Electronic Arts (EA) today announced that its games and EA Access subscription service is coming to Steam. The company said this makes EA Access the first--and so far only--game subscription service on Valve's platform.
EA was one of many companies to create its own game marketplace, subscription platform and launcher to compete with Steam. The company made its games exclusive through the EA Origin app and has entertained the idea of launching its own game streaming service, like Google Stadia, as well.
But the reality is that many Steam customers aren't looking for another one-stop-shop for all their games. The concept by definition makes it hard to justify using multiple solutions. Rather than continuing to lose access to that market, EA decided to partner with Valve, and that partnership will actually bring them closer than ever.
EA Access will debut on Steam next spring. In the meantime, Epic's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game is available for pre-order on the Steam, with the game hitting both Origin and Steam on November 15. EA also plans to make single-player titles like The Sims 4 and Unravel Two available on Steam "in the coming months."
Multiplayer titles, like Apex Legends, FIFA 20 and Battlefield V, won't hit Steam until "next year." The wait should be worth it, though, because EA said that Origin and Steam players will be able to play those games with each other. We suspect the delay results from whatever cross-platform integrations are needed to make that happen.
It would be hard to describe this as anything but a win for EA customers and Steam users alike. The former can now choose which platform they want to use; the latter won't miss out on popular titles like Apex Legends. It will also be interesting to see if other publishers follow EA's lead in extending an olive branch to Valve in the future.
As if the announcement didn't make the partnership official enough, EA's already updated the pre-order page for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PC with the option of purchasing the game via Origin or Steam. The company said that more details about its partnership with Valve will be revealed "in the coming weeks and months."