You Can't Buy Battlefield 3 On Steam

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.

You can contact Owen Good, the author of this post, at [email protected]. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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    Dear EA,

    F*** YOU



      I heartly second your motion AP.

      100% agreed. EA has lost 2 sales due to this, and I hope a lot more from other people.

      Definitely not buying it unless it's on Steam.

        Yup, I'm not going to buy it anymore. Like hell I'm going to pay 80 bucks and not be able to download it in a year.

        10 bucks says you buy this game and love the crap out of it.

          Agreed. People saying they won't buy such an awesome game because of it's distribution platform are flat out lying. Or retards

            It's not the platform that is the problem per se; It's taking a stand against EA's anti-competitive behaviour. That's hardly retarded, as your so eloquently put it.

          I bought BF3 on Origin and the major issue I found was all the bugs.... And yeah, they'll love it.

    I highly doubt that it's because of the way Steam distributes patches. They're pretty good with that.

    "No other download service has adopted these practices. At EA, supporting our players is a top priority..."

    aaaaaaahahahahahahahaha - oh God, stop, please.


    "At EA, supporting our players is a top priority"


    This will lose EA so many sales. lol fail.

      No it won't. Us PC gamers are a pathetic bunch.

      Just look at the MW2 'boycott'. A big fuss was kicked up before everyone bought it anyway on launch day.

        You might be surprised. This game has kicked up a pretty big fuss, and most hard-core PC gamers use Steam. MW2 was a huge seller on Steam, as are all the games. People arent gonna jump across from one to the other if they have to install a new program, and start building up another game library/profile etc.

          I don't even want Steam on my computer, let alone this Origin rubbish. Why I need third party software to play games is beyond me.

            I agree with Ted. Sure, I don't mind steam, and I can't judge this Origin thingy-whosit, but it's just not like owning the game, especially if they one day go under and you've "lost" your game. Of course, people who've cracked them will be o'right, adding insult to injury to consumers who have tried to be as honest and loyal to the brand as possible.

            And that's not quite a silly possibility either. While I'd like to think that any company in that position would release a whole bunch of "liberating" patches so you don't need to rely on their then dying distribution platform, that's not too likely if it's a really quick collapse.

          Origin is a 34mb file, hell I downloaded it just to see what it was like/get used to it.

        Yeah because it's so very hard for a bunch of people to join a boycott group and then just buy the game en masse on release day.

    I would like to know why they are so hung up on steam delivering patches instead of them directly?....contrary to EA's belief, the consumer does not place value in the method of dlc delivery, they just want the choice of how they purchase it.

    It seems that EA tried hard to find a "genuine" reason to stop games coming to steam so they can push origin. It's just not that convincing.

      Steam wants a cut of the profit from selling the DLC, whereas by delivering it straight to your PC EA can cut out the middle-man, giving you cheaper DLC. Steam doesn't like this and altered it's ToS to state that if the DLC and patches aren't delivered by Steam, then the original game cannot be sold on it. EA continued to produce new materiel using their established in-game download method. Steam said, fine, we're taking your product off the sales list then. EA said fine, your house, your rules, we'll sell our product elsewhere.

      I can see why they did it. EA, as the publisher, should not be forced to set their game up just to meet the demands of a distributor who is just looking to profit from their work when they can provide better service the way they are already doing things.

        I don't know about cheaper as steam allows publishers to set their own prices. Also to note is that DLC in Crysis 2 is around $15 for about the same content added as a COD DLC which is not something I personally can't justify to fork out money add to my game

        I'm sure the cut valve takes from DLC would be just cents. The price could be increased by EA to compensate and it would still come out cheaper than purchasing on Origin.

        Besides, do you honestly think Microsoft are allowing them to sell their product over Xbox live without a taking a cut?

        look at the larger issue here. Developers shy away from developing for PC now because of it not being a consistant platform like a console, there are near infinate combination of hardware and operating system configurations. If every pc only ran windows + steam it creates some stability for developers. Sure it doesnt fix the problem of different hardware, but it's as close as you will get to a stable, unified platform with the PC. As soon as we start flooding the PC space with hundreds of game platforms we will see more decline in development for it.

        In other words, fuck off Origin, the consumer does not want you.

        The cut would be no different than what they would be getting on consoles

        And no it most certainly wouldn't make the DLC cheaper.

        EA set the price. If they set the price at 10 dollars steam is probably buying it at 9 since they buy mass amounts.

        and even if EA turned around and said "No, we are selling it for 10dollars to everyone, including retailers. So if you want a cut you'll have to jack your own pricing up"

        There would still be no reason for steam not to sell it. So long as they aren't taking losses, im sure when it comes to DLC they aren't too fussed.

        it's the fact that having multiple programs needed to run the game as well as it's DLC is an absolute pain.

        Having to go buy Bioware points, and then buy the DLC with those points(Which in my experience has never worked instantaneously for either) just so i can play the DLC on my steam bought copy of their game is an absolute pain.

        and that's ignoring the DLC not authorised issues that DA:O has as well as it's 1GB unresumable DLC downloads which basically screwed anyone over lacking decent internets

        "I can see why they did it. EA, as the publisher, should not be forced to set their game up just to meet the demands of a distributor who is just looking to profit from their work when they can provide better service the way they are already doing things."

        E.A is a publisher that forces Devs to bend to its will so as to profit from their work.
        They are just butt-hurt that Steam is now has that "publisher" affect on them.

        PC gamers want a SINGLE-UNIFIED system for their games. Steam is the currently the best answer.
        The service Steam provides is unmatchable. And their auto-mated system of self-updating games and plethora of useful streamlined features and responsiveness is just too good.

        We need to back Steam. Because Steam has backed us.

        Competition is great for the consumer. But we aren't exactly getting shafted by Steam, are we? It's a free, convenient and effective service.

    You know what, I am going to copy/past what I said over

    Um.... hello? Anyone actlully been reading everything on this?.... EA would like to have it on Steam. However, becuse of the way the DLC is being done, Valve don't want it.

    Steam is like iTunes. If you can buy stuff though the program, there for cuting them out of the prorfts, they wont sell it. Its that simple.

    Why would EA not go to Steam and then go to everyone else?

    At anyrate, Steam is just DRM with a shop.

    Anyone know what this cool thing called a box is anymore? You can go to EB or GAME and get it, or buy it on line, and it COMES IN THE POST!

      And if ANYWONE thinks this is EA, then you have not been reading everything. lol

      Many GFWL games allow to purchase DLC in-game. Steam have no problem with them.

        Differnt agreemts with differnt companys. Thats all there is to it.

          You said:
          "Steam is like iTunes. If you can buy stuff though the program, there for cuting them out of the prorfts, they wont sell it. Its that simple."

          That's blatantly just wrong. Dead Rising 2 for example, has DLC you can't purchase via Steam, but only via GFWL. Steam still sell the base game though.

            Its called generalising to make my point. lol.

              EA are intentionally violating a particular rule so as not to look like the bad guy. Most people though are smart enough to see through that. You clearly are not.

              There are games that have had DLC added AFTER the new DLC terms came into effect that still don't use Steam for the DLC at all (e.g. Dirt3) yet these games are still available.

              And no, it's not different agreements with different companies at all. Even EA acknowledged that much, you twit. It comes down to terms and conditions relating to how DLC is managed.

                EA have been using the same system for some time now. It's Valve who adjusted their ToS to prevent the system from being used, and expect EA to comply with it

            I think it's safe to say different publishers have different relationships with each other, and that the "rules" change based on whimsy. I think it's both Steam and EAs faults.

        The thing is, the way Valve have changed how Steamworks works is that now if you buy the game through Steam you can only buy the DLC via steam, not any other channel. I'm fine with Steam forcing companies to sell their DLC on steam as well os other channels, but to lock customers into buying their DLC from Steam because they bought the game from Steam ,I don't agree with that.

          This is disingenuous. Take Dirt 3 - DLC is sold via the games for windows live service but the game itself is sold via steam.

          Please do your research in future before you post these kneejerk responses.

            I did actually do my research, I checked the Steam forums regarding this and found people stating that they couldn't use DLC bought through GFWL on Steam, happened with Fable 3, and with BFBC2 if you bought the game on Steam you had to get Vietnam on Steam, otherwise it didn't work. Before looking at the forums, I'd assumed Steam's policy simply that companies also had to sell their DLC on steam as well and customers were free to purchase it from wherever, but the reading I've done suggested they must purchase it from Steam.

              If the DLC is sold on steam then you can't buy it from another source.

              If the DLC is not sold on steam you can get the DLC from wherever it's sold.

                And that's what I don't agree with. Just because you bought the game on Steam, doesn't mean you should be locked into buying DLC from Steam only. If it uses Steamworks, that's fine, it kind of needs steam architecture to work. I can see what Valve is trying to prevent with companies selling games for $1 or something ridiculous and the rest through DLC. But there are more sophisticated methods for doing that.

              Actually, plenty of people have purchased the DLC for games like Dirt3 through the GFWL marketplace and have no issue running it through Steam. Myself and friends included...

                Yeah, the inconsistency is what's confusing. For example Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition, the GFWL DLC supposedly didn't work on Steam version, people had to wait for Capcom to release it via Steam. I'm pretty sure there's something EA isn't saying, but I feel Valve is being stubborn about something.

                  Considering that the DLC has just come out for SSF, it might require a patch or something but we all know it will be fixed ASAP if it hasn't been already.

                  Either way, it's no coincidence that since EA announced a new DD client that this is happening and to think that Valve are being troublesome in any way despite a history of having no issues with DLC handled outside of the the Steam client is foolish.

      That post made approximately as much sense as EA's business practices. None.

      Well yeah, how else would Steam/Valve make money from Steam if they don't take a cut of the profits? It's business.

      Also I noticed a lot the games that are on Origin are 10 dollars more there than they are on Steam? Well it's this way for us Aussies.

      If you read ANY post by developers publishing on Steam, developers actually make a buttload on Steam compared to retail. Steam takes 30% of profits, but takes care of the file hosting, patch distribution and in-service advertising, but the cost for shipping a game, making the boxes and then having a retailer sell it is much higher.

      This is just going off Telltale games, but they claim you make about 60% more for Steam sales than you do retail.

      EA just wants people to use Origin. And people wont, because its a region locked ripoff.

        If EA just want people to use Orgin, then why is it avalible on OTHER Digital servers?

        Valve is the reson BF3, Crysis2 and Dragon Age 2 are not on Steam. Not EA.

          Fail more.

          Because THOSE services aren't real competition for EA. Steam is the big one, so it doesn't get it.

      I agree completely - only because I like to play TF2 on the Xbox - I like controllers over a keyboard.

      Valve will never update TF2 on the Xbox because to put through the patches they want to will not only go over Microsoft's file size limits but M$ will charge them for the privelege of distributing free patches over their service.

      Much the same way that Valve probably charges other publishers to issue patches through their service.

      Valve's post release support is only so good because they control the distribution, play any m$ published game on the Xbox - they get good patches and free content as well.

      EA have stated as much that they want to become a platform holder and given that consoles are an expensive business to get into that means they're going full tilt on PC Online Distribution.

      I don't know who pulled the trigger here EA or Valve but I suspect this signals that EA is serious about using Origin to rival Valve.

      You know I can sit here and hope that one Naughty Dog will port Uncharted to the Xbox or I can face fact that if I want to play it I need go to Sony. Similarly if you guys wanna play Battlefield on a PC then you gotta go to Origin. It might suck - but that's the nature of business.

        I don't think I've ever heard of Valve charging to distribute patches, otherwise they would be hypocrites regarding Xbox Live. Valve get a cut of sales through Steam, that's it afaik.

        I do believe that the reason there's no TF2 support on 360 is because A) The userbase is small and B) MS were not only going to take a cut of the distribution, but they refuse to allow the distribution of content for free. Which Steam/Valve definitely does allow.

        Show me which 360 games got free DLC outside of a time-limited deal / postrelease content for free?

    I'll just buy it online from ozgameshop. No worries!

    Only problem is that patches and the like are probably going to be delivered via Origin.


    F**k origin, f**k EA.

    For me this isn't so bad, makes it easier to not be tempted to purchase.

    Plus, with the way it's shaping up to be more Bad Company than Battlefield, it means it's more my gain than my loss by not purchasing it.

      In what way is BF3 shaping up to be more bad company than battlefield?
      Where are you getting your facts?
      After playing the alpha, I dont think it was like bad company in any way whatsover when compared to battlefield of the past.
      It has evolved as all things do.

        Just about every post on bf3 chazz has been the biggest hater lol

    Just what is the issue with Origin, anyway? Do people just not want to have to use another service alongside Steam, or are there other particular issues?

      Origin has been built on a foundation of terribly bugged online clients that can actually result in you not being able to even install a purchased game (with no recourse for a refund either) oh and the prices are higher than Steam's.

        Agreed. My deep disdain for EA's Origin goes all the way back to Battlefield 2 (when it was EADM/EA Link).
        Bought the Special Forces expansion pack and the 2 Booster Packs. Aside from downloading said purchases, it didn't do anything else.
        I also bought the Booster Pack for 2142, worked fine for a few months, but then the game crashed whenever it tried to load anything related to the Booster Pack.
        A clause in the T&C (not sure if it's still there) essentially meant that you lost access to your purchases after 12 months, with the option of buying extra time (for a hefty fee).
        The asking price for BF3 on Origin is essentially the same at local retail. Back then as well, I should've realised I was paying more for a product that was cheaper elsewhere.
        I also have a massive games library on Steam, and all Origin has is EA games, most of which I have no interest in.
        In short, I won't use Origin based on my past experiences.

    Sigh, I have no problem with Steam. EA should just make nice. I don't want to have a goddamn game client for every dev with Steam/GoG filling in the blanks.

    "and we are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our own consumers.”

    so why isn't BF3 being released on Desura?

      Random question:

      does Desura always run in the background?

        no, u don't need desura running to play a game

    This seals the deal for me (or more accurately, seals no deal).

    I'm not the biggest Battlefield fan, but all my games are on Steam, and their excuse for not having it on Steam is absolutely ABYSMAL.

    I mean, look at Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, both use permanent Steamworks DRM, have DLC on the steam store, and utilize Steam patching system. Is it really hard for EA to follow such a model, I mean, ACTIVISION is doing it! (and not to mention, earning lods emone from it).

    I personally have no specific gripe with Activision, but most gamers do, and if EA can't follow something that Activision is doing very well (with their use of Steam, imho), they'll continue to be abhorred by loyal Steam users.

    I suspect more than likely this will piss off EA's share holders once they realise how many less copies are sold.

      EA wont lose a lot of sales by not having it for sale on steam. The steam overlay will still work with other versions of the game.

      Have pc gamers become that lazy that they won't walk to the game store and buy it?

        Yes. Review digital vs retail sales. Digital sales are clearly trending upwards and is the future of games distribution. If it was not, EA would not be making such aggressive moves to try and lock out Steam.

        Seeing a lot of new posters here in this article. Suspicious.

          Suspicious of what? That we're on EA's payroll. Perhaps you should change your name to AnonymousParanoid.

          Digital Sales may be the upward trend in PC game sales, but do they all have to be one steam. if EA wanted to they could solely release the game on Origin, but they are not. Steam is the only platform not getting BF3 due to EA wanting to release DLC ingame where as steam wants customers to purchase through its store front.

          By not having BF3 on steam, EA is actually helping the other Digital Disturbers have an upper hand over steam for once.

            The sheer stupidity that oozes from your post is ridiculous.

            1. Games with DLC that don't use Steam for DLC still exist and games like Dirt 3 have had DLC releases AFTER the change in Valve's T&C but are still available without issue.

            2. There will never be a system that works as well as Steam therefore competition is unnecessary. Steam is constantly updated, the sales are always happening and the support is second-to-none. No service will ever be able to rival Steam because everything they offer is just too damn good.

              Competition -is- necessary, but there's not going to be any over Battlefield 3. Not only does there need to be an equivalent / equally good service to Steam, the same games need to be ranged. Not like Impulse and Steam, where there wasn't a lot of overlap in libraries.

            Akra, your lack of insight on this issue is either charmingly inane or intentionally misleading.

            I suppose we'll just agree to disagree. I do hope you enjoy using origin ;)

              Origin/steam whatever the medium who cares, heaven forbid you buy a physical copy of the game

            Desura isn't either.

            You do realise steam is the only one that matters?

            If they said they will only put it on origin, it blatantly shows that EA are doing it for themselves. But by removing it from steam, and saying you will sell the game anywhere else you still hurt your the main competitor just as much and make them look like the bad guys.
            EA are obviously doing this to start their Origin store. Steam is their competitor and they want to take them out, no matter what bullshit story they feed you, true or not.

    -.-... really? really EA? don't treat us like children, just tell it straight.

    Wow, big deal! I hate steam, I prefer to walk outside and head down to my local games shop. I'll buy it there, maybe bump into some people I know and hang out... woooo!

    Steam shmeem!

      You sure you live in Australia?

      I buy games from local stores, considering most games are able to be activated on Steam anyway. Even if it doesn't say on the packaging.

      High five for physical movement! I prefer having the game with a CD and case :)

    I thought EA know how to do business? Locking out a very very very popular 'platform' to sell the game on isn't exactly how you make more sales. Especially if this is meant to be a 'COD-killer' and make a ton of sales.

    I'm not buying this shit unless its on Steam.

    Tho I do get my games from Steam sometimes, but for BF3, I actually want a hardcopy not a digital one (since its going to be so bloody awesome). Its Battlefield 3 come on, dont u want the full box copy with the disc + manual instead of just a digital copy for all the other less significant games tat u have bought on Steam? If the game is ok, I'll buy it on Steam when its on special. But this is a title Ive been waiting for along with Skyrim, Deus Ex HR and Rage so I am def going to buy it from the shops. I am saving my Steam account for less epic games.

      I fail to see how the quality of the game means anything in relation to whether or not you purchase a retail or digital copy. :S

      Yeah I've gotta say I prefer getting a hard copy for more epic games. Its just nice i guess to have a true physical ownership of the game.

      @Chazz, its purely superficial to me, but hey thats the way I roll XD.

    I don't fully understand the fuss. Don't we get charge with an "OZ-tax" when buying through steam making it cheaper to buy through stores like ozgameshop?

    You can't buy starcraft II through steam, and i don't remember an outrage about that.

      Battle net has been around for a while, not to mention Blizzard games have never been on Steam. EA, on the hand, have a giant, giant catalgoue of games, from ME to BF to their publishing partners program. They've been pulling games, and dropping support, as opposed to have never been on Steam at all.

      Also, price:

      thats just stupid you cant buy any blizzard games through steam because they have always had them on there own site and its always been via Origin just represents another set of passwords, another game library, another set of friends and a way for EA to eventually just kill off competition.

      We definately used to get charged more, not sure about now though.

    What a load of shit..

    Valve have had no issue rolling out some 200 odd patches to TF2 via steam.. Why exactly is Steam no good for updating BF3 then??

    Not to mention the 3rd party games on steam with available DLC..

    Sounds like a cheap shot at a competitor to me.. or more the point they are trying to force Steam users to try/use origin..

    I'd love to say that I flat out wont buy it unless its on Steam, but the reality of it now is that I will buy a retail copy.. sigh.

    I loved BFBC2. I would buy BF3 in a heart beat at 50US via steam. But what I really don't want to be doing is having to jump between distributors trying to get the market share and us (the customer) being the one who will be the ones to sort it all out. Steam works well for me. And is constantly coming up will new things. I love Steam cloud. I am sick to death of reinstalling my hard-drive with windows and after spending many hours trying to locate all my saved games, then find that the majority don't work. Steam cloud -problem solved. Additionally if I am going to download a game I want it on the iinet freezone. If its not then I really am not too keen to get it unless its a real bargain. I have not even had the slightest interest in even visiting their store as I find the behavior of origin/EA quite distasteful. If it was interested in being competitive then it would release on both platforms and I am surprised no one has picked up on that one yet.

      You don't. Just get it retail, and not worrie about Origin at all. O is not like STEAM. you wont need it if you buy retail. if you did, they would have said in that press relases.

    Wasn't gonna buy from Steam anyway, screw downloading a game that is likely to be more than 25GBs...

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