope BF3 isn't going to go the same route :/

#37 Posted by Brenderous (1096 posts) -

Uhhh.. So everyone else knows what's happening here right? 
 
The Ori have taken over EA and are trying to spread the word about the path of Origin to our planet. If we don't accept and say "Hallowed are the Ori", they'll mount a crusade and purge us all. 
 
Only one man can save us.  

#38 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1316 posts) -
@SSully said:
@Generic_username said:
The last EA download service was awful, wasn't it...? Or am I wrong?
Oh you are correct, you are very correct.
iunno, I downloaded my free copy of mass effect 2 from the ea download manager, the interface looks sleek and kinda neat. Also activated my dead space 2 on there, and downloading from it was a good experience. I didn't care to actually purchase from their store, but it doesn't look terrible. I would prefer everything just work with everything else, but you need to buy from steam to activate there unless a game supports steamworks which isn't every game, or even most... in a perfect world I could activate ANY game on steam and re-download there if I wanted, and same goes for other sites. They should only offer the client, and my library should transfer to any/all freely.
#39 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

I liked the wire references. I hope this doesnt lead to more major publishers deciding to make their own stores.

#40 Posted by WEGGLES (739 posts) -

Bleh. Hope BF3 is not Origin exclusive. Fuck this shit. I don't want to have to go to 8 different places for my games.

#41 Posted by dr_mantas (1760 posts) -

Thank god! Another reason not to buy Old Republic.
Like them not making KOTOR III WASN'T ENOUGH. ARRRRGH!

#42 Posted by Jumbs (232 posts) -

...what...are they thinking....

#43 Posted by Warchief (650 posts) -

thats a bummer so much for a kick ass boxed limited ed. 

#44 Posted by Outrager (140 posts) -

Here's my experience with EA's online store.  

It started when I bought Battlefield Bad Company 2. It cost extra to be able to download the game after 6 months. That was the first sign it was total crap. But whatever, it was on sale. I downloaded the installation files and kept them on a backup drive. They used something called EA Download Manager (EADM). 

A couple of days ago I bought Dragon Age: Origins from them because it was on sale. I downloaded about 25% of the 9GB installation files when I needed to restart my computer. That's fine, they let me pause the download and resume later. I restart and start up the EADM again. It gives me a message saying I can either upgrade to the newest version or quit out of the program. I guess my only choice is to upgrade. After upgrading it DELETES the progress I already made downloading DA:O and proceeds to start a new download that is 14GB! Okay, fine. So I download this and poke around the settings and see an option to "Do not delete installation files after install finishes."  

After finishing the download I noticed it's not a regular install. It just kind of installs to whatever default directory they deemed appropriate. This wasn't what I wanted since my C drive is mostly just for my Windows installation. I go to uninstall DA:O and look for the installation files. Guess what? They're gone. Good thing they had that setting to keep them. So now I have to download it AGAIN. 
 
Now while downloading it for the 3rd time (and at a bigger size than the first time) I noticed it didn't download installation files like the old EADM I had did. It just sort of downloads the files you have after installing. This makes it pretty annoying to backup. I e-mailed EA Support asking how to get the old EADM and download the installation files, but they are idiots and thought I was asking about save files in game. I'm still waiting for their response, but I at least asked about download limits and someone told me they have unlimited downloads now for your games.

#45 Posted by Meltbrain (2968 posts) -

Go Steam or go home, EA.

#46 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

What's with all the complaining?  
 
Competition = good.  
 
Plus the new EA DLM is not too shabby and it seems like they have an even better one in  beta (not to mention mobile support).

#47 Posted by TekZero (2658 posts) -

F that man.  Just wait a couple of years and get it all on Gog.com.

#48 Posted by astonish (211 posts) -

I bought the first crysis from the EA store and had a really bad experience. Plus you can't download at will any time in the future, and they even made me pay extra money to have the opportunity to redownload for only one year and a max number of times. 
 
At this point I'm not so in love with any EA game that I wouldn't just skip it if its origin exclusive. I see why EA is doing this (valve doesn't get a cut), but part of what makes steam nice is that its a unified service. All my games are there, I have one friends list, profile, groups. I don't want fragmentation. 
 
Even MS seems to be coming around to releasing games on Steam (Fable III). Hopefully EA won't bail...

#49 Posted by TheHT (10786 posts) -

The only reason I wouldv'e got this is for TOR, but after seeing more Guild Wars 2 I'm not so sure I want it.

#50 Posted by billyblaze (63 posts) -

Pretty annoying for the end-user. I reckon >85% of the PC gaming demographic are already on Steam. I doubt that this will discourage anyone from playing SWTOR if they wanted to in the first place though.

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.