Dragon Age II The Latest Casualty Of EA's Origin/Steam Scuffle

Crysis 2 was recently removed from Steam, and while it has been stated that games such as Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 will be released on Valve's digital distribution service, EA has just removed Dragon Age II from Steam - a move that is sure to raise questions.

The issue appears to be Valve's new terms and conditions for new content added to games after their release. Dragon Age II has just released its first piece of DLC for the game, Legacy, which can be purchased in-game, without going through Steam itself. Apparently this is in violation of said terms and conditions.

According to VG247, existing Steam users who have already purchased the game will be able to purchase the new DLC without issue.

It almost feels as though we're about to embark on a digital distribution cold war, with both EA and Valve heaving pot shots at one another across the parapets. Here's hoping it all gets ironed out soon because, ultimately, it's the consumer that suffers.

We've gotten in contact with EA, and we'll update as soon as we get the official word.

Dragon Age II pulled from Steam as Legacy DLC launches [VG247]


Comments

    It seems this article was written by no one.

    Conspiracy?

    Correction. Valve removed Crysis 2 from Steam because it was in breach of terms and conditions. I'm sure it wasn't an EA decision to remove DAII from Steam.

    Sorry if my facts are wrong but that's my understanding of the issue from what I've read that it wasn't EA that removed these games from Steam.

      Yeah it was weird - maybe I'll reword that part. Great point.

      Isn't this where it gets subtle and tricky though?

      EA would have been aware of the terms and conditions set by valve for it's steam service.
      There's no way it couldn't have known. If EA genuinely didn't know, then I have a lot less respect for EA than I have ever had before.

      In any case, if they've willingly violated the terms and conditions, is it Valve who removed the game from steam, or EA?

      The only way you could word it is to put forward a possible scenario where EA has forced Valves hand into removing DA2 from steam.

        You still have respect for EA?

        Well you could say "Valve removed..." or you could say "EA violated...". The latter probably best gets to the heart of the matter, though.

    damn it. anyone know what happens if i've purchased DA2 through Steam but want to download it again?

    can i?

      they'll be no problem. they just refuse to sell any more copies

      I'd imagine so, just that new purchasers wouldn't be able to.

    Absolutely ridiculous. Valve are insane for taking such aggressive moves against Origin; it'll fracture their customer base and deprive themselves of sales revenue from new releases which are now exclusive to Origin.

      Great troll there.
      I'm sure Valve are terrified of EA's online store/service , what with there "oh so generous and customer first ethos".
      Valve has too much of a lead imho to be caught now, kindof like WoW's dominance in the mmorpg landscape

        This game is not available in your region

          Like SW:TOR?

      what a stupid comment.

      this has nothing to do with origin.

      The issue is that steam can't sell the DLC directly.

      And if DA2's DLC system is anything like DA:O's i'm actually kinda glad.

      They had the most messed up method of buying DLC ever in that game.

      Go and buy points which were only sold in amounts for a single DLC. so you had multiple transactions if you were getting DLC later.

      these transactions could take anywhere from a day to a week to process.

      Then because they had no cart, each DLC had to be purchased with said points seperately again sometimes having delays.

      Then when you downloaded the 1GB Executable, which if it crashed wasn't resumable. and installed it. You had to hope that the game would actually say that your account was able to play the goddamned stuff

    Even in light of this, people are still going to defend steam which is sad. Yes steam is awesome with their sales and whatnot but at the end of the day it is a digital distribution service that is designed to make money. Simple.

    Here - because of Steams new T&C's for selling games, it has forced the removal of now 2 EA games. Now - this was NOT a problem before. EA has been flogging ME2, Shift etc... DLC only on their in-game/in-house stores on PC games bought through steam for a long time without the DLC appearing on steam.

    To me it seems like steam got tired of not having a cut of the sales of this DLC and changed the T&C's so that all DLC on games bought from steam have to be offered through steam as well, so that they can have a cut of the revenue. Same thing happened with Crysis 2 with DLC about to launch and with the EA patcher, it caused its removal from steam.

      If it was as you suggest then ME2, Shift and such would have been removed when Crysis 2 was removed. But those games and how they handle their DLC is clearly not in violation of Steam's T&C thus they are still available.

      EA have started doing something differently, most likely knowing that it violates Steam's conditions thus getting the games removed.

        My understanding is that the changes Valve made only come into effect on games/DLC released beyond that date.

        So the older games who have in game stores and DLC already available are not bound by this new T&C.

        However, of course any new ME2, Shift content would see those games removed also.

        Personally, I don't see a problem with EA doing it this way, so Valve are probably looking for a little bit more control/money now what EA have Origin.

          However I have since learnt that DIRT3 and some other games have DLC that isn't available through Steam are still there, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

          Without all the facts it's hard to tell what's going on, I'm sure EA wanting Origin to start getting more of the marketshare is high on the list, perhaps they are doing something on purpose to the games that does violate the T&C, to make Valve look like the bad guy.

          They are claiming Valve are pulling the games because of T&C violations, so it's all Valve's fault, if some part of this wasn't true then Valve have a pretty decent lawsuit against EA. Valve are the ones being quiet, so I think both parties probably are at fault, but at this stage we don't know to what extent.

            There we go, other games that have come out since the Crysis 2 situation are still on Steam despite having DLC handled by another service.

            If we could have betting pool on this, I'd bet a good sum of money that EA are deliberately violating the Valve DLC conditions in an attempt to make Valve look bad.

            I think Valve are holding back on saying something until they can come out with a response that isn't full of crap like the EA statements.

            And let's face it, Valve have never given us a reason to doubt them or view them as some sort of evil world-dominating corporation. EA on the other hand... :P

      Well, I'm not about to defend Origin, since they were charging Aussies more for the same games that were on Steam.
      Alice was $80 for us on Origin, and $50 when it came out on Steam. And since you had to buy it on Origin to get the first game with it on PC...

    I could be the consumer who benefits, steam has a monopoly on digital distribution, maybe its time for some competition, even if its a little below the belt, maybe they'll even be drop in prices to attract gamers to each service.

      It's not competition unless there is more than one place selling the same thing. You know ... competing ... on price (and/or extras).

        you mean like, competing with computer games???

          If only one place is selling the game, there's no competition. You know, like how BF3 or SWTOR are only going to be on origin. With no competition.

          The product isn't 'games', like generic brand peanut butter vs name brand peanut butter.

          Each title is a product. Imagine if movies made by Warner Brothers were only sold by JB Hi Fi, and movies made by Fox were only sold by Sanity.

          There would be no competition, because you couldn't get the same movie in more than one place.

            Do xbox and ps3 compete, even though they have different products ? Wouldn't you say BF3 and CoD are competitors? You don't need the exact same product to compete.

    ME2 doesn't use Steam for it's DLC and that's still on there.

    There is a big piece of this puzzle that we're yet to see.

      It's not a coincidence that this is happening after EA announce Origin.

      My best guess is that it's not so much the fact that DLC is done through the game itself or via a website and not Steam but something a bit more technical related. Something slightly different that EA are doing NOW with new DLC that violates a part of Steam's T&C.

      IMO it's because the T&C change would most likely only apply to new DLC that would be released after the change. If that were the case and new DLC came out for ME2 (i know arrival was the last story one but maybe an alt. appearance pack) then i would be interested to see if it gets yanked.

        Yeah, I think you're right here.

        It would be really unfair to retroactively apply this to old games that had non-Steam DLC.

    Strange they haven't pulled that card on Mass Effect 2 yet. You have to purchase the DLC ingame for that one.

    In anticipation of all this I grabbed the 360 versions ME1 and 2 cheap from JB-Hifi. Both PC versions are superior (in my opinion) but as I bought those through Steam during a Christmas sale, I doubt somebody somewhere will find a way to stuff something up when it comes to ME3.

    Anyone who honestly blames Valve for this is an idiot.
    I mean its pretty damn obvious that with the launch of Origin, with EA wanting to Valves market that they are deliberately violating the terms so they can play the innocent card when they move the games to Origins

    Whats worse yet is Valve haven't given a statement, most likely to avoid the mud slinging that EA are clearly trying to draw them into, so they can have an excuse to pull their full catalogue from Steam entirely. So the end result is we will never hear their side of the story

      I think that's a rather naive approach to this. Valve deliberately tightened their T&C recently which has caused these games to be violating them. IMO the developer and publisher should be entitled to use whatever method they like for purchasing of DLC, without restriction by the distributor.

      The fact that Valve is placing restrictions on the method of purchase for DLC indicates they are trying to get a profit from the distribution of the DLC, and are getting snotty when companies are finding ways to provide the content to the end-user at the lowest cost by cutting out the need to use Steam for it and instead allowing its purchase over their own servers.

      So what we are in fact seeing is a deliberate move by Valve to increase their own profits per item sold on Steam, and the developer and publisher refusing to conform to their money-grubbing

        It's naive to put one's trust in Valve over EA with this?

        "...when companies are finding ways to provide the content to the end-user at the lowest cost by cutting out the need to use Steam for it and instead allowing its purchase over their own servers"

        That assumes the companies (a) lower the cost at all (and don't maintain an inflated RRP in perpetuity) and (b) intend to provide the content to the end-user in the first place. After what happened to Burnout Paradise I'm reluctant to take EA's side for this - especially considering whose DRM tends towards things like install limits in the first place...

      im a steam fanboy.

      and this one is valves fault. It's there terms and conditions that DLC must now be purchasable through steam(i'm asssuming this is for new DLC)

      And it is a good policy in my mind making sure that everything is in the one place removes conflicts and means you don't need to install multiple programs to cater for the game + its DLC.

      However i think it is naive to say that EA is doing this on purpose.

      The 2 previous Bioware game before DA2, being ME2 and DA:O both used an in game/Bioware Web store. To Both Sell and Distribute DLC. DA2 using the same system is not a strange occurance.

      Other than the fact that the Bioware site you buy them from sucks

        Dirt 3 and a few other games have DLC that have just come out that aren't acquired via Steam at all yet they are still available so EA are doing something different that violates the T&C's that Valve have.

      Valve tightened their terms of service to make more money off the games. If they wanted to be nice about it, they would have them apply to any future titles rather than forcing games with an existing ingame marketplace to update to use Steams.

      EA have had an ingame marketplace for a long time. Bad Company 2 was updated to use Steam's DLC method, yet Mass Effect 2 has not, and unlikely to do so.

      What about MMOs? Purchasing the subscription within the game or ingame content is the same thing. This is a silly move by Valve and clearly a hissy fit in protest of EA's plans for an online service.

    Regardless of what happens with your current licenses, you can always transfer your EA games on your Steam account to your Origin account by using the CD key.

    I also believe if you do this you can possibly still use the game on Steam and Origin, but I'm not 100% certain.

      i can download DA2 right now on both Origins and Steam.

      That just might be a timezone thing though with Steam - they seem great at cutting things out when it hits the right US time zone.

    Who cares, DA2 was an atrocious game, and so is Legacy. Why should we pay for a DLC that is intended to fix their mistakes?

    As for the Origin issue though, if EA sell their games at a much cheaper price than what the Australian retail stores, and even Steam, can offer, then I will install it. Otherwise, no deal for me.

      Currently Origin is the most expensive option, with games on Origin being $90 while they're $70 on Steam and $20 imported from the UK (Medal of Honor in this example)

    DA2 and Crysis 2 no longer on Steam eh?
    We're lucky a good game hasn't fallen victim to this yet...

    If I decide to buy BF3, it'll be through retail. No way in hell am I going to be using Origin.

      Same here, OZgameshop have it for $50 btw.

    That's weird, because i got an email about two days ago from GameTree saying that it's on sale.

    http://gametreemac.com/bioware/dragon-age-2-mac

      That's not weird, that site is not related in any way to Steam.

    That's not a loss as far as I'm concerned.

    Seriously.. Apple has done the same policy recently with iOS and now Steam has follow suit. I dont see Valve wanting to remove every game at once, rather try and scare EA maybe a little to change while showing others it needs to follow its new policies..

    In the end, this is a loss also for EA if anyone cant see it. Steam would be getting EA a fair few good sales. Even if you can still get it from another service provider, or retail, EA still wants it in many places as possible for more revenue.

    I honestly believe right now its neither companies fault, but really, a combination of them both not willing to sacrifice or come to some common ground. Given time im sure it will all get sorted.

    Shouldnt we be bothering valve about this aswell? I know vavle keep quiet but if this is the way its going they will need to say "something"

    I think what's happening is Valve is saying companies selling games via Steam can't offer DLC exclusively via a different channel, they have to offer it via Steam as well. Which I think is fair enough, it's not like they are prohibiting companies from selling their DLC via other channels as well. So I'm in the EA being dicks camp atm, this is based on an inference from what I've drawn considering what games are still available, e.g. Fable 3 which sells it's DLC via Steam and GFWL.

    EA strikes again..

    Here's a question - was Steam cheaper to bu through than the new pricing in Origin?

    DOUBLE STANDARDS VALVE!!! Team fortress/Portal 2 has in-game DLC why should EA be able to.....

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