EA: Origin vs Steam Isn't A Proper Battle

EA's Origin service is clearly an attempt to ease into the video game online retail space, a space which Steam, until now, has completely dominated. But according to EA Europe's Jens Uwe Intat, both services aren't necessarily at loggerheads.

"I don't even know if Steam Vs. Origin is a proper battle, I would rephrase that a little," he claimed.

"I would say that we're introducing Origin as our consumer relationship platform," he continued. "We want to build a platform that allows consumers to have the best experience you could ever had with EA games. It's going to be one of the offerings that consumers can use. There's a space for Steam, there's a space for Origin, there's a space for third party etailers. Both pure etailers and traditional retailers that are entering the digital distribution space."

According to EA's COO Peter Moore, Origin is also attempting to move in on the social networking side of things.

"It will absolutely become a social network," stated Moore. "I'm already using it every day to see what friends are doing, to understand what coming from EA, plus you'll see announcements over the next few weeks of third-parties coming on board and having their content becoming available. We love the fact that we can deal directly with our consumers."

Interesting that, while EA is almost spoiling for a fight with Activision with regards to Battlefield and Modern Warfare, they are keen to distance themselves from a war of attrition with Valve and Steam.

I guess you really do have to choose your battles wisely.

State of Play: Electronic Arts [Gamesindustry.biz]via VG247

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Comments

    Now if they could just stop ripping off Australians, we may actually use it!

      If they dont rip us off I am definitely changing my preferred platform to origin. Im sick of steam's bullshit pricing.

        Considering EA is one of the main guilty parties of raising prices for Australians, I doubt it.

        The prices on steam are set by the publisher, aka EA games.
        So if EA would stop gouging then the prices on steam would be fixed (as long as you got THQ on board as well)

        Unless you have some other pricing issues you are not happy with

          Yep that's what they say. Mind you, Portal 2 had an Aussie Fun tax for the first few months.

        Thing is if Origin drops the AU price gouge on games on it's platform, odds are those same games on the steam platform would lose their AU price gouge as well.

        Problem is it's not steam's fault the prices are like that. Sure they could take a stand against them, but the publisher's like always have the controlling power. Oh you don't want to give Australia a 30 dollar price hike on Skyrim, you say steam. Well if that's the case no Skyrim for you period.

        It's all well and good to take a stand, not much point if in doing so you'll be driven out of business and another company is more than willing to take your place

        Steams pricing is actually pretty good. The only times our prices are higher is due to the PUBLISHERS forcing and setting the price for steam and making it higher in Australia (ie Activision)

        Valve arent doing it to profit from us, and if you look at their titles (portal, l4d, cs etc) the prices are the same and have always been very cheap even from release.

      Doubt it. last time I looked, their origin prices were higher their steam ones. ie. alice is $50 on steam, and I think $70 on origin.

    You just have to look at origins prices to see it is not a real battle. If it was a real battle EA would be throwing most all it's old games at us for a dollar.

    If it's not a real battle then let me use Steam :(

      If it's not a real battle then why can't I buy a retail boxed copy and play it without installing any other 3rd party content. :(

    "Interesting that, while EA is almost spoiling for a fight with Activision with regards to Battlefield and Modern Warfare, they are keen to distance themselves from a war of attrition with Valve and Steam."
    Wow ignorant much, How could they even attempt to "fight" Steam sell more copies than it? With all the social stuff they are talking about you might as well say they are fighting Facebook.

    If it wasn't a battle then EA wouldn't be pulling games from and refusing to stock games with Steam.

    But of course EA think all people that play games are morons and/or 16 years old.

      Well, it's not like they're pulling all their games from Steam, they still sell 42 of their games on it. http://store.steampowered.com/search/?category1=998&publisher=Electronic%20Arts

        "sell" isn't the word I would use looking at the license restrictions on recent releases like Gatling Gears (which is a shame considering what it's probably done for sales for the game)

      The Pulling games is both parties fault not just EA's

      Steam wants to sell all relevant DLC to title's on it's platform's.

      Crysis 2 sold DLC through gamespy. And Dragonage 2 sold DLC through the shitty Bioware portal thing.

      And having used both services i believe steam is on the right track it is much easier to have everything in one place and ensuring that it's all compatible as a result. instead of needing 2 or more programs to be running to get the game and any DLC working.

      Anyone who experienced all the unauthorised DLC stuff with DA:O and doesn't/didn't have internet good enough to download a 1Gb+ file in a single sitting without it being interrupted because their was no resume function.

      Would appreciate the ability to click buy and have the same program where they bought the game automatically download and install the DLC for them. knowing that the delivery system is the same one that steam always uses and as a result know they can use it

    Fascinating. It's not a proper battle, but EA have withdrawn and thrown up their defences.
    Origin might be a fine service but pulling their games from Steam then saying it's not...
    I'm reminded of the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    Stealing something valuable from a temple then acting surprised when the natives (re. fans) get pissed.
    Origin might be a great service, but making it th only place to play EA games smacks of hypocrisy in this market.

      It's like when you are younger you are mostly happy staying at home then you grow up and your parents say you can't have a friend of the opposite gender stay in your room over night. Now you see there are problems living at home and if you want to do things your way you have to move out. EA would like to do things there way steam said no EA moved out.

    "We want to build a platform that allows consumers to have the best experience you could ever had with EA games."
    I tried to like Origin, I really did, but my weekend hassles with trying to get Battlefield 3 Beta running, hoooo boy.
    Steam was a bit arse when I had to first set that up too, but not as bad as this.
    Still, whatevs. It's a bit of flaff. Proceeding to ignore.

    Origin is so bad. the best possible experience is via steam no ifs no buts. I dont really want Origin the social network edition either. i dont really care if a friend has the headshot ribbon i only care if i get it. steam already offers that and also allows pre-order dling. steam sales = <3 origin prices the aice in wonderland game $10 more on origin then on steam why would i buy it off your service if thats the case.

    and.... marketing coined a new term

    "etailers"

    I like Origin, I understand why EA created origin, Origin needs to do a LOT more before it will be decent.

    As for pricing I really dislike they do this, they did it on other stuff too, but then this is why places like g2play rock.

    The prices are to placate retailers...

    I have found Origin to be functional with a few minor then major problems.

    I can remember how bad Steam was when it first launch so I am a little more forgiving.

    The potential in Origin is impressive and does exist. The web browser launcher for PC is (in my opinion) the future of gaming. Loading the game while you look through news, stats and friends achievements really does enhance the social networking aspect.

    Origin does have bugs/various problems that currently detract from the experience. For me personally it has denied my log in, disconnected, told me servers are full when my friends are in them and confirmed spaces are available. Which has been so frustrating, but again all I see if potential in this new system.

    I think Gabe would be impressed by the move, but also confident that Steam is currently the preferred platform offering the most refined and stable experience.

      I agree. I only have 1 issue with origin at this early stage just from playing the battlefield 3 beta - not being able to join my friend's game from origin. That should be naturally be something to include.

      I -hate- the fact that origin opens a web browser to play a game. Changing servers is a pain.

    “I would say that we’re introducing Origin as our consumer relationship platform,”

    If that's the case then the relationship is off to a bad start. No-one seems to like Origin at all.

    "Best experience possible" would involve releasing things in Australia (hi SWtOR) without another sodding program running (hi Australian bandnarrow).

    I already tire of EA's consumer relations. Stop telling me about this BoyFriend 3 beta or whatever the hell it is.

    “We want to build a platform that allows consumers to have the best experience you could ever had with EA games."

    I put it to you that the best experience I have ever had with EA games was when purchasing, launching and managing them with Steam.

    I'm not interested in social networking in any online game service. It's more useful to the service than to me.
    I like Steam - I check it almost daily, I buy from it happily.
    I have Microsoft marketplace. I installed it to try AoE online. Signing up and using it is a disaster - pretty standard for Microsoft. I'll un-install it tonight now that I think about it.
    EA Origin..meh. They've not started well. They invited me to pre-order SWTOR on Origin only to tell me that it wasn't available for Australian (that nugget of information was in my registration - learn to target your marketing EA or you'll just piss people off. {couple of weeks pass} Oh you sent an email to thousands of people who weren't in your beta asking how their beta experience was... guess you didn't learn). EA if you want me to buy your games, make them awesome and don't put roadblocks in my way to get them. If you're service is harder to use than Piratebay you're in trouble. And remember that you have no where near the level of respect from gamers that Valve or Bioware or Blizzard have.

    I'll be honest - I haven't even tried Origin.

    It does sound like a good piece of kit, if it works how they've said it will(Which obviously it's not, but beta is beta and this'll be sorted with time - just like steam). Multiple platforms help us in the long run too, but I wouldn't like to see more than 3, tops, and they better have an auto-turn off after the game ends if they weren't open before it started.

    My problem stems from the fine print. I'm sure they mean well, and half of what the ToS lets them do isn't what they intend to do, but I'm just not comfortable with the option being there. I'm sure my brother wouldn't shoot me in the face, but I'm not going to let him hold a loaded gun there.

    I especially don't like how you don't even buy the game license, you rent them. To use the relationship metapor, that's the "Buy me stuff, I'll love you! Oh, you're broke? It's not working out, then" type.

    Everything he has said, makes no sense. It IS a war. It IS basically the same as Steam. And it IS stupid they are pulling games from Steam. If they want to be competitive, offer the game cheaper on Origin.

      Yeah no kidding. That's how I read it "Its nothing like steam, except in all these ways that are exactly like steam"

    I just can't figure out why they think they can pass it off as a "beta". It's still the same client they've had since 2005. Buttons, layout, font and such are all EXACTLY the same as the last version of EADM. Just now it has it's own logo and a different colour scheme. The only thing they've added is that instead of a "Play Game" button underneath the game picture it's now just a big white Play arrow that appears over the picture.

      I thought Battlefield 3 was the beta and Origin was just a rebranding of EA Download Manager.

      Is Origin a beta?

        I'll clarify haha

        The Battlefield 3 Beta has been released on Origin which was rebranded (artist formally known as) EA Download Manager.

          All good, I get what you mean. I installed Origin on the weekend to get back into BF2, and it's got "Beta" at the end of it's name at the top of the window.

          So EA are calling Origin a beta, but right now it's just EADM rebranded with a new name and colour scheme.

            Maybe EA threw the Beta tag on there to indicate it's a work in progress, knowing potentially millions will sign up for Battlefield 3.

            Sort of like dating someone big boned you met at the gym...

              "Sort of like dating someone big boned you met at the gym…"

              Now that is a unique analogy, Prison Mike.

              But yeah, if 6 years of work still requires a "beta" tag then I think they've got problems.

    Who the hell goes "Hm.. You know what's missing in my gaming and/or online life? A consumer relationship platform"? Or that they wish they had "the best experience with EA games", outside of actually making a good EA game??

    "It’s going to be one of the offerings that consumers can use"
    CAN use.
    Can.
    Seems like we're forced to use it to play BF3. Should be must use.

    how is it not competing when youve TAKEN AWAY YOUR GAMES from steam.

    your customers dont have a choice but to use origin, its being forced. therefore taking away from steam, and therefore quite obviously making it competition.

    word it however you like, it is a battle. and ea just dont want to make it seem like one/a big deal.

    if they say its a battle, then people who prefer steam will tend to avoid origin as they would think 'i dont want to help ea win this battle'. however, they want you to think that its no big deal, theyre not competing. so then steam users think 'oh, well, theyre not trying to compete with steam so i guess its okay if i use it'

      They haven't "taken away their games from steam". Steam changed their ToS such that the method EA used for several of their games for patching and DLC purchase and delivery that bypassed steam was now in violation. Basically, Valve wanted a piece of the pie from EA and EA said bugger off. As such, those games that use that method are now no longer available on Steam until Steam either rewrites the ToS again to allow it, makes an exception for EA games in their ToS agreement with them, or EA games decides to redesign their patch/DLC purchase/delivery system

      Long story short, Steam fired the first shot in this battle

        Do Steam take a cut from all the GFWL games that bypass Steam for DLC?

          Probably not - but Microsoft is a lot more powerful than Steam in the sense that they run the O/S that accounts for most of Steam's sales so I'm guessing they get a free pass!

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