EA, Origin and Steam

I think EA's gamble is fundamentally misguided. I can sum up very easily why Steam is my go-to vendor. I've already committed years ago. I own hundreds of games on that service, and my Steam account is intractably bound to my online identity, not just publically, but in terms of the experience of moving from one computer to the next, and not having to worry about the game collection.

It's a very effective and admittedly kind of devious lock-in tactic, much like how my Google apps account is now how I publish Android apps, purchase Android apps, store my contacts, my email, my work documents... My Google account kind of IS how I use the internet now, and my Steam account has become how I use games on the PC.

It goes beyond the sale of the game, and comes down to the game's effective integration with and inclusion in my lifestyle. I've bought duplicate copies of games just to have them on Steam. The convenience is just too great a factor.

Origin is not only a clumsy piece of software, but it carries the ambience of cruftware. It's not necessarily poorly made; It's just that it is so obviously and shamelessly attempting to usurp a position already taken by a vastly superior product. Every time I boot up Origin, I do so begrudgingly; "This is so unnecessary".

I kept Impulse around for Sins of a Solar Empire. When that game was made available on Steam, I got the Steam version and ditched Impulse. When I stop playing Battlefield, I'll ditch Origin. I have no interest in Mass Effect 3 on PC *because* of Origin at this point. It's one unwanted step too many, and I can't imagine Origin is going to improve EA's PC sales of any game that isn't Battlefield 3.

15 Comments
16 Comments
Posted by Sunjammer

I think EA's gamble is fundamentally misguided. I can sum up very easily why Steam is my go-to vendor. I've already committed years ago. I own hundreds of games on that service, and my Steam account is intractably bound to my online identity, not just publically, but in terms of the experience of moving from one computer to the next, and not having to worry about the game collection.

It's a very effective and admittedly kind of devious lock-in tactic, much like how my Google apps account is now how I publish Android apps, purchase Android apps, store my contacts, my email, my work documents... My Google account kind of IS how I use the internet now, and my Steam account has become how I use games on the PC.

It goes beyond the sale of the game, and comes down to the game's effective integration with and inclusion in my lifestyle. I've bought duplicate copies of games just to have them on Steam. The convenience is just too great a factor.

Origin is not only a clumsy piece of software, but it carries the ambience of cruftware. It's not necessarily poorly made; It's just that it is so obviously and shamelessly attempting to usurp a position already taken by a vastly superior product. Every time I boot up Origin, I do so begrudgingly; "This is so unnecessary".

I kept Impulse around for Sins of a Solar Empire. When that game was made available on Steam, I got the Steam version and ditched Impulse. When I stop playing Battlefield, I'll ditch Origin. I have no interest in Mass Effect 3 on PC *because* of Origin at this point. It's one unwanted step too many, and I can't imagine Origin is going to improve EA's PC sales of any game that isn't Battlefield 3.

Posted by jetsetwillie

yeah i use steam for most of my games too.

but i also like starcraft 2 and WoW so have had to use battle.net as well as steam for those and will have to for D3 as well. so im ok with using different icons to lauch different games.

its not a big deal

Posted by senorfuzzeh

Steam FTW!

What Irratates me the most is Origin is pretty much EA trying to be greedy and keep all their money/games to themselves.

and now BF3 wont be on steams Sale list so I can't buy it for like 75% off like every other steam game! Lol.

Posted by blueduck

Why wouldn't EA do this? In fact any major game publisher could do it. Origin is awful but it doesn't matter you'll buy their games and use their service anyway (like the OP)

Edited by Codeacious

They're trying to do what Steam did at first, many, many years ago; back when CS:S and Half-Life 2 required Steam, but no one wanted to use it. The problem was, there wasn't really anything like Steam is today back in 2006, meaning Origin can't repeat the same tune Valve played back in 2006, as now we actually have a great online digital distributor.

Posted by blueduck

@isnipeyoudie said:

They're trying to do what Steam did at first, many, many years ago; back when CS:S and Half-Life 2 required Steam, but no one wanted to use it. The problem was, there wasn't really anything like Steam is today back in 2006, meaning Origin can't repeat the same tune Valve played back in 2006, as now we actually have a great online digital distributor.

Steam came out in 2003 and HL2 came out in 2004. I have no idea where you got 2006 from.

Posted by Mikemcn

Damn it, my google account has become my internet everything too... oh they're good.

Posted by CheapPoison

Well let's be fair here orgins did not help battlefields sales at all. Their aggresive marketing did.

But i completely agree.

Posted by Codeacious

@blueduck said:

@isnipeyoudie said:

They're trying to do what Steam did at first, many, many years ago; back when CS:S and Half-Life 2 required Steam, but no one wanted to use it. The problem was, there wasn't really anything like Steam is today back in 2006, meaning Origin can't repeat the same tune Valve played back in 2006, as now we actually have a great online digital distributor.

Steam came out in 2003 and HL2 came out in 2004. I have no idea where you got 2006 from.

It was a rough guess based on when I ended up getting Steam, but that even further reinforces my point that there really wasn't a "good" digital distributor out there yet, meaning Steam had time and room to grow and develop into what it is today.

Posted by Brodehouse

Steam is a console that runs on PCs.

As for Origin being unnecessary, Steam was unnecessary when I was trying to play Natural Selection. And forums were filled with the tears. Oh, the tears.

Posted by Hamz

I think people forget that Steam was a terrible piece of software when it first launched but over time it became something accepted by gamers, something that could very well happen to Origin.

Posted by Sunjammer

@Hamz: I remember very well what Steam was like, but the subjective quality of the software is actually not the point. In today's climate I think you'd have to be borderline deranged to look at a shitty or poorly presented product launch and say "give them a few years". That just isn't how things work.

Customers are more fickle than ever, and if you're going to say "hey, you, all the people invested enough in Steam that you have your whole game collection AND your gaming community there, try this different thing that is sort of awkwardly the same, and gives you basically no real benefits over what you already have", I think you have a fundamental sales problem.

EA are gambling that EA games on PC are worth the hassle of disengaging from a games community and trying to reengage with an approximation of that community on another platform, and EA games on the PC simply aren't.

Posted by blueduck

@Hamz said:

I think people forget that Steam was a terrible piece of software when it first launched but over time it became something accepted by gamers, something that could very well happen to Origin.

The real problem is EA is incompetent. Battle.net came out when steam was already going strong and it worked out fine but only because they had games people would actually play for more than a year. With EA they're trying to take single player games or games that have huge dips in the player base weeks after launching. Mass Effect 3 will sell tons but most people won't be logging on the Origin every day a year later to play it. Steam launched on the backs of a very strong cs community which had to suffer through the shittyness to play. EA has no game that will keep people coming back and logging on every day.

Posted by mithhunter55

@Brodehouse said:

Steam is a console that runs on PCs. As for Origin being unnecessary, Steam was unnecessary when I was trying to play Natural Selection. And forums were filled with the tears. Oh, the tears.

Except that you can edit files, play mods and any other crazy low level shenanagines. As long as you don't use hacks on vac servers you can do what ever you want pretty much.

Natural Selection; Oh man I forgot about that game again. I loved it in its craziness, Starcraft Aliens:shooter.

Posted by spiceninja

@blueduck: I think you're forgetting about Battlefield 3. It's the only game keeping Origin alive at this point and is why it will never come to Steam.

EA just need to get their shit together. They curry no favor with their consumers these days with their absolutely pathetic customer service. They seem to be making all of their decisions based solely on what will make them more money instead of thinking about what is best for the consumer. It's infuriating.

Posted by blueduck

@PlasmaBeam44: I played BF2 for awhile and with a game like that the numbers dip heavily from month to month until you're down to a small dedicated player base that plays for awhile. This is combined with the fact that most people simply don't have the hardware to run it. Honestly at this point I have no idea what EA's long term plan for Origin could be. I mean BF3 can hold it up, barely, until Mass Effect 3 comes out but unless its multiplayer is amazing and builds a strong competitive community, it won't, I have no idea where Origin goes after that. I guess they could keep latching Bioware games onto it but EA is quickly running that label into the ground so I doubt that would work very long and again they make single player games.