Begun the Digital Distribution wars have. Now that EA has its own online ‘Steam’-style store, it’s gone and pulled Crysis 2 from Steam, and is selling the game ‘exclusively’ via their own ‘Origin’ service.
But a quick check of other downloadable services shows that Crysis 2 is still available on other sites, such as Direct 2 Drive and Gamersgate – is this a sign that EA’s exclusivity is simply an attempt to out-muscle Steam and define their own online store in the process?
Other EA properties are still available on Steam, but its worth noting that Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 may end up being the dual Trojan horse EA needs to truly solidify the Origin service. It’s a stark possibility that PC gamers will have to buy these games exclusively on EA’s store as it attempts to solidify the Origin service. Ultimately, we could be looking at a future where EA sells their own properties exclusively on Origin.
Will other publishers eventually follow suit? It’s difficult to say. EA has been building the foundations of a strong online, service for years now – in every sense of the word. Facebook development, mobile development, and now Origin, it’s clear that EA is attempting to build for new methods of delivery and new ways to engage users – as a company EA is clearly ahead of the game in that sense. We see this Crysis 2 move as an experiment on the part of EA. It’ll be interesting to see the results.