EA "Hopes To Work Out An Agreement" With Steam Over Disappearing Games

Crysis 2 has disappeared from Steam. Ditto for Dragon Age II. There's a war being waged between EA and Steam over online PC gaming, regardless of EA's stated hopes.

Issuing a statement in response to Dragon Age II's removal from Steam, EA says "At EA, we offer our games and content to all major download services including GameStop, Amazon, Direct2Drive and Steam."

"Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content. No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam."

"We hope to work out an agreement to keep our games on Steam."

Do you? Do you really? Because at this point both parties are looking bad, and the way it's screwing PC gamers over with regards to some of the year's biggest games (you can't pre-order Battlefield 3 on Steam, for example, even though that's where most people would rather play it) isn't creating much good will for anyone

Steam, we get it, you like to control everything on your service, even if that means telling developers how to package their own DLC. EA, we get it, you like to control everything on a platform, something you've been doing for a long, long time.

Just...sort it out, OK? And sort it out like adults. And adults don't go yanking games off a service like a kid storming home with his ball.

Dragon Age II Pulled from Steam, EA Responds [IGN]

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Comments

    Is it just me, or does this article just feel like a rant rather than contributing to the debate about steam and ea.

      A rant I wholeheartedly agree with

        +1

    I don't think either company can afford to ignore the other.

    There are games like Dirt 3 that don't use Steam at all for the DLC but they are still available (and yes the DLC came out after these new conditions). So what exactly are EA doing with their DLC that violates those conditions? What are they doing differently?

    I'd rather play Battlefield without Steam, why would I want to wait an extra 10 seconds to boot Steam when I can just boot the game straight away?

    If Steam was more lightweight it wouldn't be a problem; the only thing it's fantastic for is getting games on the cheap.

    Steam also sucks hardcore for MMO's - bought Rift off Steam recently (cause it was cheap!) - download 8gb from Steam, done! Boot up Rift and there's another 2gb patch waiting when you could of just downloaded the whole brand new Rift client from the beginning (with top speeds).

      Instead, you can spend that ten seconds booting Origin, and inferior service in every conceivable way.

        Keep in mind that Steam was fairly shithouse when it was first launched. It's pretty good now, it *was* shit.

        I'd be inclined to give Origin at least 3-6 months before declaring it worse.

          That's exactly what one of the big wigs at EA said when I spoke to them. I remember people cursing Steam. Cursing it!

            I remember back in the old days when this "steam" thingy was interrupting how you played on CS servers and Ricochet servers. It was as buggy as hell!

            I'm not saying Origin will end up being any good, just that you can't compare a new release system with one that's six or eight years old - got to be fair about it!

          Not an excuse, Steam was the first of its kind, Origins has multiple services to copy and improve upon.Instead what we are looking at is an inferior version entirely, with far more expensive games to boot.

          Btw I seriously cannot believe people are buying into EA's bullshit. A company known to participate in shady business practices and rather questionable ethics, yet people still believe them and what they say about Valve.

          You know the reason why Valve won't respond? Because EA will pull the plug on all its games on the service if they say something negative.
          They're just looking for an excuse and so have chosen to fabricate this nonsense about them having different terms of agreement, which affects noone else but them apparentlly

            I seriously cannot believe that people are jumping on the "VALVE ARE PURENESS INCARNATE" wagon and assuming they can do no wrong.

            Yes, EA have been dicks in the past. They might be doing dicky things now. That doesn't mean VALVE aren't doing a dick move as well.

            Seriously - this is the same Valve that put a 50/50 chance on unboxing an unusual in Hat Fortress 2. Gabe logic? Buy two keys then if you want one. Because statistics and probability works *exactly* like that, for sure.

            What everyone *should* be looking at, fanboyism aside, is that if one service has what appears to be a pure monopoly then it deserves to be investigated if a competitor cries foul on business tactics. Being in an entrenched position of strength, especially one that has turned around the fortunes of an entire company, encourages that business to do whatever they can to maintain the monopoly, even if it's slightly shady practices.

            Again, not saying Origin is awesome, nor am I saying that Valve are a bunch of dicks in this thing. All I'm saying is that it's only fair and reasonable to:
            a) wait for the facts to come to light on what the "issue" they're having is and then decide who's being the dick; and
            b) give a competitor trying to break into a monopoly controlled market at least a few months to launch, tweak, and improve their offering before ruling it out; and
            c) not disregard what may be an important issue simply because of the past behaviour of either party

              Give them time?

              Do you not remember EA Downloader, EA Link or EA Download Manager? Origin is built on years of having an online client/store and guess what? Every incarnation of an EA client has been crap, most updates to them actually introduced more issues.

                Yup, agreed. But this is a new client, so give it at least a few months before declaring it crap. Maybe after so many failures they've learned to make a good product?

                  A fresh coat of paint doesn't make something new.

                  I know they are not perfect, no company is.
                  I just know bullshit when I see it and since its coming from EA, with no response for Valve, anyone with a lick of sense can see the crap EA are trying to pull here.

                  But what I do know is, that the company who has done nothing but support the gaming community will get my support over a company like EA that reguarly treats consumers like dirt, to have its pockets plundered of every cent possible in any way possible

        Correct me if I'm wrong but I've seen no evidence that you have to use Origin for Battlefield 3 if you buy the boxed copy, I'm only going to use the BF3 client like I did with BFBC2.

    Amen. I hope BF3 appears on Steam prior to its release date. I despise paying for DLC (so I want to preorder it), and every single game I own is on Steam so I'm not about to start elsewhere.

    I don't like that Steam are forcing publishers to provide DLC through Steam, but I do prefer it when DLC is available through Steam. It makes the installation and keeping track of said DLC hassle free

    As it stands if BF3 definitely requires the installation of Origin I won't be purchasing it. I ended up uninstalling Demigod and Sins of a Solar Empire not because they were bad games but because of the required Impulse service and I just got fed up with having to manage two seperate clients and friend lists. In the end Steam won.

    Eh. I kind of like how steam handles it's DLC in games. You search for it in the store, you can see what is available, and it's all done the same way you play games.

    I also absolutely loathed the first dragon age DLC buying platform. I bought a retail copy of the game, and had to buy the DLC through the website. God, that was a cock up.
    You'd spend money for points, and each DLC was worth a certain amount of points. Just a pain in the ass.

    "Just…sort it out, OK? And sort it out like adults. And adults don’t go yanking games off a service like a kid storming home with his ball." Pretty much xD

    Has Steam responded to this yet? EA have been very vocal but I don't think I've heard a peep from Gabe & Co. I wouldn't be surprised if EA are drumming up false controversy just to get attention for the service (and the biggest slice of BF3 pre-orders), only for the game to magically appear on Steam's list post-release.

    Also, do those other services have clients that streamline updates and DLC?

    Steam's silence on this issue is really troublesome; they've let loose a can of worms and rampant speculation about just what the deal is. I think the appropriate compromise is pretty simple; it's very easy for EA to work with Steam, assuming it all works like it seems to.

    I was going to respond to my comment on the other thread (yesterday, about DA2's removal), but I ended up writing so much I had to put it on my own blog; I don't think anyone wants to read an 1100 word comment :P

    Well I do DEC-LAY-ER!

    That said, I think the whole Valve vs EA thing is blown out of proportion.

    I mean, they teamed up on Portal 2 to sell 3 million copies, they're hardly going to have a blow up over a few thousand copies of DA2.

    Guys, we need to stop perceiving Valve as holy saints and EA as the devils. Sometimes, people need to stop 'blindly' loving Valve, although I do admit I'm a huge fan.
    Do you guys ever notice that everytime EA offers dlc, then their game gets removed? It is because Valve wants to sell the dlc through steam, but EA insists on selling the dlc in-game. This is all about money, as EA sells the dlc in-game then Valve will not get a share of the profit. I personally see this as fine, because Valve already made money on selling the game and didn't help the development of the dlc so why should they be entitled to get a share of the profit from the dlc? Also other online retailers (Amazon, D2D, Gamestop) all seem fine with letting EA sell their dlc themselves...

      +1 to that.

      Not taking sides, but blind fanboyism is really poor in this - better to investigate exactly what Valve is doing that EA have a problem with, and what EA are doing that Valve have a problem with, and then make a decision on who's being the biggest douche.

    Apple has lead the pack with this new terms of policy on DLC.. Sad to see Valve take the same approach. I can see each others side of the story.. Valve want a cut of the profits for DLC, but then they have to pump out the data. EA doesnt need to currently put DLC up through steam, and can instead store it on there servers and no point involving Valve/Steam with it.

    But at the end of the day, which ever is right, they need to get it sorted fast..

    Given Valve's track record, I can only assume the reason they aren't commenting on this issue is simply out of respect for EA, because they don't want to “out” EA's dirty tactics.

    All of you are probably familiar with EA's price raising on steam. A product will be available, pre-order, for the standard US price of $50. Then shortly before the game comes out here, they'll jack the price up to $80 usd.

    I can understand that some may be skeptical of Valve over this, as there seems to be a perception that Valve are being greedy over DLC. Most DLC is fairly minor, and some feel Valve should be grateful for the money they get from the full game purchase.

    In theory that sounds reasonable, however there's a major flaw, and I suspect EA fully intended to take advantage of the following:

    A game could hypothetically be sold at a cheaper standalone price, say $10 usd, but then require several DLC purchases – up to $50 usd – to get the same “standalone” experience that you'd get from games in the current situation.

    Under circumstances like that, EA would effectively be operating a “bait and switch” scam, with steam being the prime audience. Once steam users are lured in with a cheap standalone price, they find themselves transported away to the origin hub, to pay much more.

    If that theory is correct, then I can completely understand Valve's decision to remove EA games from steam. Still, it would be nice to get an official statement on the matter from Valve themselves

    Anyone actually know what these terms are? Haven't heard anything from valve, and EA just labels them as restrictive.

    For all we know, other online distributors could want similar agreements, like all the times stores have 'stopped' carring steam games, but only steam has the size to be able to enforce without repercussion from the publishers.

    I'll say it again because some people seem to be a bit slow...

    THERE ARE GAMES LIKE DIRT 3 THAT DON'T USE STEAM AT ALL FOR THE DLC BUT THEY ARE STILL AVAILABLE (AND YES THE DLC CAME OUT AFTER THIS ALL STARTED WITH CRYSIS 2)

    BF3 has been one of the most anticipated games of my *life*. I still will not buy it other than on steam.

    Retail games in australia are too expensive. EA store is expensive, and I don't trust origin or agree with it's 'delete your games after 2 years' policy.

    Plus, I have grown quite addicted too having an ever growing steam library, I'm up to 240 games now, going for 300.

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