EA Returns To Steam With Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

EA Returns To Steam With Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

For the first time since 2013, PC gamers won’t have to open up Origin to purchase a big new EA release. The publisher returns to Steam on November 15 with the release of Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. This is the first step in EA’s return to Steam, with more games and the EA Access subscription service to follow.

EA abandoned Valve’s digital game store in 2013 in favour of its own Origin digital ecosystem, a move many PC gamers considered annoying and bad, because it was. That long nightmare finally comes to an end on November 15, with a joint Steam and Origin releaser of the next big Star Wars action game. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has a Steam page, the first EA game Steam page since 2013 Sims 3 expansion Into the Future.

According to the official announcement, the new Star Wars game will be followed in the coming months by older EA releases, including The Sims 4, Unravel 2, Apex Legends, and Battlefield V, with crossplay between Steam and Origin for the online games. This autumn will see the launch of the EA Access service on Steam, giving players the ability to subscribe to an expanding lineup of EA PC games.

“This is the start of an exciting partnership with Valve that will see us innovating for PC players around the world,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, via press release. “Through our subscription, great games and more, we’re excited to bring players in the Steam and Origin communities together with access to the best games, whenever and wherever they want to play.”

Meaning Steam, not Origin. 


  • lol, they were not making a lot of money being separated from Steam, so now they go back macking people buy games that they’ve owned since original release to be able to play through Steam.

    • I don’t think money is the case. I believe it was not ea who went to steam rather it was steam which went to EA to fight with epic and other store. Alot of the major publisher games now sell on there own store or epics due to the cut which steam takes. Therefore steam has not had many major publisher game come out they have some but not all. Also your statement EA not making alot of money is very wrong just because some games have not had thebest of releases like anthem and bfv they still have alot of other games which makealot of money for ea. Any EA sport game, APEX, SIMS and the origin access premier also the new nfs. So Money is not a issue.

  • from that product page, it seems like they are doing what Ubisoft is doing. you’re still going to need the Origin client installed and running.

    so sadly not the biggest win

    • Yeah, so may aswell just get it on Origin anyway. I stoped buying Ubi games on Steam cos I did not like the double up. Plus GoG. Galaxy 2.0 is coming. Am in closed beta, and without saying too much cos of NDA shit, is quite impressive.

      • Same here, I rarely buy games on steam anymore. Why would I buy a game from a 3rd party publish if I can get the game directly by the mmain company. Also ubi games are always cheaper on uplay due to the 20% off.

        • Only if you have a coupon, witch you need to play ubi games for. Tho, the best thing is, they stack with sales. I got AC:Odd and the new Anno quite cheap cos of that. lol

  • The question has been asked repeatedly through the launch of Origin, uPlay, and Epic Game Store: Steam’s cut of a sale is 30%, but is losing Steam’s massive, unrivalled audience worth clawing some (note: not all – distribution costs don’t go away) of that cut back?

    If you have a $100 item that you can sell to 30M people (eg: Origin’s last subscriber count), and you only have to spend let’s say… 15% of that on distribution costs, you make $85 per sale, and $2.55 billion total.

    If you have a $100 item that you can sell to 70M people (eg: Steam’s estimated subscriber count), but you have to spend 30% on distribution, you make $70 per sale and $4.9 billion.

    Well that’s fucking ridiculous, so that can’t be right. Let’s say Origin is more efficient than that and they only pay 10% in distribution costs instead of 15%. Now they’re making… $2.7b to Steam’s $4.9b.

    Huh. Ok, that’s still ludicrous. Let’s be incredibly generous and say that Origin’s subscriber count grew By 10 million since their last announcement to 40M (and Steam’s didn’t grow) and they’re at 5% cost. $3.5b to Steam’s $4.9b.

    Hm. Still not great. Looks like those audience numbers count for a lot.

    So… quick napkin math suggests that if those were the actual distribution costs and subscriber counts, you’d be a fucking idiot throwing away a fair bit of money by choosing lower distribution costs over the larger audience.

    …I wonder what EGS sub count is.

    • Note: obviously the difference wouldn’t be as stark as this. Not every subscriber is a sale. The Origin platform isn’t going anywhere, so those base line operating costs are still in effect. And marketing still matters – Steam’s ‘featured’ and new release pages are just advertising, too. (Albeit to a ridiculously huge audience.)

      But I’m still hazarding a guess that while on paper the cost per unit saving might’ve looked great, it probably didn’t stack up to the power of the subscriber base, and while I’m sure Valve could’ve drowned the publishers in stats that prove it, the very simple notion of, “Valve’s billions of dollars of profit come from the difference between what it costs them to distribute and what they pay us and we think we should have all of that,” probably blinded a few execs to any stats they might’ve been shown.

      Execs get blinded by intuitive but flawed ideas on a regular basis. They are not infallible.

      • More idle musing, because this is fascinating to me.

        I’m gonna hazard a guess that proponents of using a publisher-owned store instead of Steam made factored the following points into their arguments:

        1) Steam’s catalog is crowded. The value of a Steam subscriber is less than the value of any other subscriber because the Steam sub has more titles vying for their attention – many Steam subs may never actually see the new title. (Nevermind that this is only an indie problem – Steam shows AAA releases to everyone)

        2) Steam’s subscriber base is dominated by F2P players, who aren’t real ‘customers’ because their demographic doesn’t buy AAA big-box-price titles.

        3) Not all advertising is equal – AAA publishers launching on Steam have limited influence (that they probably pay for) over how much their product can be targeted (by way of splash pages and spotlights) to subscribers compared to what they would have access to change/and not pay for on their own storefront.

        4) Steam’s cut of the sale is not the only cost involved in doing business with a 3rd party. It can be argued that the cost and time involved in liaising with Valve, managing communications, certification/legal compliance, and other distribution interfacing would be higher and take longer than in dealing with a publisher’s own internal teams in charge of distribution.

        5) Steam makes what is estimated to be billions of dollars of profit. That profit is outside of operating costs and revenue that goes to publishers. If publishers take on both the operating costs, and the publisher cut, they should in theory also get the profit that Valve would have made.

        6) Subscribers to one service are not captive. They can be duplicated. Steam users can be replicated over to be publisher platform users through nothing more complicated than signing up to a different service, installing a different – FREE – application on a desktop. There are no real barriers to completely duplicating Steam’s install base.

        I’m guessing that these were each offset by:

        1) This argument never applied to AAA publishers in the first place. AAA titles always show up to all subscribers. Demographics COULD be skewed towards subscribers who only ever buy indies, but sales stats don’t really bear that out. And even if it did, that demographic was never available to AAA publisher platforms anyway.

        2) The numbers of subs are so vastly different that even if 50% of Steam’s subscribers were unlikely to buy anything ever, it’s still higher than Origin’s sub count. Remember also that Origin offered free titles, too, meaning that its user count was also likely comprised of a not-significant number of F2P subscribers.

        3) Debateable how much value is gained by additional advertising beyond simply being made aware of a product’s availability. Advertising saturation has diminishing returns.

        4) Those hurdles ARE still there internally, simply for the sake of compliance with regulation (and good book-keeping). It’s likely that Valve’s proficiency in doing little else OTHER than distribution for the last fifteen years has resulted in efficiencies in both economies of scale AND process/product maturity. It’s likely that their status as industry best practice pioneers offset any internal-communication gains that might have been made by a publisher’s less-proficient, more-inexperienced in-house distribution division. Experience counts for a lot.

        5) Steam’s profit does not only come from inserting themselves in between operating cost and total price revenue. It comes from its massive subscriber base. That subscriber base has a value, and it’s a big one. And unfortunately for the publishers, it can’t be easily replicated.

        6) Oops. Turns out that barriers other than cost do in fact make a difference in attempting to duplicate a user base. In Origin’s case, probably a ~40M user difference.

  • Part of me hopes that this is EA siding with Valve against Epic to say “Exclusively selling games is not ok and hurts everyone.” But part of me feels it’s just EA admitting they couldn’t achieve what Epic is now trying to do and they’re trying to recoup the losses.

  • Given EA’s motivation generally revolves around profit$. I’m guessing they’ve done some analysis and found that diversification of platform pays off. In other news, water: wet.

  • Still gonna go origin for sure if i get this. Steam sucks tbh.
    Had more issues with destiny 2 in these last few weeks than i did in 2 years on battlenet.
    Plus over the last couple years, so many controller issues solely because of their built in support f*cking with games.

    As someone who doesn’t by any indie games, and doesn’t collect a massive ‘pile of shame’ just because something is on sale, i actually have less games on steam than origin anyway (most peoples only reason for clinging to steam). So im not in the weird steam circlejerk that most other PC gamers seem to be in on

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