Valve Boss: EA Origin Isn't ''Doing Anything Super-Well Yet''

EA’s download distribution service, Origin, essentially a makeover for the old EA Store, launched the summer of last year. Although EA assured that the service wasn’t meant to be a competitor for Valve’s Steam, curiously, various EA titles became “Origin” exclusive or disappeared off of Steam’s virtual shelves. EA pointed an accusing finger at Steam, blaming Steam’s download policies for EA’s title’s removal. In all but words, EA is going for a bout of fisticuffs with Valve.

Valve head Gabe Newell had some interesting things to say about Origin. When asked on the Seven Day Cooldown podcast about his thoughts on the Origin service, Newell stated, “I don’t think they’re [Origin] doing anything super-well yet.” He believes that Origin, since it’s still relatively new to the market as a digital distribution service, is at a disadvantage because “they’re still playing catch up” and as a result, they’ve yet to really build anything that’s “useful to software developers or gamers.”

However, Newell did have some positive comments about EA as well. He stated that Valve would still want EA’s games on Steam’s virtual shelves, but if “EA wants to take their shot at their own alternative to Steam, and if they’re successful at that and their customers like that then that’s great.” He hopes that EA will listen to Valve’s advice that bringing EA games to Steam would please Valve customers, after all, “Tim Sweeney [Epic Games founder] doesn't look at Steam and say 'we shouldn't support that because that will hurt long term sales of the Unreal Engine'. He's like, 'that's pretty cool, that's pretty useful'. So hopefully EA get their head to the same place.”

EA and Origin have been facing a lot of criticism from fans, mostly due to bad customer support. However, it seems that EA’s been taking steps to turn Origin’s image around, recently introducing an update to Origin’s account policies that allow banned players to continue to access their games. Although it’s highly unlikely, maybe EA will continue to listen to their fans’ pleas to bring EA games back to Steam.

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  • Origin sucks. They need to ditch it and take advantage of Steam once again.
    25
  • Why would EA ever allow their stuff back onto Steam? EA has by now shown it's all about the money and not a bit (hah!) about customer satisfaction, quality or long term support. So naturally EA wants to close in all their products into Origin and never let it go, thinking they can be a serious competitor to Steam...
    15
  • EA's full of it. They pulled them all off steam because they wanna jack prices up period. I already compared prices steam n origin on website and I seen some games being 30 buck more expensive on origin over steam. EA actions are very obvious no discussion.
    15
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  • This article would be more endearing to me if Valve was speaking from point of higher moral ground. Unfortunately, as bad as EA is, Valve still hasn't bothered to add independent volume control to their game trailers since it doesn't have anything to do with pushing games out of the door. Neither company is a sparkling example of competence and Valve's customer service rivals EA's for which is the most abjectly lacking. Furthermore for every bug Origin has, Steam has an equally annoying counterpart bug. If it weren't for potential good sales, and in EA's case a couple of decent exclusive titles, I wouldn't use either of these services at all. By any objective metric, they both reflect an industry catering to users with monumentally low expectations.
    -8
  • Why would EA ever allow their stuff back onto Steam? EA has by now shown it's all about the money and not a bit (hah!) about customer satisfaction, quality or long term support. So naturally EA wants to close in all their products into Origin and never let it go, thinking they can be a serious competitor to Steam...
    15
  • mrpijeyWhy would EA ever allow their stuff back onto Steam? EA has by now shown it's all about the money and not a bit (hah!) about customer satisfaction, quality or long term support. So naturally EA wants to close in all their products into Origin and never let it go, thinking they can be a serious competitor to Steam...


    Perhaps if you had a clearer understanding of history as recent as within the last 12 months, you'd be familiar with the reason why EA pulled their games from the Steam service in the first place. Their products that weren't originally part and parcel to the Origin service were rolled into it to essentially fill the role of the old EA downloader, which is presently defunct. The games were pulled from Steam because Valve attempted to assert a DLC policy concerning Battlefield 3 in particular that was disagreeable to EA and bordered on harmful to other retailers that EA supplies both retail game copies as well as DLC to. Regardless of how you want to look at EA, both they and Valve are eminently shrewd and you shouldn't be misled into thinking there is any good guy or bad guy when it comes to corporate relations in the world. That's an entirely too simple light to view things in.
    -6