The latest casualty of the EA/Origin-Steam war is Battlefield 3 a title of no small consequence to the PC gaming community. Electronic Arts has confirmed the heavily anticipated combat shooter will not be sold through PC gaming's dominant digital distribution service, apparently for the same reasons that have seen other top EA PC titles removed from its catalogue.
"The service limits our ability to deliver patches and downloadable content directly to players," an EA spokesperson told Kotaku. "No other download service has adopted these practices. At EA, supporting our players is a top priority, and we are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our own consumers."
This is the same line EA deployed when PC heavyweight Crysis 2 disappeared from Steam, coincidentally about a month after the launch of Origin, the EA digital distribution platform.
This had serious ramifications when it involved Crysis 2, a game that showed its muscle best on the PC, and Dragon Age II, a genre with a heavy PC constituency. Military shooters, are something else. They have an enormous, and an enormously vocal, constituency on the PC. This development may be less about the Battlefield rivalry versus Call of Duty, and more about Origin's nascent competition with Steam.