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EA to launch new digital distribution platform

EA to launch new digital distribution platform

EA has announced that its new digital distribution platform, Origin, will have 150 games at launch.

Electronic Arts has announced it will soon launch a new digital distribution platform intended to rival the likes of Steam and GamersGate, dubbed Origin.

No release date for Origin has been revealed, but the Wall Street Journal reports that 'a full reveal' of the serivce will arrive later today.

EA has confirmed, however, that Origin will focus on selling PC games and will include 150 games at launch, including Star Wars: The Old Republic as a digital exclusive. It's not been clarified whether Origin will only sell EA games or will include titles from other publishers.

The publisher has also revealed that Origin will run through its own application, rather than a browser, drawing further comparisons to Steam and iTunes.

Origin will include social media integration too, with messaging and friends lists drawn from Facebook.

'Increasingly, we see ourselves as a software platform every bit as much as we see ourselves as a content maker for other companies' platforms,' said EA CEO John Riccitiello back in May.

It's not yet clear how Origin will overlap with existing EA services, such as EA Store and EA Download Manager.

Check out the trailer for EA's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic below, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

21 Comments

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Phalanx 3rd June 2011, 13:11 Quote
Honestly, good luck to them. Steam needs competition. I didn't used to like EA, but over the last couple of years they have really turned things around.
deadstoned 3rd June 2011, 13:16 Quote
Blood hell real competition to Steam!?

I was wondering what the hell EA was doing with PC gaming. No Steamworks and rubbishy EA store, yet they release so many PC titles. Well I'm really glad this might be a REAL competitor to steam, they certainly have enough decent 1st party titles to release each year on it. I love Steam and as amazing as it is, I want it to have competition so I can get cheaper prices on newer titles.

I just hope I can still buy EA games from Steam as well e.g. Battlefield 3. I'll be seriously disappointed in EA if they attempt to use Stick rather than Carrot to make us move platforms. Like only allowing limited edition Battlefield 3's to be bought from Origin or moving all EA games to origin. Or only selling Battlefield 3 on Origin.

This is a real make or break your PC reputation with this service EA, dont f*** it up!

If its anything like Games For Windows Live prepare for hatred and fail. But if its a stable, well designed, beneficial and decent underdog of Steam success will be yours :)
DragunovHUN 3rd June 2011, 13:17 Quote
Oh great, another layer to their already incredibly messy online infrastructure. Didn't they already have a digital distribution service anyways?
SpAceman 3rd June 2011, 13:19 Quote
I hope this doesn't mean I won't be able to get my Battlefield 3 on Steam..
thil 3rd June 2011, 13:25 Quote
Yay! More resource-hogging background processes!
VictorianBloke 3rd June 2011, 13:52 Quote
Is that not just the EA download manager rebadged and recoloured? I've only used it for my free Mass Effect 2, but it just looks less orange, pretty sure you can buy games through it.
Showerhead 3rd June 2011, 14:15 Quote
Hopefully we can get decent deals through them. Last time a checked the EA store most of the games were still at full price more than a year after release
FelixTech 3rd June 2011, 14:37 Quote
Wow that is some exclusive... while there are no big disadvantages to buying MMOs through these kind of platforms, they are hardly the greatest examples of platform integration. I bought Aion through Steam and past the initial install I would never have known it was a steam game - separate patches, updates etc.
Psy-UK 3rd June 2011, 15:09 Quote
I'm confused. I thought they already had a DLM? :X
Parge 3rd June 2011, 15:12 Quote
Poor show. The reason Steam is good is because its publisher agnostic. I don't want a separate application for every single publisher out there. Thats one of the (many) reasons why Steam is so good.
Phalanx 3rd June 2011, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
Poor show. The reason Steam is good is because its publisher agnostic. I don't want a separate application for every single publisher out there. Thats one of the (many) reasons why Steam is so good.

They haven't denied that they are allowing other publishers onto it. Wait and see.
Tsung 3rd June 2011, 16:06 Quote
I dunno, maybe these companies don't get it.. My friends on facebook are not the same friends who I'd be playing games with. Sure there is SOME cross over, but generally facebook friends are real life people I socialise with, Steam friends are virtual friends who I play games with online.. I'm sure there are plenty of people like me who don't ever want to mix and match the two.

The problem I find with all these apps / publishers is they seem to want to make all the decisions for me.. EA store is a classic example of this, where downloading the game and installing happens on my C drive unless I remember to tell it different. It wants to put a shortcut in my start folder under the comany name (usually) and then stick the saved games in my documents.

Steam is a little better in that at least everything is installed in the steam directory (well sub directory in steam) and only the games themselfs have a habbit of shooting their load (save games, generated content) all over my hard drive. I suppose windows is to blame, if windows had a decent policy of only allowing the executable access to write to it's own folder (and/or sub folders) everything would be kept tidy.

What I would love to see from steam is the ability to download games without using the Steam client. Directly on a NAS drive, so I can download extremely large files overnight without my pc being on. The NAS drive could be the "storage" area for where the PC on the network can get it's download from.. The NAS drive could also be an immediate backup if I wished to uninstall a game and install it later on.

Like Parge above, I don't want a seperate app for every publisher. The nightmare of having 2 or 3 of them firing up and trying to automatically update their respective games is not worth thinking about...
Stickeh 3rd June 2011, 17:38 Quote
I'd actually like to see this EA store, as EA titles cheaper than those provided on steam, then we get some competition. If they remove their games from steam to try force me over...i think its back to disc copies for me!
sear 3rd June 2011, 17:40 Quote
So long as you're not forced to use it for future EA games, I'm fine with that. Competition is good. but I hope this isn't just limited to EA titles, otherwise Origin will crash and burn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsung
Steam is a little better in that at least everything is installed in the steam directory (well sub directory in steam) and only the games themselfs have a habbit of shooting their load (save games, generated content) all over my hard drive. I suppose windows is to blame, if windows had a decent policy of only allowing the executable access to write to it's own folder (and/or sub folders) everything would be kept tidy.
This is by design, not because Windows doesn't have a "decent policy". In fact, it has been Windows policy that applications save to the Documents folder, dating to at least Windows XP. Everything that deviates is in effect breaking Microsoft's standard. The reason programs aren't supposed to save to their own install directory in Program Files is because Program Files is a protected zone that only system admins have access to; there is no reason any game should require administrator permissions, and no reason most other programs should need them either. It's a security measure, and by giving all your programs admin permissions you are putting your system at risk.

You want to blame programs for "shooting their loads" all over your hard drive, blame doesn't lie with Microsoft, but with the developers themselves for not doing what they're supposed to - and contrary to your belief, that does not include saving to the install directory.
RichCreedy 3rd June 2011, 19:26 Quote
i think they will be unfair to valve/steam for ea distributed games, they will make valve pay an amount that would mean they couldn't compete with ea origin prices
Eiffie 4th June 2011, 07:20 Quote
Hell no, I ain't switch'in to DVD, tapes are coming back!

Oh yea and I ain't switch'in from steam to this new EA thingy. Don't care if it's awesome sauce, I have too much linked to steam already to try a new service I think.
SexyHyde 4th June 2011, 10:56 Quote
I don't think steam need the competition. Yes some games are more expensive on steam at release, but I'm ok with that, why? Have you seen the price some of the games go for in their sales. Remember if you pay less on release the discounts won't be as heavy when the sales come around.
Ficky Pucker 4th June 2011, 14:31 Quote
i might use this IF we can just pay for the game and download it on steam, no way i'd have 2 apps running just to play games...
LordPyrinc 6th June 2011, 01:58 Quote
I'd be happy if you could download their games through the new EA service, but run the games offline. DRM or web authentication beyond activation really blows. Sure I have internet connectivity without a bandwidth cap, but I don't like leaving it connected when it isn't necessary (ie. single player mode). An open connection is an open invitation. Why expose your computer longer than need be?

I do like steam and I think digital distribution is the way of the future. However, I don't like the way EA has handled some of their games when it comes to DRM/authentication.
Xir 6th June 2011, 10:45 Quote
I'd prefer games would save into their own install directory (and no, mine aren't in "Programmes")

I'm afraid tis means to run yoour EA game, you've got to have "Origin" running, and GFWL, and Punkbuster, and "Addbloatwarecraphere" :(
Saivert 7th June 2011, 02:53 Quote
too bad Origin still pales in comparison to Steam.

Either these companies don't understand what it takes to give Steam competition or they just don't care enough.

Besides the EA Store site needs a refresh as well. The only game I bought on EA Store is Bad Company 2 and only because I got a rebate code.
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