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Electronic Arts Agressively Pushes Origin; Pulls Games from Steam [UPDATED]

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By: Stephen Crane

Electronic Arts recently launched its own digital download store, Origin and now has begun an aggressive push for customers. This push involves pulling titles from their direct competition: Steam and announcing that more games will have a digital release exclusively on Origin.

EA's store currently is in its beta stages, but when it is fully launched they are planning on having more than 150 games available. EA also announced that they will be offering unique content for Origin games which will be exclusive to their digital distribution platform. The titles you can find on Origin currently include EA published and distributed games for all platforms. For example, you can find the Half Life 2 Episode Pack. There are already plenty of PC and digital download titles available.

The interesting thing to note is that Electronic Arts isn't pulling their titles from Direct2Drive or Impulse. EA's primary and seemingly only target is Steam as they have begun pulling titles like Crysis 2 and Alice: Madness Returns from that platform specifically while leaving them available on others. Does this mean that Origins is looking to compete with the active community found on Steam as well?

According to Gameindustry.biz EA is promising that Origin "will evolve with the community will evolve with community featured borne from the company's history in games creation". What will this new community look like? Can a publisher actually create a community around itself by offering digital exclusives? They certainly are trying. The Origin beta application will allow you to import contacts from Facebook, build an in-game friends list, create Origin profiles, watch exclusive trailers and play exclusive game demos. There is also a mobile version of the application for smartphone titles like SCRABBLE and the upcoming Battlefield 3 mobile version.

The gamer community seems pretty unsure about these moves. While Star Wars: The Old Republic has been confirmed as being an Origins digital exclusive, there is a community that seems to be against the larger titles landing on this system. Petitions and forum posts are trying to communicate to EA that AAA titles like Battlefield 3 are wanted on Steam and at least some gamers are against exclusive digital releases. Where do you stand on the issue?

[UPDATE] According to Giant Bomb, EA isn't the one who decided to pull Crysis 2 from Steam. Insteas, "Steam 'imposed a new set of business terms' that resulted in an existing agreement Crytek had regarding Crysis 2 that 'violates the new rules,' resulting in the 'expulsion' of Crysis 2."[sic] So it looks like Steam is to blame for the removal of Crysis 2 and Alice: Madness Returns.

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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