EA Boss Nods To Core Gamers' Issue with Origin

EA's digital distribution platform, Origin, is essentially the new kid on the digital block, a block that has been dominated by Valve Software's Steam platform for almost a decade. Naturally customers are going to view Origin with some prejudice given that it's owned by the biggest games publisher on the Earth (for now). The service seemingly exists only to fatten EA's wallet even further while imposing annoying DRM.

Based on that, EA recognizes that -- just as they did with Steam back in 2003 to 2004 -- core gamers will have an issue with the new service until the construction dusts settles and customers see what the new platform has to offer.

"The hardcore sometimes has issues with Origin, but they seem to love these crowd-funded games," said Origin chief David DeMartini. "It was one of the few things we have done that wasn’t controversial and nobody had anything negative to say."

DeMartini refers to the company's new promotion which offers Kicksterter-funded games the opportunity to be listed free on Origin for the crutial first three months. That means the authors won't be required to pay EA publishing fees or share revenue. EA will make no money during this timeperiod save for collecting transaction fees stemming from credit card purchases and so on.

Still, despite what it's doing for the Kickstarter community, DeMartini realizes that whenever EA does anything in the industry, it generates a "certain reaction." However he insists that Origin isn't out to rule the world, that all the publisher wants to do is offer gamers another choice.

"People forget that when Steam launched, there was a lot of backlash from the core," DeMartini added. "Origin represents a change, and anytime EA does something that is significant in the industry, it generates a certain amount of reaction. Really it’s just to give customers an opportunity for choice."

Just last month, DeMartini said that Origin's first year was a huge success, stating that gamers downloaded around 12 million copies of the Origin software. He also said that EA wants Origin to be better than Steam, comparing both platforms to MySpace and Facebook.

"If MySpace had stayed the one answer in social networking and no one switched to Facebook, then we'd all be stuck on MySpace right now and we wouldn't have had the Facebook phenomenon," said DeMartini. "There are better mousetraps that ultimately get built out of this innovation and the only way you get to the innovation is to have other people try and do a better version of what someone has previously done. And that's what we're attempting to do on Origin."

"I didn't expect to be able to out-feature Steam within the first 12 months. But I'm quite optimistic we will differentiate ourselves as a service. We've built the foundation and now we are starting to add value to the service off of that foundation," he added.

'Dem sound like fightin' words.

  • mouse24
    Misspelled Kickstarter. Just thought I should mention that.
  • cdburner5911
    "Really it’s just to give customers an opportunity for choice."
    Really? How is BF3 (and other) being Origin exclusive, choice?
  • SmaugTD
    The only "success" Origin had is because EA did not put their games one any other platform.
  • Fabel
    They made Origin mandatory on many titles; that is not giving choice. If EA brings BF3 to Steam without their crap I'll gladly pay full price for it.

    There is a long list of games that I want and the only reason that keeps me from getting them is crappy DRM.

    Btw you add value FIRST, then people come to your service. Forcing it using exclusive AAA titles... well for me EA is on my black list for some time now.

  • pharoahhalfdead
    "It was one of the few things we have done that wasn’t controversial and nobody had anything negative to say."

    It's one of those 'hear no evil, see no evil," deals. They chose to ignore the community.

    But I know that just bcuz I don't like Origiin that doesn't mean that everybody else has a problem with it.
  • Fabel
    Btw a Crysis Package is really cheap on Steam now, I really want it but... SecuROM is a no deal.

    If they want my money ever, they better kill SecuROM.

  • sanctoon
    The only online games store I support is GOG.com, everything is DRM free, prices are region free, great community and they treat their customers great, I have about 120+ games on my GOG shelf.

    And I see them only getting bigger since they do new and release day title to these days, not only classic games.
  • mousseng
    "all the publisher wants to do is offer gamers another choice."

    No, all they want to do is earn money, choice and consumers be damned.
  • southernshark
    I'll never download the client for Origin. Screw EA. I hate that company and its sh!tty games.
  • oxiide
    Origin is only as successful as Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic are. Without their captive audience, it would just be another me-too gaming service that spies on its users and lacks most of what makes Steam awesome.