Digital Battlefield: No Steam Release For BF3?

By Lewie Procter on July 11th, 2011 at 9:38 am.

Jim and Alec missed these Staring Eyes when they used this image. Old men running RPS.

Over the weekend, or at least I noticed it over the weekend, EA stuck up “A list of digital retailers who will be selling Battlefield 3″ onto Battlefield.com. I had a good look at it at, but it’s curiously now been taken down. It included the likes of Gamersgate, Impulse, Direct2Drive, and EA’s own (sort of) brand new download service, Origin. Nearly 100 different digital distributors were listed in total, but conspicuous by its absence, it seems there are currently no plans for Battlefield 3 to be made available on Steam.

Here we go. It’s the next chapter of the ongoing kerfuffle between EA and Valve. We don’t actually know for certain that Battlefield 3 won’t be announced for a Steam release at a later date, but Steam was not on the now removed list. I asked a bloke from EA about it, and they have nothing to say except to keep your eye on the official website for news about the game. Hmm.

Maybe this list will resurface with Steam on it at a later date, but my gut is suggesting otherwise. I can’t remember EA having ever previously put together a list like that, so it feels like they’re going out of their way to make a point.

It’s interesting to note that this is not an example of EA securing Battlefield 3 as an Origin exclusive, like with The Old Republic. From the looks of things it is going to be sold anywhere else that will take it. They seem to be living up to their promises of wanting to offer consumers a broad choice of where to buy games from, but that’s little consolation to customers who might not be able to buy Battlefield 3 from their go to digital distributor.

There’s plenty of signs suggesting this is part of Valve and EA’s disagreement about DLC stuff. Is Battlefiled 3 going to have DLC that is only compatible with copies bought from Origin? It wouldn’t be a first for EA/DICE, the Mirror’s Edge Mario Galaxy map pack only works on retail and EA Store copies of the game.

Or could it be something else? Obviously BF3 is still going to be getting a retail release (how else would they arrange retailer exclusive DLC?), but I have my suspicions that perhaps future EA games will require Origin for installation. They’ve dabbled with this in the past, where certain retail games could be optionally registered on EA Store, but mandatory installation via Origin would be a good way for them to get their client installed on a whole load of PCs. Requiring a separate client being installed for patches and/or buying DLC could be something that is against Valve’s recently updated terms, whereas plenty of the other digital distributors already do essentially that for Steamworks games, so would (presumably) have no problem selling games that require Origin. Will that big list of outlets just be selling serials to plug into Origin?

A point about Origin that should not be missed in all of this: Origin could be argued to appear like a rebranded EA Store, which had been going for years. Poking around the Origin website, they still link to their (now dead) @EAstore twitter account, which then links to the @OfficialOrigin, which then again links you to the actual one they decided to use: @origin_EA. They should probably fix that. (Update: They have done).

I’d much prefer to have seen the energy that’s gone into rebranding their service, focused on developing it. The client is good enough, just about, but updating it is always more of a hassle than it should be, it’s kind of slow to navigate, if you want to download and install a 5gb game you need 10gb free space, and when buying PC games that have a Mac version you only get the PC version. Maybe they could be offering features like cloud saving, or international pricing parity (since they own the entire distribution chain for Origin, it’s their choice, and their choice alone, to practise international pricing bollocks). Hell, even making sure they are the cheapest place to download their games from would be a good start, but right now recent releases like Need for Speed: Shift 2 and Alice: Madness Returns have an RRP of £34.99 on Origin and under £30 on both Steam and GamersGate. I’m dreaming now, but wouldn’t it be nice if they tried to compete with retail pricing for new releases?

Maybe they have new features in the pipeline that will be revealed as the games that use them are released, but if you’re going to launch a new digital distribution service, I’d say it’s probably a good idea to have a new digital distribution service.

We should be glad that EA are taking the PC platform seriously enough to be further pushing their own digital distribution service, but at the moment it’s falling short. Publisher ran digital distribution service can be fantastic, but EA clearly could be doing much better than this. On the flip side, we’re often quick to celebrate indies selling their own games directly, is it fair to have one rule for the little guy, but hold bigger publishers to a different set of standards? Maybe if PC becomes more profitable for them, EA will push more resources into PC development.

The current implementation of Origin lets you play games without having the client running, so that is one clear advantage it has over Steam.

Will you be buying future EA games if they require Origin to be installed, no matter where you buy it from? Would Battlefield 3 not being available on Steam impact your purchasing decision?

Battlefield 3 is, still, looking pretty damn hot.

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226 Comments »

  1. FleabagF7 says:

    No Steam and no modding tools?
    …uh huh.

    • Spliter says:

      My words exactly

    • Alfius says:

      Does the arrogance of certain games companies known no end?
      Digitial Distribution is to all intents and purposes a natural monopoly, steam won that particular battle years ago and yet they persist in launching their own little vanity projects every now and again to the detriment of gamers.
      I mean come on, most of them don’t even attempt to compete on price.

      To answer the question: If I can get my hands on a proper boxed copy of BF3 I’ll buy it. If I’m required to activate or download it from a digital distributor that isn’t steam I might have to think pretty hard … I’ve loved battlefield my entire adult life, but I *really* hate non-steam downloaders.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Alfius: yes, because monopolies are a great thing.

      I wish RPS had a :rolleyes: smiley.

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      Richard Beer says:

      Alfius: why?

      Are you telling me it’s less hassle to go to the store and buy a copy, or wait a couple of days for it to be delivered, than it is to go onto Direct2Drive or any other retailer of your choice, download the game, and then add it as a non-Steam game?

      I know Valve are awesome and everything, but why would anyone be brand-loyal to a shop when you can still use all their community features on just about any game you bought from anywhere? I’ve bought from Green Man Gaming, Direct2Drive, EA and plenty of other places, depending on what offers me the best deal. I bought Brink from Direct2Drive and added it to Steam immediately. What’s the difference? It’s still rubbish.

    • studenteternal says:

      Steam a monopoly? Given that I have bought games off GoG.com, Gamersgate.com, impulse, and Steam in the last 6 months, I don’t think I would say they have a monopoly on Digital distribution. That said, Fuck EA. They have a serious track record of fuckery and it will take a hell of an inducement to even allow their client on my computer to try their service let alone buy anything from it. “We are EA” is not a selling point to me, and I am perfectly happy to not buy battlefield 3 to help make this point to them.

      Besides I have this big pile of games that I haven’t got around to playing yet from Steam sales.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s an overwhelming market leader that seems to have created a class of people who adamantly believe “IF IT IS NOT ON STEAM I WILL NOT PURCHASE IT.” It may not be a monopoly yet, but it’s basically one waiting to happen if no worthy competition shows up.

      I’m not sure Origin is worthy competition, but it’s at least competition.

    • ghiest says:

      No steam no sale, not a ‘steam fanboi’ but I just CBA with other crap.

    • Sweedums says:

      I think one pretty big reason a lot of people (myself included) like to buy games pretty much only from steam, is because the steam client has our friends lists and community groups and all that stuff built in, it ain’t just a means to launching games, its the community too.

      I therefore don’t really like buying games through other clients because I ALWAYS have steam open, no matter what… so it just means having extra shit running on top. I’m not saying valve should have a monopoly on this or anything, just that its a lot easier for a lot of people to have everything come though steam.

      Anyway, random question, have EA stopped doing the whole “if you buy a game from us digitally, you lose the right to download it 6 months after purchasing” thing still? I remember being given the option to extend that period for a few quid the last time i ordered something on the EA store (a long time ago now…) and it put me off using EA’s online service since.

    • Lord Byte says:

      No steam no sale, not a ‘steam fanboi’ but I just CBA with other crap.
      My sentiments exactly!

    • Aemony says:

      @Alexander:
      “a class of people who adamantly believe ‘IF IT IS NOT ON STEAM I WILL NOT PURCHASE IT.’”

      Believe? How is that a form of belief? I go by that notion when buying games, yes, but that’s because I want to have my collection of games in a single, centralized, place with features and a service that rivals that of a console. I don’t want a multitude of sources that all have their own eco-system with no open integration between them. That only creates a hassle on me as a customer that I do not agree with. Screw “monopoly”. PC gaming needs to be able to compete with consoles on a centralized service level as well, which EA, Ubisoft, GameStop and CDP’s actions are against, as far as I’m concerned.

      If I can connect a game to Steam I’m all for purchasing it as it gives me the service and features which only Steam can offer. However I do not have a problem with adding my current EA games at Steam on their new Origin store because it allows my single-player games to be played on two seperate computers at the same time.

      Anyway, the word ‘believe’ is hardly accurate in this case.

      BF3 not on Steam means a no purchase for me. I’m really not that interested in the series for it to screw my wish of having a single centralized gaming source.

    • thegooseking says:

      have EA stopped doing the whole “if you buy a game from us digitally, you lose the right to download it 6 months after purchasing”

      It’s definitely longer than six months now, but I’m not sure if it’s forever or not. Last I checked, it was guaranteed for two years. Which is… progress, I guess.

      I don’t know if that’s changed with the rebranding or not.

    • TormDK says:

      I have games in my Origins account that I bought more than five years ago. They are still downloadable.

      It’s true that the EA store originally was limited on redownloads (It was being handled by DigitalRiver at the time, a company that handles digital distribution for alot of big companies, like Microsoft) – but no more.

      Origins is in many ways like Steam, so for me it’s no bother. I had an EA account before I had a Steam account.

    • DSDan says:

      I use Steam because out of the major digital distributors, I believe that it’s the least likely to screw me over. I’m not a youngster anymore, and I’m willing to pay a small premium to not have to deal with nonsense. I doubt I’m unique in that perspective.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ Aemony
      “I go by that notion when buying games, yes, but that’s because I want to have my collection of games in a single, centralized, place with features and a service that rivals that of a console. I don’t want a multitude of sources that all have their own eco-system with no open integration between them. That only creates a hassle on me as a customer that I do not agree with. Screw “monopoly”. PC gaming needs to be able to compete with consoles on a centralized service level as well, which EA, Ubisoft, GameStop and CDP’s actions are against, as far as I’m concerned”

      I love both Valve and Steam more than can possibly be healthy, but monopolies only go one way, and that is with the end user getting shafted. Just look at Murdoch. Steam have been pretty benevolent so far, but I can’t believe that will last forever. I completely take your point about the Steam ecosystem, but if that is the case the solution is for Steam’s community functions to become open source, or at least licenseable to other operations (which is the kind of deal that has been forced on monopolies in the past by regulators.)

      As for your point about the PC ‘needing’ a a centralised service – bullshit. The PC’s lack of such a thing (beyond windows obviously) is what makes it the magnificent land of freedom that it is. The possibilities of it only exist because the PC doesnt suffer the monopolies inherent in console land.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      @TheGooseKing

      You do realise the fact that EA has in its ToS that you are guaranteed to be able to download the game for 2 years is in fact better than Steam’s? There is no guarantee at all in Steams, and in fact they have been known to block and remove peoples entire game collects based on 1 disputed title.

      It may seem evil that its “only 2 years”, but its better than technically 0 days with Steams.

      Unless someone can show me the section of Steams ToS that guarantee the ability to download your games for longer than 2 years…

    • Froibo says:

      @Alexander Norris Yeah its not that I’d never buy from another digital distributor, I’ll pick up a game if there is a good sale or something. But if I’m picking up a copy for a flat price why the hell can’t I buy it at the place that I want? It’s like they banned selling hard copies at stores in a five mile radius from my house. Its an inconvenience that does nothing but annoy me.

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      Wisq says:

      There once was a time where monopolies were universally bad, and competition was the only way to ensure that customers didn’t get ripped off. Those were the days where only large, amoral, publicly-traded companies could typically get into monopoly positions (usually via market bullying) by selling physical products in large quantities such there was a huge cost and time involved in even setting up a (legal) competitor.

      We’re now in the digital and social age, where the above doesn’t need to hold true any more. Digital services can start small and scale with their users while maintaining the same price point throughout (often via cloud services that do the scaling for them) so it’s easy to set up a competitor. People can now communicate worldwide and form an aggregate opinion on your pricing and service quality, so it’s a lot harder to be a ripoff monopoly online.

      (Furthermore, there’s never really a true monopoly situation online. Due to the low cost of setting up a competitor, there will usually be a dozen or more smaller knock-offs all fighting for the customers that the market leader(s) have alienated for whatever reason. So we’re talking more about “de facto” monopolies here, where there’s one giant market leader and a bunch of tiny competitors.)

      What you need these days is a good experience and high customer satisfaction. If those are high, people will flock to your platform. If those drop too far, you risk people flocking to a different platform instead — fast enough and with enough inertia that there’s little chance of improving quickly enough to stop them. Furthermore, that other platform may spring up as a direct consequence of widespread dissatisfaction with your service.

      Being in a monopoly position online isn’t about bullying or subsuming your rivals any more, but rather about pleasing your customers so that they don’t all turn to one of the dozen or more minor alternatives (that already exist, or that will exist if you screw up).

      That’s why we’re seeing a lot of these “friendly monopoly” companies like Google, Steam, Twitter, etc. It’s not that “Google can do no wrong”, it’s that “Google had better keep us happy or we’ll flock to the next big thing”. And it’s not that “Steam is a monopoly and monopolies are always bad for customers”, it’s that “Steam is the market leader due to keeping customer satisfaction high via ease-of-use and low prices”.

      What I’m saying is, all you “Steam is a monopoly and they need competition or else we’ll all get ripped off” people need to rethink things. Steam hasn’t been ripping us off, and it’s not likely to start — not unless they want to see how fast they can tank themselves.

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      mechtroid says:

      @Wisq Wisdom in a comments section? Say it ain’t so!

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      wengart says:

      “It may seem evil that its “only 2 years”, but its better than technically 0 days with Steams.” Although technically better in practice its worse. I still can download Steam games I bought 4-5 years ago.

    • Kaira- says:

      @wengart
      And I can play Sims3 which I bought via EADM. What’s your point?
      [E]: Also, download.

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      wengart says:

      @Kaira

      It’s great that you can still play the Sims, but I’m not entirely sure what your point is either.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      This isn’t EA denying digital game sales, this is EA denying Steam digital game sales.

      I, for one, will get BF3 and enjoy it like I have enjoyed BF1942, BF2 and BF:BC2 before it.

    • Barnaby says:

      Very well put point Wisq.

      To mention a slightly related issue, I’m still quite worried about having all my eggs in one basket in regards to my game collection. I’m getting close to 200 games on my Steam account and I would be devastated if my account were compromised or Steam’s TOS changed in a drastic manner.

      **Sidenote** I think I’m deeply addicted to Terraria after only 2 days…

    • Eamo says:

      Monopolies aren’t bad, bad monopoiies are bad.

      Steam is good. They have a monopoly but treat all comers equally and do as much to promote the little guy as the big guy. Super Meat Boy, SpaceChem, Toki Tori, Dwarfs!?, World of Goo, Braid etc etc are all small games that have been given great exposure on steam, all the indys love steam and with good reason. They treat the customers right and the clients fairly.

      EA on the other hand, is a giant turd. This is a classic example of their willingness to screw over customers and players just for a few extra percentage points on the bottom line (which ironically they won’t get if the game is not on steam I suspect). You don’t build a platform by bullying people into using it, you build it by offering years of world class support and service. EA left the PC platform to die and now they are miffed because when the consoles are starting to ebb and the PC is in a resurgence they don’t even have a toe in the water.

  2. Faceless says:

    The Origin client is good enough? Depends where the line of enough is drawn. It’s tolerably functional as far as browsing products goes, it’s an aberration in almost everything else.

    You can’t even pick your own avatar, man!

  3. BooleanBob says:

    the Mirror’s Edge Mario Galaxy map pack

    Woah woah woah, hold on now, son. The what!?

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I give things silly names. The “Pure Time Trials map pack”. It looks like Mario Galaxy.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Aww. It doesn’t even have highly localised centres of gravity!

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      lurkalisk says:

      Reminds me a whole lot more of the various VR missions throughout the MGS series.

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      Hypatian says:

      I’ve actually been wondering for a while if Steam’s new DLC rules (assuming they exist–I still haven’t seen convincing details, but of course Valve has always been quite hush-hush with their contracts for Steam) could be related to the crap with the Mirror’s Edge DLC. Having the DLC just plain *not be compatible* with the Steam version is something of a problem for Steam. Fans of the game who bought it via Steam got screwed, and in fact there are *still* new threads showing up on the Steam ME forum asking about it, last I checked. That doesn’t just make EA look bad, it also makes Steam look bad. So I’d be totally unsurprised at a “if you put out DLC it must be available to users of the Steam version” clause to avoid future bullshit of the same sort.

      (And if anybody has confirmed details about what’s really required for DLC right now, I would love to know. So much speculation in a vacuum.)

    • Archonsod says:

      There’s several games which have DLC that isn’t working/available with the Steam version. Given their traditional tardiness when it comes to actually getting such things on Steam in the first place, I’d say it’s nothing to do with the DLC and everything to do with EA tying their games into Origin.

    • Vagrant says:

      A perfect example of how the DLC rules for Steam has changed:
      Either today or in the next few days, the DLC costumes for Super Street Fighter IV will be on GFWL marketplace. Unless you own the Steam version, in which case it will be the end of the month, despite connecting to GFWL.

      This sounds like the exact issue of ‘disrupting … ongoing support’ EA is complaining about.

      I’m breaking out a little bit of inferring here, but it sounds like Steam is requiring their own content distribution/sales channels for DLC, which obviously irks EA. And for good reason; DLC should be a high-margin release, that gets diminishing returns once Steam takes their cut.

      I could go on, but I’ve already made this too long for a blog comment no one will read.

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      Hypatian says:

      Vagrant: That really doesn’t tell us anything about where the problem lies. Is it that Steam is doing bad things and that slows things down? Fable 3 didn’t seem to have the same problem. Is that because Steam made their contract worse for SSFIV? Is it because the SSFIV devs did their Steam integration in a worse way, causing them tech difficulties that Fable 3 didn’t have? Is it because the SSFIV devs wanted to have *better* Steam integration, so had to take extra time? What would have happened under the older sort of Steam contract? Would the SSFIV DLC be available earlier via GfWL for all download platforms? Or would it not have been available for people who bought the game through Steam at all?

      The truth is, we don’t know. Steam may be throwing their weight around to be giant dicks and make more money at the expense of gamers’ convenience, *or* they might be throwing their weight around to be sure that any game bought via Steam gives the full content of the game, for the sake of gamers’ convenience. With what we can actually see, we can’t know. That’s why I asked for *actual details* as opposed to more examples that don’t tell us anything but promote blind speculation.

  4. DSR says:

    I like Origin. No need to launch it to play games.
    If I could somehow transfer all my games from Steam there, I would.
    No idea where all this EA hate is coming from.

    • paco says:

      Then you haven’t been paying attention for most of the last decade. Not our fault you’re too willfully blind to see how hard EA screws its customers.

    • Stupoider says:

      I don’t think its the “oooh EA will screw you over” aspect that’s daunting, in fact by letting you play their games without having to boot up any bloated program they’re doing something good.

      It’s more the dread of more publishers/developers opening their own digital distribution platforms, and the consumer will have to download each of them etc, not good.

    • DK says:

      Gamersgate also lets you play games without a client. In fact, without ANY client whatsoever, even for install, so by your logic it’s even better than Origin. And BF3 is going to be availible on Gamersgate.
      Going by current Origin pricing scheme GG is going to be the cheaper BF3 as well.

    • DSDan says:

      It’s the 21st century–our computing power is enough that a small client program running in the background shouldn’t make much difference unless you are obsessively counting frames-per-second.

    • Eversor says:

      God forbid EA choosing what kind of DRM client their game will run. Everyone seems to be fine with Steamworks, but somehow Origin is over the line? It’s the same bloody thing.

      I just don’t fucking get it. What is this “dread of other publishers having their own platforms for their games” being some horrible vision of the future? Well, what the fuck is Steam then? Didn’t it start the same way, as a platform of a company to release their own games?

      Quit being bloody hypocrites. It’s perfectly valid to dislike Origin for it’s own shortcomings in service. It is not valid to dislike it, however, just because it’s trying to mimick Steam, for whatever odd “convenience” of having “everything in the same place” that is used to excuse Steam.

    • Kadayi says:

      You know what’s nice about having a client? It keeping your games up to date automatically all the time. Also given Steam barely uses any memory (one tab on chrome uses the same amount) I’d hardly label it bloated.

    • nofing says:

      The client itself isn’t that bad, but they really need to improve their service in a couple of aspects.

      1. one license for games that have both a PC and a Mac version
      2. a Mac version of the client
      3. some sort of optional cloud service, for save files
      4. better regional pricing, it seems like the only region, which has good/ok prices is the US
      5. special deals / price drops for all regions, not only the US

      If those 5 things would be changed, then I would get all my EA games via Origin.
      Oh, maybe one last thing: let us to register older retail games on Origin (maybe even for a small fee)

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      wengart says:

      @Eversor

      Steam isn’t just DRM. For me its a service that improves my enjoyment of doing just about anything on the computer. All of my gaming friends use Steam and it’s community features make it a great way to communicate or easily join their games.

      I’m fine with a simple download client that I don’t have to use when I buy Battlefield 3 retail, but I don’t want a Steam-a-like. I already have Steam, and my friends have Steam, and they won’t have origin, and I won’t be using Origin if I can help it because it doesn’t offer me anything Steam doesn’t.

      “I just don’t fucking get it. What is this “dread of other publishers having their own platforms for their games” being some horrible vision of the future?”

      People don’t want an Activision client, EA client, Eidos Client, Ubisoft client, and god knows what else hanging out on their computer. Wanna play some CoD. Let’s launch the Activision client and now I might try some Assassin’s Creed. Guess it’s time to launch the Ubisoft client. It would just be annoying and grating. Whereas I can launch CoD quit out and then launch Assassin’s Creed with no fuss using Steam.

      “Well, what the fuck is Steam then? Didn’t it start the same way, as a platform of a company to release their own games”

      Steam is a robust platform for PC gaming, and although it once was a simple download client for Valve games it makes no sense to bring that up anymore because that’s not what it is.

  5. Stardog says:

    They’re the first to complain about PC game sales, leading to cancellations of most of their big series on PC, yet they don’t even make them available to buy on most download platforms.

    By not putting it on every download platform they can, they’re only hurting PC gaming, which is already in the shitter.

    • Spliter says:

      They did put it on every platform they can. if the numbers in the article are to be believed it’s on about 100 different platforms.

      Steam is a major omission though. Personally would go through GamersGate if Steam doesn’t get a copy on it’s own.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      They would be harming PC gaming by kow-towing to Steam. By not putting BF3 on Steam, they are actually doing digital distribution a favour.

    • studenteternal says:

      Alex: That depends on those pesky Steam contract details, if they can’t put it on steam because Valve is insisting that DLC released later must work for all versions of the game no matter where it was bought, then I would say valve is helping PC gaming more then EA.

    • skinlo says:

      So you think not putting the leading PC title of the last few years, a demonstration to the world of the PC capabilities on Steam which has 70% of the PC market is good for PC gaming? Madness.

      It will merely mean that BF3′s PC sales will be disappointing, consoles will outsell PC 15 to 1, and DICE will never repeat the experiment again of having PC as a lead platform.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Do you really think EA are the kind of people who make a decision like this without doing any kind of market research first? If they’ve made the decision, they have evidence to back them up. If there’s one thing the big publishers are good at, it’s not taking any risks as far as business goes.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Them having a monopoly on BF3 is not a good thing. It’s good for Steam to have competition, but those products should still be available on Steam, otherwise its just as bad.

    • Kaira- says:

      But the thing is, EA doesn’t have monopoly over BF3, you can buy it from Gamer’s Gate for example.

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      Wisq says:

      If there’s one thing the big publishers are good at, it’s not taking any risks as far as business goes.

      Right. Because the big publishers are managed by humans, and humans are notoriously good at understanding risk.

      If EA sees “doing our game the Steam way” as a big hurdle and “not being able to get the game on Steam” as a minor inconvenience to customers, they’ll pull Steam distribution. If they’re wrong, and the community generally sees “the Steam way” as ideal and “not on Steam” as a major annoyance / outright no-buy, well … things might not turn out like they wanted, but they probably won’t admit they made the wrong decision either. Which brings them back to the “PC gaming is dead” argument, and off they go.

    • vodkarn says:

      “Do you really think EA are the kind of people who make a decision like this without doing any kind of market research first? If they’ve made the decision, they have evidence to back them up. If there’s one thing the big publishers are good at, it’s not taking any risks as far as business goes.”

      Yes, I do think they’d do that. I realise that MOST companies do those kind of things, but EA are notorious for being, well, morons.

      I worked there, I know how it works. Any company that can look at a (Battlefield 2, in this case) bug where you cannot bind the left half of the keyboard to new buttons and classify it as not important, well..

      But on to business end – EA Partners are fantastic – it’s EA itself that makes moronic decisions.

  6. SwiftRanger says:

    “It wouldn’t be a first for EA/DICE, the Mirror’s Edge Mario Galaxy map pack only works on retail and EA Store copies of the game.” Say what? The gaming biz in general is already heavily fragmented (by platforms), it gets even more confusing with all the exclusive pre-order deals, then we got DLC and now they only offer certain DLC’s to a select few outlets afterwards? What the hell are EA smoking?
    This is not how you build one big, happy community that sticks together for years, is open to newcomers and that will happily cough up money for new stuff.
    I don’t have any issue if BF3 wouldn’t be released on Steam though (it would be odd of course and they’d lose money because of it). Steam isn’t the holy grail and more people should start to realize this. If Blizzard can say they only release their own digital stuff from their own store then so can EA. Only the service, value-for-money and quality consumers get back is very different between EA and Blizzard.

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      Phinor says:

      Might be worth adding that Shift 2 DLC is only available at Origin. It’s free to be exact, but you need to register to Origin and download the client to get them.

    • Minigrinch says:

      The problem with you saying that is, Blizzard only sells their game through their store and retail, and Blizzard has quite a good history with their consumer base.

      EA have a horrible history, especially towards PC gaming, and now they are basically offering to sell their games everywhere BUT Steam, and Steam has quite a good history (understatement much?) with its consumer base.

      Thats what makes it seem like a dick move compared to Blizzard’s system.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hypatian says:

      Another thing is that Blizzard is a developer, not a publisher. Yes, they’re owned by Activision, but they do not (yet) sell non-Blizzard Activision titles through the Blizzard store. The Blizzard store sells only Blizzard games, and is the only place you can buy Blizzard games online. They’ve also established a great deal of customer trust by allowing you to enter *really* old CD keys on that store to register your old copies of SC, Diablo II, WC3, etc.

      In essence, Blizzard has set themselves up as a “premium brand” here. And they can manage it, because everybody wants their stuff.

      Anyway, back to the dev not publisher thing: While the world in which every game must be purchased directly from the developer is just as painful as the world in which every game must be purchased directly from the publisher, they’re a little different. One primary thing is that long-lived developers like Blizzard (and, yes, Valve) *live* based on the loyalty of their customers. They can move between publishers, and their fans follow them. Aside from tinfoil hat paranoiacs, people think of Blizzard as being something separate from Activision. Yes, they’re linked, but Blizzard is still apart from the run of the mill developer that publishes on Activision.

      Now, all that said, if Activision pushes to use the Blizzard store as their beachhead into digital distribution and requires all of their devs to support it and also starts making things exclusive to their platform, that will be shitty beyond belief.

      See, in all of these cases, there’s one important concept: Trust. A retailer depends on trust. If someone came and said “Let’s expire peoples’ old games from Steam”, they would be killing the very thing that makes Steam valuable: the trust of its customers. LIkewise if Blizzard removed their old games from their online store and said “you have to buy our new shit, instead”. People might still buy Blizzard stuff, but the Blizzard store? Nope. And both of these go against core values of the franchises: Steam, that the long tail is valuable and full of goodness, and Blizzard, that supporting games for 10+ years after they came out inspires insane loyalty.

      Both Steam and Blizzard, in other words, thrive on keeping old games alive: either the ones they’ve written, or the ones they’ve sold.

      Now let’s compare that with EA’s track record. As a publisher, EA appears to be motivated to get people to buy their most recent stuff in the largest quantity possible with the largest margin possible. Hence: People don’t trust the shiny plug nickels they’re handing out. (And won’t trust Activision, should they take over the Blizzard store, for the same reasons.)

  7. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    I managed to take a look at the list and for Finland they had listed, among other very minor download services, a site that only sells games for kids. For kids around the age of 5 to be exact. They also had a link to a site/organization that isn’t even selling anything yet – just planning to sell something in the future including possibly games. Not just that, but it was a local/localized site so they weren’t even planning to sell to the majority of Finnish people (all five million of us!). So an extremely small site with probably a dozen visitors a day.

    The absence of Steam was something they really wanted to emphasize. On a quick glance they had something like 15 different sites for Germany and France and those lists didn’t even include the major sites like Gamersgate, Direct2Drive etc. that are available to most people.

  8. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    But, what does it matter? Bad Company 2 uses its own updater, it doesn’t use steam for anything. What makes us think BF3 would? Especially considering EA’s doing their own thing now.
    Does BF2 use anything in steam? I haven’t actually played it since I bought it, but I figure no.

    • skinlo says:

      Irrelevant, I want to purchase it off Steam, instead of giving my credit card details to yet another company.

    • Prometheus says:

      Steam-bought BC2 copies use steam for updates.

    • scaryfroman says:

      BF2 is miserable on steam, it doesn’t install correctly and punkbuster thinks the steam overlay isn’t allowed. It’s a mess.

  9. zoombapup says:

    I don’t think that EA doing direct digital distribution is the same as indies doing it. Mostly because I can’t see indies trying to lock you into their “service” anytime soon. Whereas you can tell that EA are not happy that Steam is the de-facto standard for digital downloads and *they* believe they should have that monopoly.

    I suspect every major publisher will push forward with digital stores as they see console sales dropping off. Some might even get smart and aggregate their products away from steam, but for a single publisher? I don’t think even EA has enough clout to drag people away from steam.

  10. Premium User Badge

    LarsBR says:

    Does Origin still have the bullshit 6 month re-download time limit?

    Did anyone at EA actually crunch numbers on that one? Gotta be PEANUTS Steam is spending on allowing us to download our own games in perpetuity, but it’s a great service, having made me buy games FOR A SECOND TIME to get rid of spinning media. Frakking bean counters.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The EA Store has never enforced the 6 months limit. It’s shit that it’s in the TOS, but if people are going to shout down everyone who ever says “hey, the Steam TOS say they could shut down your account on a whim!” on the basis that Steam has never done it, there’s no reason to be attacking Origin for a policy it has never enforced and which therefore, for all practical purposes, does not exist.

    • Premium User Badge

      LarsBR says:

      That’s (almost) even worse, since they took money from people to extend the 6 months to 2 years. Practically racketeering!

    • pepper says:

      I have no clue if they have, but they sure kept it in their store forever. Not a very user friendly move and they are probably the publisher most likely to drive a 12″ blade into my back when they get a chance. Heck, if people think Valve’s monopoly is bad, then just wait until we get EA..

    • TormDK says:

      That limit was never inforced, and still isn’t. I have games I bought from the EA store over seven years ago that I can still download and play.

    • gou says:

      http://www.ea.com/1/service-updates this right here is the root my EA-online trust issues

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      @Torm: No kidding it’s not enforced. It was removed about two years ago. Now they have a policy that if your account has been inactive for two years, they have the right to terminate it. Meaning, all your games are gone, your account is deleted. Thanks for playing! Press PAY to restart.

      People bitch about Steam being able to take away your games, but that only happens if you violate their ToS and are doing something shady. EA could take away your games just for not logging in after too long. How some do NOT see that as “totally fucked up” is beyond me. Granted, it takes a good deal of time, but a good friend of mine was recently relieved to see his games still on Steam after not logging in for over 3 years. I told him, “yeah, Steam has said that your account and your games will be there forever. Unless your account is banned or Steam goes under. Even if it goes under, they will unlock the service and make sure the games playable in offline mode.” citation

  11. Joe Duck says:

    If they decide to not release on Steam is huge, huge news. I mean, huge. The biggest PC game release of the year, specially in terms of marketing budget is not going to be sold in the biggest retailer in the PC market, wow. All that marketing money and they are going to force us to install a new client just for it.
    I understand their push for Origin, but this seems more brute forcing the customers into their shop rather than competing with service and features.
    I am a regular (and bad) BFBC2 player and I await BF3 with excitement. But I am also very Steam-centric and feel extremely comfortable with it. My friends network is in Steam too, and darned if I am going to get BF3 to play with out my friends.
    We’ll see, but I hope it is all just rumours.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      Thing is, you’ll still be able to buy BF3 from the place with the lowest price or best extras, and then add it to Steam as a non-Steam game.

      The only way EA loses in this non-Steam scenario is if people on Steam are ignorant of BF3 and never see anything about it. Given BF3s marketing budget and the way word-of-mouth operates in the PC game community, they don’t need a Steam Sale to make a profit the way lots of indies do.

      BF3, if it’s good, will be a massive success whether Steam sell it or not. Nobody I know with Steam would ever refuse to buy it just because it’s not on Steam, especially if all their friends are playing it. That’s not how gamers think.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The biggest PC game release of the year, specially in terms of marketing budget

      Both BF3 and MW3 are multi-platform releases, and I’m pretty sure MW3′s marketing budget is bigger. BF3 is going to be a pretty big release on all platforms, but it’s hardly the biggest.

    • skinlo says:

      BF3 will sell well, but console sales will dwarf PC 10-1 or something.

    • Joe Duck says:

      @Richard: I completely disagree with you, there are a lot of gamers that do not want to have many resident clients, do not want to hassle with a lot of login and passwords and do not want to have to rebuild their friends list once per client. And yes, I know you will be able to “paste” BF3 into Steam, but you will still lose the automatic updates and the “join game” option in the friends list. So it is not exactly the same thing.
      Losing a window into the PCs of more than 2 million gamers who connect to Steam every day and then spending 100 million dollars (http://www.thesixthaxis.com/2011/04/07/battlefield-3-marketing-budget-to-be-100-million/) in marketing seems to me like an interesting (and very, very original) strategy.
      But hey, what do they care for service and convenience, as you say it will be a massive success.

      @Alexander Norris: Do not be so sure:
      http://news.tgn.tv/battlefield-3-and-next-cod-marketing-costs-will-be-a-couple-hundred-million-dollars/

    • Eversor says:

      Starcraft 2 is a PC exclusive game that sold extremely well and isn’t available digitally anywhere but from battle.net store. Didn’t really fail because of lack of a Steam version, did it?

  12. seanminty says:

    Are Valve games available on other digital download services? I can’t see Half Life 2 on gamersgate anyway.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Valve games are Steam-only; the retail copies have basically been Steamworks since HL2.

    • qrter says:

      Interesting related note – Gamersgate have been staunchly boycotting Steamworks games for a long, long time. Only recently have they started selling those games, and even then Steam or Steamworks are never mentioned by name, just that you’ll need to install a third party client to run the game.

      (Same goes for Direct2Drive, I believe, although I never really use them myself.)

  13. Premium User Badge

    Hypatian says:

    Not planning on buying stuff in Origin any time soon. Bought the new Alice there, since that’s where I could see to pre-order it, it wasn’t on Steam, and I figured I’d give them a chance. Then, of course, a week after release it showed up on Steam.

    Origin was pretty lackluster, and failed in two major ways (didn’t compress the transfer at *all* as far as I can tell, and didn’t allow for preloading the preorder. Hell–couldn’t even pre-download Alice 1 which came with the preorder–what’s the point of bundling the old game if you won’t let me play it until the new game comes out?)

    Anyway–given the fact that the experience was pretty crappy and that the timing of all this recent stuff implies to me that it’s all EA dicking with Steam (and who cares if the customers have a good experience?), I’ll be avoiding it like the plague. (Which is to say: only slightly less than I avoid Impulse since GameStop took it over.)

    • Joe Duck says:

      About the Impulse-Gamestop thing, is it me or has the amount of Impulse spam increased sharply in these las two months?

  14. aircool says:

    International pricing parity. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true? All the bullshit reasons for stinging us UK gamers with higher prices just don’t exist with digital distribution, but it still happens.

    Also, for many big titles, I still find it easier and cheaper to pre-order the game from a retail website and have a physical copy drop through the letterbox the day before the game is released/activated.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Higher prices? UK prices are pretty much exactly on par with US prices. Literally, £35 maps to about $55; and that’s without counting the titles now getting preorder discounts to try to match them up to Amazon’s £25.

      If you want higher prices, look at Europe and Australia/NZ. The UK really has nothing to complain about when it comes to game prices.

    • qrter says:

      Yes, mainland Europe tends to get shafted, especially compared to US prices.

      But just when we Europeans are starting to feel sorry for ourselves, we remember there’s always Australia, and its ludicrously inflated game prices.

    • thegooseking says:

      The last thing I want is to be known as a crusader about this, but the exchange rate is not an accurate indicator of the value of a currency in real terms. There’s a theoretical currency called the “international dollar”, and any currency’s theoretical exchange rate with that is the only indicator of the currency’s true worth. It can be confusing: The US dollar is 1:1 with the international dollar, and yet another currency’s rate against the international dollar might be different from its rate against the US dollar, but that’s kind of the point. The international dollar exists to eliminate the ‘noise’ caused by fluctuating currency markets.

      Actually, what you can buy for that currency (excluding currency trading) is the only real indicator of a currency’s true worth, but the international dollar “exchange rate” is designed to reflect that.

    • aircool says:

      Shit – you’re right! Guess I haven’t checked prices in other countries for a long while (Probably since pound sterling was riding high, which was a long time ago). Hardware prices are still lacking parity though, as is digital music. I get my tunes from Hong Kong of all places, cheaper and 320mbps quality…

      Then again, we’re talking about PC games…My bad.

    • coagmano says:

      Whenever you feel bad about your prices, remember that in Australia we pay minimum $AUD80 for a PC game, up to $120 for consoles.
      There has been almost constant gamer rage since the Aussie dollar past the US dollar and prices remain the exact same…
      Thank god for imports

  15. Hunter says:

    I honestly can’t comprehend why EA would omit releasing their game on Steam over something as petty as DLC disputes. The profit loss alone of the potential 2 million+ users on Steam is enough to render nearly any argument they might have null and void.

    Am I the only one who thinks that this is turning into some massive pissing contest that is only going to serve to damage the PC gaming market further then all the other problems already plaguing it ?(DRM, Day One DLC, Retailer Specific DLC etc, etc)

    As much as I like the concept of a little more competition in the online digital distribution market, I can’t help but be a little worried that the newly formed competition is coming from EA, a company infamous for its poor decisions regarding DRM and anti-piracy measures that have alienated their consumer base. Let’s not forget that this is the same distributor that only a few weeks ago was planning to lock weapons away as part of a purchased DLC pack.

    Say what you want about Valve but I don’t recall them ever forcing people to buy separate DLC in order to gain the full experience from a game. On the contrary they introduced an excellent hatastic novelties market that has no impact on actual game play while still managing to garner a good profit that gets recycled partly into further improving game play. THAT’s the kind of retailer that I trust with my purchases.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Because those 2+ million Steam users do not buy exclusively from Steam.

    • skinlo says:

      I bet a fairly high percentage do though.

    • Kaira- says:

      I’d bet about 5% tops of those who who are thinking about buying BF3 are those who would buy it only from Steam.

    • Kadayi says:

      It’s all about leverage. Fundamentally EA want you to start having Origins on your machine and active so that they can start to sell to you directly without having to give Valve a cut (or any other DD outlets). The downside to this approach is that EA also feel the need to keep street retailers happy, thus their digital titles are always sold at RRP, which is a bit of a joke, because almost no one (not even street retail) actually sells games at RRP these days anyway. It’s much cheaper to order the BF3 whatever special edition from GAME online than it is to order it via Origin.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Richard Beer says:

    Re: pricing. The EA Store people are completely hamstrung by the EA retail people. In a company that size, things don’t happen in a normal way. Different departments compete for budget and primacy. The prices on the digital download service are forced high because they don’t want to piss off all the retailers they have cosy relationships with.

    • Hunter says:

      See but THAT’S a massive problem. EA has become such a monstrosity, company wise, that its actually beginning to work against itself in ways that will ultimately hurt the consumer base. If you look at some of the smaller companies like CD Projekt Red, they bend over backwards to provide as many free addons and support features as possible (Even stripping DRM) because the consumer matters to them, meanwhile EA and the other gaming giants trudge on stomping over their users with dollar signs in their eyes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      I hate to be a cynic, but everyone’s trying to make money. EA need to keep GAME, Play.com etc happy by not competing with them directly (remember EA is a publisher, not a game retailer) so that Game and Play.com will advertise and push EA’s games for them. That’s money, right there.

      Likewise CD Projekt Red want to make money, too. They may well be very nice guys who do it for the love AS WELL, but money is their primary driver. They can’t beat other people on price or with a huge advertising budget, so they’ve decided that their USP will be service. Personally, I love that kind of company and will stay loyal if I am treated well, but it is still a business tactic like any other.

  17. Icarus says:

    “Would Battlefield 3 not being available on Steam impact your purchasing decision?”

    If I was a Battlefield fan (which I’m not), it absolutely would. It would mean I wouldn’t buy the game.

    I am, however, a Mass Effect fan.

    Your move, EA.

    • Erd says:

      This is exactly how I feel. Considering Mass effect doesn’t use steam for dlc anyway (there are other examples too, why is this even an excuse?) I’m interested to see how this will turn out.

  18. gallardo1 says:

    I don’t like having to install steam so I’ll don’t like to install origin to continue playing my games. it’s all “sierra utilities” for me. These malwares will be accepted only when I’ll be able to uninstall them once I finished downloading my game.

    • Unaco says:

      I’m assuming that’s how Origin works… you don’t need Origin running to play your game, just to install. You could likely remove Origin after install, and play your game without it.

      So, choice made for you?

    • Axyl says:

      Plus, classing Steam as “Malwares” is just plain retarded.
      Look up the definition of Malware..
      Run ANY Anti-Mal/Spyware program and see if Steam gets picked up by either.

  19. Bungle says:

    BF3 will be remembered as a good game surrounded by shady and greedy business practices. They haven’t even dethroned CoD yet and they’re getting arrogant. Corporations have killed the shooter for me.

  20. EvanPoland says:

    I will buy from origin, As lovely as valves service is, I am very scared of monopolies. I don’t want steam to get ‘too big to fail’ or become evil. Maybe thats just because I am a socialist though.

    • zoombapup says:

      evanpoland: I’d say you would send a better message on that point if you bought the game from another digital distributor that competes in a free marketplace. EA store isnt going to be that.

    • Dana says:

      Technically a monopoly on virtual goods (digital distribution) is not possible, in the same sense as on real life goods.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Dana: technically, what you would get is a monopoly on the means of distribution.

      Which still boils down to a practical monopoly on digitally distributed games, of course. :P

  21. Longrat says:

    I remember reading an analysis of origin’s ToS, and there’s a line there that says that EA have the right todelete your games upon 2 years of inactivity or something like that. Now, this isn’t to say that Valve’s policy isn’t draconian, but at least it makes sense, somewhat. Just bear that in mind.

    • skinlo says:

      To be fair, Steam doesn’t have that, so they could delete it the day after you bought it. EA has a ‘guarantee’ that it will last at least 2 years.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      To be fair, Steam doesn’t have to say anything like that. The ONLY way you will ever lose your Steam titles is through an account ban. Yes, people have had titles snatched away because of a SNAFU in regional releasing dates, but that’s fixed as soon as the proper date comes around. Even with Crysis 2, you can still redownload it on Steam at any time you want. Prey has been removed from the store for a while now, and yet I’m downloading it right now!

      If it’s understood that the policy is not going to be enforced, then EA shouldn’t even mention it. All it does it worry people and make them suspicious of Origin.

  22. Pop says:

    I use Steam. Can’t be arsed to move to another digital distribution service. End of story.

    • Soccermom says:

      I am in the same category. I am an avid BFBC2 player – but I am simply too lazy to change to another distribution system.
      Whether people think I am ridiculous or not for having that attitude doesn’t really matter. EA has still lost a day 1 purchase from me, if it is not on steam.

      Convince me to move to Origin by providing a better user experience – NOT by limiting my choices. That is simply going to cost you money.

  23. I LIKE FOOD says:

    edit*
    :)

    • Icarus says:

      As I understand it: EA want to contact customers outside of Steam (via email I guess) to let them know about content updates and pester them to buy the new DLC. Valve don’t allow that.

    • Hunter says:

      EA stated something along the lines of a DLC dispute involving Steams updater and Valve has remained silent on the issue, take from that what you will :<

  24. OJSlaughter says:

    If it’s not Indie then I will not buy it if is not avaliable on Steam: simple!

    I’d rather buy the Xbox 360 Version: in fact, my friends are going to so I probably will…

    • skinlo says:

      Get PC friends! :)

    • Khemm says:

      Wow, you’re such a tool. No offence, but you really are.
      It’s like having the opportunity to eat at a nice restaurant, but choosing to eat from a trash bin because you don’t like the face of a waiter serving you.

  25. geokes says:

    I don’t get this attachment to steam, I still buy some games off amazon because they’re cheap and they arrive in about the same time it takes to download.

    • Khemm says:

      Here’s something funny – most Steam supporters had Steam forced down their throats with the launch of Valve games since CS and HL2. Basically, Valve did something brilliant – they FORCED Steam upon people, taught them to live with it, lured them with sales so the number of games on their Steam accounts would rise.
      Now, it’s really difficult for some to accept there are alternatives to Steam when they’re tied to the service for good.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Steam also did some dumb shit like have friends lists, profiles, chat client, in-game web browser, voip client, forums for each game [series], screenshots, anti-cheat client, and some other lame crap that no one ever uses. I mean, what a waste! All I want is some crap-assed web store and a PoS downloader that, despite being mind-numbingly simple, still manages to crap out and screw up my downloads.

      Seriously, though, Steam showed us how PC gaming can be, and now EA and this Origin shit is acting like it’s still 1999. I DON’T want to have to use Ventrilo to voice chat with my friends. I’d rather open the voice chat client in Steam and do it there. And also be able to browse the web without minimizing, etc. Even if it’s a non-Steam game, add it to Steam and I can use many of the perks (most of the time). Seriously, there is a reason why people like Steam, and it’s not just because they’re fanboys, sheeple, or whatever bullshit people throw out. People like Steam because it is a solid retailer and the client itself has a lot of things that simply make gaming easier. I see NONE of that in Origin. All I see is a mundane web store, that doesn’t even have great savings, with a broken shithole client that hasn’t changed in the three damn years that I’ve used it. Origin is simply EADM with a web store. That’s it.

      Yes, there are plenty of alternatives if you’re solely interested in just buying the game. But if you’re looking for something to compete with the entirety of what Steam has to offer, I can’t think of anyone even close. So, until someone can create a service that truly does rival Steam in both the retail and software/client ease-of use/feature-set, I will continue primarily using Steam for both retail and the robust features that it provides.

  26. Hunter says:

    Lets look at the competitors shall we?

    EA: Known for attaching draconian DRM measures and generally screwing the pooch when it comes to players.

    Valve: Finishing up a week long sale on practically ever major game its offered in the last 2 years or so more or less DRM free and offering free goodies through a little campaigning.

    Yes, clearly this will be a very tough decision for me /sarcasm

    • Kaira- says:

      “more or less DRM-free”

      Now that’s a funny way to spell “client-tied horrible DRM”.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    I do not want my games split across multiple digital distribution platforms. That’s the end of that discussion, for me.

    • Hedgemonster says:

      Yes, it’s better to put all of your eggs in one basket.

    • Vague-rant says:

      Just to check, when you buy eggs, do you actually put them into lots of different baskets?

      Sometimes, convenience wins out. Or even putting those eggs in secure packaging. I’m not saying steam/valve is the greatest thing ever, but that statement misses the point entirely.

    • coagmano says:

      @Vague-rant
      You Sir, win 100 internets

    • Hedgemonster says:

      @Vague-rant:

      The operative word being “all”. But feel free to keep pumping all of your video game money into Valve. There’s no point to being sensible on the internet, after all.

  28. Calneon says:

    Buy a hardcopy from an online retailer (usually cheaper than digital distribution), install from the disk, add CD key to Origin so I can download it if I ever lose the disk, add shortcut to steam, done.

    Not sure what all the moaning is about.

  29. atticus says:

    It really saddens me that publishers and online distributors seem to have an urge to complicate things for us gamers all the time.

    If it’s not GFWL, then it’s a horrible piece of DRM, a publisher-specific downloadclient, or some mandatory piece of “social hub”-membership.

    I just want to play the game I paid for, hazzle-free. And I don’t want to be social either, I’ve been social all week. Today I just want to drive my Bugatti Veyron around the Nürnburgring. By myself.

    Take my money and stop bothering me.

  30. Milky1985 says:

    So let me get this straight, this game which is meant to compete with COD is not being released on arguablly the biggest digital distribution system in the world……

    Who the hell is donig there strategic planning for this game? Just how many customers do you think will not notice its out? yes they will advertise it but I bet quite a lot of sales come from “ohh thats looks cool, didn’t think it was out”.

    COD WILL be on steam and highly advertised on steam, now if i do get BF3 it will NOT be from origin, it will be retail just to annoy EA as much as possible. Just seems stupid to deliberatly hamstring themselves.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Just found out its DX10 only so no buy from me for now, still on XP and won’t be able to upgrade until xmas time :/

    • Premium User Badge

      Richard Beer says:

      I’m not sure you quite understand. How will you buying the game make EA unhappy? They really don’t care whether you buy it from the EA store or not, to be honest. They just want to sell as many copies of the game as possible. If you buy it, you’re doing what they want. End of story. Doesn’t matter where from. Or even if it’s on the XBox 360 or the PC.

    • skinlo says:

      Except through Origin, they get 100% of the money, not 30% or whatever.

    • Milky1985 says:

      As skinlo said, if you get it via origin they keep all the cash as its there own system (minus whatever the running costs are but they would have to worry about htat no matter where i got it from).

      Buying it retail also annoys them even more as its one less person buying digital so they can’t shout “no-one buys retail, must go digital only”.

      Basically (if it supported dx9), I would have got there game but given the least ammount of cash to EA for it , effectivly sticking two fingers up to them, but buying the game so they can’t cry “PC fails”, and not pirating so they can’t say “Piracy is destorying us” (as both of those shouts are as idiotic as the people that shout about game being the spawn of the devil)

      BTW by not releasing a DX9 version of the game they are cutting out 20% of there potential userbase instantly according to steam stats which is also stupid (as they are also not releasing on steam they are doing good at cutting potential userbase), I might have to do the unthinkable, and get the console version!

  31. coldvvvave says:

    Ok, fine, I’ll buy it on day one for 15$ in Russian retail.

  32. Alexander Norris says:

    I was never going to pay £35 to get it on Steam anyway, considering Amazon’s going to be £25 or less. That, and competition in digital distribution is something we need a lot more of.

  33. My2CENTS says:

    Ohh come on, who cares? Origin is good enough, i max my bandwidth with it and have way more stable Overlay. I don’t see why people are overreacting, be glad its not Steamworks, else if something go wrong with your transaction you loose every game you paid for. Plus for me Steam kills the performance, i play my BFBC2 standalone, even though i bought it from Steam. Why? Because i can.

  34. Ovno says:

    EA can get lost they really can, we don’t want your stinking download service, we’ve got plenty.

    Challenge Everything I suppose….

  35. Rockettgirl says:

    Games available on Origin – 138
    Games available on Steam – 3490

    Will I get something from EA if they are the only source for it? Yeah probably – if I want it enough.
    Will I go to Origin first when I am in the market for a new game? At this stage – most assuredly not.

    EA are coming to my door offering the same features but with less choice?

    ummmmmmmm…… no

  36. reginald says:

    I’d rather use the Pirate Bay online distribution service, than Origin.

  37. Zeewolf says:

    I never buy proper retail games on Steam anyway, unless there’s some insane price reductions going on (and even then I can usually find them cheaper on Amazon or Play, so no…). I like Steam because of the whole social aspect of it, but it’s far from integral to my gaming experience and if a competitor offers a better deal I’ll grab it. Plus, I almost never buy retro stuff on Steam, that’s what GOG is for.

  38. qrter says:

    On the flip side, we’re often quick to celebrate indies selling their own games directly, is it fair to have one rule for the little guy, but hold bigger publishers to a different set of standards?

    Are you seriously asking that question, or just rambling out loud..? I mean, surely it’s inherent to the distinction between indies and large corporations that we would use a different set of standards?

    That would be like saying you’d hold up the same standards for a Gamestop (or equivalent of that) as a independantly run shop.

  39. Nameless1 says:

    Origin lets you play games without having the client running? Then YES, I will gladly buy it on Origin.
    It’s bad for the friendlist I already have established on steam, but there can be worse than that.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Hey, you could always use steam to ask around who will be getting BF3 and how to get in touch with them through Origin/BF3.

    • The JG Man says:

      Or ‘Add a non-Steam game’ so you can use the Steam overlay.

    • Unaco says:

      @The JG Man

      Yeah… Run it in Steam, with the Steam client running, using up resources, after he’s bought it through Origin because, and I’ll quote him here, “Origin lets you play games without having the client running? Then YES, I will gladly buy it on Origin.”

      Do you see the problem, for him, of running it through the Steam client and having the Steam client running? Do you?

    • Premium User Badge

      wengart says:

      The op sounds like he would like to run it through Steam (due to friends using Steam) while at the same time not wanting to run two different clients (Steam and Origin).

      Also who in the hell has a computer so short on resources that they can’t run Steam while playing a game. Especially when this game is Battlefield 3.

  40. bonjovi says:

    Steam not allowing other clients to install is a dick move, that might as well ruin their great run. Steam’s success and continued popularity has never been due to weeding out the competitors.

    If it’s really the reason BF3 hasn’t been announced on Steam yet, they’d play into the EA hand.

    If they would allow Origin to be installed through steam it would be treated as Games for Windows, a hated necessity. Some people might be turned down from purchasing the game, but not due to Steam. It would paint Origin as annoying overhead that people would use to comment on how bad EA is.

    If they won’t allow Origin to install and therefore BF3 will not get published on Steam, it would mean a lot of good customers installing Origin and realising that it’s “like Steam”. If some of these customer would only play BF3 and nothing else, they might disappear from the Steam shop completely.

  41. Antares says:

    I think it makes sense for EA to want its own digital store, and would wish them the best if this particular move wasn’t so mind numbingly stupid and destined for failure (withholding your flagship title from the largest most popular e-retailer? Really, EA?).

    This said, I very much doubt they’ll manage to corner a meaningful percentage of the market. Steam had years to make its presence known and it offers community services beyond the buying and launching of games. These services are IMO what defines the platform (the prices are pretty rubbish in western europe, sales not withstanding) and what really make userbases un-transferable, on top, of course, of the hassle of maintining accounts across multiple platforms.

    • Archonsod says:

      I’d think EA’s flagship would be The Sims given it’s sold more than any other game barring perhaps WoW. Odds on Sims 4 being tied to Origin …?

  42. Frapple says:

    See a lot of comparisons to Steam as it is now, not when it started. Does noone remember that?

    If I had to pick between Origin as it was released & Steam as it was released, EA can take my money.

    • skinlo says:

      Except Steam isn’t just released, so I’ll stick with Steam thanks.

      No use saying what it once was, as it isn’t now. Plus, theres been 7 years of technological progress since Steam hit more mainstream with HL2.

    • TormDK says:

      The EA store / Downloader / Origins have been around for that long as well.

      The downloader part works just fine and have not given me low download speeds, unlike Steam. It’s only the social features that was recently added. The name Origins is simply a marketing ploy since EA Download Manager doesn’t sound as sexy.

    • skinlo says:

      Lets have 3.5 million users on Origin during a massive sale then see how that copes.

    • Hairious Maximus says:

      Origin’s been around since 2005, and it kinda sucked back then too.

      EDIT* Gah, Ninja’d!

  43. hotcod says:

    I think maybe the sticking point here is simply that if EA wants to run updates and DLC from a client that is not part of the game then that client would be messing around with steam game files with out steam knowing what is going on. Unlike GFWL which is part of the actual game .exe. So it’s understandable that valve does not want 3rd party clients effecting their service in that way.

    It’s the only thing that makes sense as it’s the only thing EA want to do that is not already being done on steam. So given it was only EA games that have been pulled and EA is the only one wanting to do this new type of thing that is understandably something that valve does not want to deal with.

    It would also explain why EA are the only ones talking about it, they have seen a chance to make a PR move to spin this in their favour and make valve look like the bad guys. Why valve haven’t responded yet I don’t know but maybe they are working behind closed doors on a deal and they don’t want to risk talking about it just yet.

  44. pyjamarama says:

    Valve double standard. If games with steamworks require a Steam install, after some talk of boycott from other retailers they gave up. Now if EA or other publisher includes a steamworks like client in their games, Valve bloks it, they do that because they are a clear number one, but if Ubisoft, Activision do the same as EA they probably will change they police like the other retailers did.
    Love Steam and is the first place I go to buy a game but they are wrong in this one.

    • skinlo says:

      Except they haven’t blocked GFWL, which is a Steam like client.

    • Erd says:

      Yeah, theres a lot of funny business going on with the whys and hows. Another example: the Sims 3 has a launcher that liks to a sims store where they sell dlc content.

  45. Zogtee says:

    Choice and competition is great. I would like to have the choice of buying this on Steam, because that’s where I do the majority of my gaming. Whine, puff, and huff about the evils of Valve all you like, but that’s the choice I would like to have and if I can’t have it, then I wont buy it.

    Simple as that.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Hey, it’s your choice. It just seems a little silly to me to not buy a game you’d really like to play because it’s not on Steam.

    • Zogtee says:

      I’m not really burning with excitement over the game, though. It looks great, I liked BC2, and I would buy it on Steam, but it’s not the end of the world if I can’t have it. I have roughly one hojillion games on Steam and about thirty from GOG. I’m not interested in adding another digital distribution platform to this.
      There was a time when everyone looked at WoW and went “Ooh, look at all that lovely money! We must have a MMOG of our own too!” and sank millions into MMOG’s, which mostly ended up on their arses. I think having a digital distribution platform is the new MMOG, so to speak. Everyone laughed at Steam in the beginning, but now they see the money and the greedy little buggers are scrambling to get their own. Blizzard has one, EA has one, Valve has one, etc, and there will be others.

  46. Khemm says:

    Why should any self-respecting PC gamer care?
    Valve used Half-Life 2 and Counter Strike as a means to install a trojan horse on everyone’s computers – the trojan horse without which said games won’t even launch. Now THAT was a nasty move, one many people, me included, still find it hard to forgive.

    Now, EA is just launching their game via retail, Origin and countless other DD channels excluding ONE, Origin apparently doesn’t need to run in the background for EA games to even work… So, what’s the problem? Ah, I forgot – those Valve fanboys and their “no Steam release, no sale!!!!!!!!!!11one!!!!11″. Well, it’s about time some told them that Steam =/= PC gaming.

    • skinlo says:

      lol

      Wondered when you’d show up. Yes, “many people”. I think you need to wikipedia what a Trojan Horse is btw.

    • Khemm says:

      Yes, “many people”. More than you might think. In my country, you’ll find more people screaming “noooooo!” whenever it is announced that game X requires Steam to work than those who are happy about it.
      I use Steam, because I have to. I buy digitally from everyone else whenever it is possible. Sorry, but Steam has become almost dangerous with its rabid supporters who would love to see the PC work like a “console” – “Steamworks or GTFO!”. How about NO.

    • skinlo says:

      Where do you live then? :)

      Where I live (UK), the general consensus seems that Steam is probably a good thing so far for PC gaming.

    • TormDK says:

      Digital distribution (Steam in some peoples mind) has done two things for me :

      1 – It lets me slack and not visit the electronics store.
      2- I overspend on titles I don’t really have time to play just because it’s on sale. (My Excel spreadsheet says I spent about 19.000DKK (Roughly 2200 GBP) last year on games, and online MMOG subs)

      #2 I could do without (For instance, I just bought Total War : Shogun 2, spent 12 hours downloading it due to low Steam speeds, installed it and played it for 15 minutes before I remembered why I didn’t play Total War : Napoleon more :P).

      But #1 is critical still. I still curse at Relic for making me preorder their upcoming title Space Marine from GameStop because I want the Black Templar skin. I haven’t visited that store for over ten years!

    • Nick says:

      “In the time it took you to tell me there was no demand, steam sold 50 copies.”

      (or x copies, I forget how many..)

  47. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I don’t see why people get so attached to Steam. I’ve started using it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessary for my enjoyment of a (any) game, surely?

    Of course, it’s good to take a look at any possible arguments between EA and Valve because.. well.. it’s news. But if EA do a good job with Origin (or in the way it’s playable/obtainable through other services), why should anyone be complaining?

    The question then is whether they will do a good job with that.

  48. Binman88 says:

    Was never going to buy this from Steam, and will not buy this from Steam if they get it. I love Steam, but what I love more is buying new games, day one, for nearly half the price Steam sells them at (and installing them immediately upon receiving the disc).

    I can pre-order BF3 for around £25, which equates to about €28. Compare that with the price Steam would likely charge for it – between €49.99 and €59.99 – I’m actually shocked people are willing to spend the extra €30 for the “convenience”. Apparently installing a retail copy of a game is hard work for these people.

    Let’s forget about the pricing, and just consider the fact that people are annoyed because they can’t buy this game from their favourite shop. I cannot fathom what attachment people have to Steam that makes them so hesitant to use any other download service. Is it because seeing an “official” list of games in your Steam library gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling? Is it the patching/update process? Because those are the only two things I see buying from Steam actually gives you. All of their other benefits can be used with non-steam games simply by adding them via the “add non-steam game to my library” option.

    • skinlo says:

      Wait, people buy full price games from Steam? What is this madness?

      I always wait for sales before I buy any game.

    • Binman88 says:

      Same here. I almost exclusively buy games on Steam only if they’re on sale (not including €9.99 or similarly priced indie games and the like).

      For a game like Battlefield though, and considering the people complaining are probably the people very much looking forward to it, you have to imagine they want to start playing it close to the release date to get into the multiplayer while its fresh. I think they’d be waiting a long time for it to go on sale on Steam (and could probably end up still paying more than they’d pay buying it retail on day one!).

    • Azradesh says:

      Yeah, I buy all my new games from online retailers, get them much cheaper and often earlier. I buy a lot of budget/indie games and games on sale on Steam.

      I really don’t get this rabid steam love, it’s cool and all and has great sales, but for new games it’s awful. Is it the chat? I just use skype, I have no desire to talk to randoms. As long as I can play my games when and how I want I don’t care what it uses.

  49. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    Having cheaper games than steam would be a great start. Ask $50 instead of €50 for BF3 and I might buy it from your service.

  50. michaelfeb16 says:

    This is fairly simple for me.

    I had intended to preorder and love this game. If it isn’t on Steam, I will not.

    Bad call EA.