Newell Says Valve Need To Bring EA Back

By Jim Rossignol on August 17th, 2011 at 5:41 pm.


I mean they need to bring sexy back, too, but Electronic Arts – who have removed a bunch of games from Steam and don’t intend to put Battlefield 3 on there – will have to come first, according to this article over on Develop. Valve bossking Newell reportedly said: “We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do. I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether that can now get resolved. Probably not before Battlefield 3 comes out, eh?

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207 Comments »

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  1. Blackseraph says:

    They’ll be begging to put their games back when origin fails, which I hope it does.

    • zergrush says:

      I hope EA is able to fix / improve Origin and give Steam some worthy competition. I don’t see steam’s near-monopoly as a healthy thing.

    • zeroskill says:

      Steam has had the top position in digital distribution for over 7 years now, how has that hurt the PC market, or us gamers? Not a bit. Quite the opposite is the truth in fact.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      As long as it’s a level playing field competitor, no exclusives please.

    • rayne117 says:

      Everyone says Steam is a monopoly. Oh, wait, “near”-monopoly.

      These sites beg to differ:

      http://www.direct2drive.com/

      http://www.impulsedriven.com/

      http://www.gamersgate.com/

      http://www.greenmangaming.com/ (These guys got my RO2 money with their discount code to make it $27.10)

      Support THOSE programs and sites. Don’t support Origin. Origin looks like it will only ever hold EA games. That would be a literal monopoly. Their new games would be no where else but Origin.

      Q: But but but but but, that’s what Valve does with Steam!!!
      A: Valve does not develop or publish NEARLY as many games as EA, not by a long shot. Look at how many games are actually by Valve. I imagine the number is under 15. EAs would be a few 100 (just from the past few years).

    • Bilbo says:

      @zergrush That’s too rational for RPS, you didn’t add enough foaming EAHATE

    • Bilbo says:

      garnish with UBIDRM HATE LEAVES and a dash of ACTIBLIZZ HATE hot sauce

    • Balobam says:

      Zergrush, I’d hardly call it a monopoly, what with the several sites out there that offer direct and good opposition, Green Man Gaming to name my personal favourite, got DE:HR for £19.

      But it’s not even as if Steam utilises the massive share of digital downloads it gets, it still has ridiculously good deals and even Valves own games get discounted much faster than anything else. Go look at Blops price, MW2 price, then Portal 2’s. Considering Portal 2 came not that long ago in game terms, it’s pretty cheap.

    • Anton says:

      “They’ll be begging to put their games back when origin fails, which I hope it does.”

      Do you actually have a game on Origin? Easy for you to say if you don’t.

    • Synesthesia says:

      +1 to this. I actually was ready to buy bf3 yesterday, only to find origin does not acknowledge the existence of south america. To them i speak spanish, so i MUST pay in euros. Talking to support origin froze, trying to open a new support ticket gets me into an endless loop of unrecognized users, and opening a thread in their forums gives me some pretty silence. So yeah, i hope it fails too. I want to buy my games from a distributor that actually sees and treats me like a client.

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      Portal 2 now costs €30. That’s as expensive as it was in the UK half a year ago.

      For me, getting rid of regional price discriminations would be a good reason to switch service. I’m really sick of having to pay a EU tax.

      You might have paid £19 for DE, it’s up for €42 in Europe. That’s twice the price we pay.

    • Aspongeinmauve says:

      @Synesthesia: Mate that is really harsh, I can’t believe how ignorant it is for them to not even answer to your problems in their own support. I feel really bad for you. Stupid EA.

    • zergrush says:

      “Monopoly” might have been a bit too strong.

      I use and like steam, and I do also know and use pretty much every other digital download service there is ( especially GoG and Gamersgate ).

      But I simply can’t bring myself to root against a company/service, specially when it has the resources to bring something that might eventually be beneficial to me. I simply think it’s good for the market and for the consumers to have more options.

      @Synesthesia:

      I’m also South American ( brazilian ) but Origin has a localized store for my country. They’re charging over sixty dollars for BC2, Dragon Age 2 and most recent games ”-.-

    • DrGonzo says:

      People claim its a monopoly, but I buy the overwhelming majority of my games through other sites or in shops or ordered online etc. I bet that’s true of most of you too. I think we PC gamers just need stuff to moan and be unhappy about.

    • magnus says:

      Well put, that man.

    • rayne117 says:

      By having “more” options, you’re actually having less.

      You’re not thinking about this case specifically, you’re thinking in broad strokes. EA making a download service with only EA games is 100% different from Valve making Steam.

      EA making their own service and taking their games off other services is not good, it’s not “beneficial”, it’s not for consumer benefit (though they might try to play under that guise).

    • Zogtee says:

      Just because something is popular doesn’t make it a monopoly. Valve was supporting PC gaming when everyone else would barely spit at the platform.

    • Whitechip says:

      @rayne117

      But but but but but, you can actually buy EA games on those site and that is the key difference.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      “EA making their own service and taking their games off other services is not good, it’s not “beneficial”, it’s not for consumer benefit (though they might try to play under that guise).”

      Are they doing that though? I know there’s, obviously, the whole Steam debacle, but I thought you could still buy BF3 elsewhere. You just have to install or activate through Origin.

    • Khemm says:

      @ZogTee
      Valve was supporting PC gaming? When, how, where? They were busy building their Steam empire by turning it into a store and used Steamworks to tie more and more games to it, that’s it. Every game they make is multiplatform, Left4Dead was created solely for the xbox crowd, Portal 2 was a total console port, shoddy to the point it told PC users “not to turn off their console”.
      Sorry, digital distribution was taking off without Valve, they just used their big fanbase as a lever to help them get the biggest slice of the dd market.

    • Dominic White says:

      I write for a fairly major indie games site, and the indies that have gotten set up on Steam have nothing but gushing, endless praise for Valve. Steam gives them a marketplace where they can not only break even, but *thrive*.

      Introversion would be long since bankrupt if it weren’t for Steam, along with a bunch of other indie outfits.

    • Bantros says:

      @zergrush, can’t see EA Origin ever selling other publishers games though which is why it isn’t needed

    • Shadowplay1979 says:

      @zergrush

      So we are all aware that Valves biggest games are still for sale…..on Origin?

    • Tyshalle says:

      Khemm says: “Left4Dead was created solely for the xbox crowd, Portal 2 was a total console port, shoddy to the point it told PC users “not to turn off their console”.”

      This has to be the most shockingly stupid bunch of lies I’ve heard in a while. That your evidence for Portal 2 being a “shoddy console port” is a fucking splash screen tells me you don’t even know what a bad console port is.

      And Left 4 Dead created solely for the 360 crowds? Really? I guess that explains why the console versions are getting all the L4D content updates before us… err.. wait. No, they’re not. As someone who owns L4D on both PC and 360, I can tell you fairly definitively that if anything, the 360 version was a bad PC port.

    • Bester says:

      From my understanding, Steam outsells every other digital distribution service on the internet, combined. In that sense, they are a monopoly, though probably not in the legal sense. Because they have such a huge mass of gamers that only buy through Steam, they can put incredible pressures on most publishers that want to have any significant PC sales.

      While there are other choices out there, which many savvy gamers take advantage of to price shop, most gamers that buy PC games online don’t buy if it isn’t available at Steam. That is a scary amount of influence to hold on the industry. At the end of the day no one has nearly the same influence on the industry as Steam does; Impulse, D2D, GoG, and all the rest have to follow and essentially pick up the breadcrumbs that are left behind.

      I think that more competition would be a good thing. Anytime a single company has that much market share, it just doesn’t bode well for the customers. That said, I don’t think EA is the company to do this, since they have a shady history with gamers regarding DRM and other fiascoes. Really, I don’t support any of the big game publishers in making their own store, because the potential is there for them to block the rest of the industry from their games unless you use their service. I could see that getting pretty Orwellian very easily, given the DRM histories of most of these companies. Hell, just look at Valves games which typically are only available via Steam.

      Of course, the other side of this is the clients that all of these services use. Having half-a-dozen to a full dozen resident programs in memory at any given time is ridiculous and painful.

      The ideal setup would be for there two be 2-3 other major competitors for Steam (each with roughly equivalent market share). Sort of like Wal-Mart and Target are in real life; they keep each other honest. I don’t see this happening unless someone invests MAJOR time, money, effort, and goodwill to pick up significant market share, or Steam does something really unforgivably bad to poison the goodwill that most of the gaming community passes their way.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I hope EA fails because they have draconian policies as evidenced by the EA Store they used to have. $5 fee to have access to my game again after 1 year? Yeah no thanks.

    • Blackseraph says:

      Origin would be competing platform if they would keep their games on steam also.

      Since they aren’t they are trying to build monopoly for their own games.

      That is like opposite of competition.

      And indeed steam has lots of competition already. Why exactly is origin needed?

    • rayne117 says:

      @Whitechip Not on Steam, you can’t.

    • Jimbo says:

      “Introversion would be long since bankrupt if it weren’t for Steam, along with a bunch of other indie outfits.”

      Maybe, maybe not. It’s impossible to say what the market would look like without Steam in it. It’s obviously not as simple as just subtracting Steam.

      “…the indies that have gotten set up on Steam have nothing but gushing, endless praise for Valve. Steam gives them a marketplace where they can not only break even, but *thrive*.”

      How about the indies that Steam has turned down? Their domination of the market means they can break you as easily as they can make you. It’s Steam having such an overwhelmingly strong position that they effectively get to be de facto gatekeeper for the whole platform that some take issue with.

      Personally, I think it would be healthier for all involved if Steam’s market share were spread over 2 or 3 distributors, each offering genuine competition to each other. Steam has so much market share that they can just dictate almost any terms they like and most devs would still be better off taking them than not. I’d be very interested to see the sort of terms these indie devs are currently operating on with Steam, but unfortunately it seems to be super secret.

    • Kaira- says:

      Speaking of Steam and indies, an interesting post I found. Anybody still remember how apparently Braid was turned down from Steam initially?

    • Tatourmi says:

      I would just like to add my modest lambda gamer opinion there:

      Steam suits me fine. If it didn’t, I would go buy my games elsewhere (As there is the possibility).

      Besides being a satisfactory shop I know it also supports one of the only non-indie developpers I respect nowadays.

      Most other companies have had or still have morally inacceptable practices in my opinion. This is the case of E.A or Impulse (Now led by Gamestop). By chosing where my money goes I also support one type of behavior and I don’t want to support theirs. The only exceptions I can think of might be G.O.G and Direct to drive (Especially G.O.G, which is not selling the same games as steam)

      I don’t really know what you could make with it but here are the reasons that might keep a lot of people on steam in my opinion.

    • InternetBatman says:

      How can origin fail? Once it’s set up the costs of keeping it running are probably minimal.

    • xGhost4000x says:

      rayne117,

      “Support THOSE programs and sites. Don’t support Origin. Origin looks like it will only ever hold EA games. That would be a literal monopoly. Their new games would be no where else but Origin.”

      You do realize that both Gamersgate AND Implulse where original meant ONLY for Paradox Interactive and Stardock game respectively.

      Gamersgate was developed to provide a digital platform for Paradox games, and when it got to big and more people wanted to use it Paradox sold it.

      Impulse also was originally for Stardock games, and when it became to much of a focus for Stardock they sold it.

      If EA wants to make there own distribution software let them, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do what two other great companies did?

    • sd4f says:

      “…the indies that have gotten set up on Steam have nothing but gushing, endless praise for Valve. Steam gives them a marketplace where they can not only break even, but *thrive*.”

      I wouldn’t say that the success of indies is because of valve, i’d would give credit to the market (ie everyone who buys indie games) for their successes.

      I think valve is genuinely worried about origin, which is probably why they (gabe newell) is trying to appeal to the fan base instead of two companies dealing with each other diplomatically, this fight is not really hurting them, but it is making digital distribution crappier for us.

    • StuffedCabbage says:

      When are you people going to realise that it is not competition if Origin DOES NOT SELL NON EA GAMES!

    • Premium User Badge

      bear912 says:

      Such base rage! I expected far higher quality hate and anger of RPS readers, not these low passes and this ignorant mud-flinging. This fight is not worth watching. I exhort you all to at least attempt to make your fights entertaining. More inventive name-slinging! More colorfully profane metaphors! More fisticuffs!

      I’ll show you how it’s done:
      You Origin ninnies couldn’t smell a good distribution service if your right buttock depended on it. Valve could beat the lily-scented underwear right off of your sissy-spleened EA. Take your Origin and leave, we don’t want your pitiful excuse for a download manager here. We are real men, with real pectoral muscles and strong gaming fingers, and we don’t need your kind.

      Also, @Tyshelle, well done. I like your style.

    • AreChaos says:

      One of the reasons I won’t buy BF3.

      It’s nice seeing Newell talking about this, he’s really smart, if EA is too they would put this on STEAM and they get more revenue.

    • psyk says:

      First download service that just lets you buy games with out completely tying them to that service will win eg humble indie bundle.

    • Scinadier says:

      “Why do people think that Steam is a monopoly?

      There are other digital distribution services. D2D, GOG, Gamer’s Gate, and even f***ing Amazon. And in case you forgot, there is still something called physical media. So you can go out to Gamestop and purchase your games. And for some reason, they’re never seen as a monopoly on physical media and used games. Notch has made millions selling Minecraft from his sh***y website. And if you go by the actual definition of a monopoly, none of those companies would even apply either. You have to control the production of the games as well too. Wait, control the production? Does that make Origin…a monopoly?

      Has it ever occurred to you guys that we like Steam as a service, and that a competition isn’t needed when Origin will only offer a small selection of games? The only reason why those EA games were pulled in the first place was because Valve refused to let EA have an online store in their games and advertise in game.”

  2. AlonePlusEasyTarget says:

    BF3 on Steam still a possibility?

    • Ephaelon says:

      While possible, it seems unlikely. With Origin a requirement for BF3 (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/12/so-retail-battlefield-3-will-require-origin/) it would seem redundant.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah i would think the Origin overlay and Steam overlay would really conflict with each other. Or at the very least, be really stupid to have in conjunction.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Like the Games for window live and steam overlay? It’s not an excuse! The reason is that EA wants to keep all the money in their pockets (let’s hope for them that the extra money they make offsets the lost sales through steam)!

    • rayne117 says:

      @Lord Byte

      Fantastic point. I have GTA IV on Steam and it has the GFWL overlay (which is slow and buggy) and the Steam overlay (which isn’t perfect, but it’s better than Origin’s or GFWL’s).

    • Commisar says:

      Maybe, if EA gets enough phty money from Valve, then yes. In regards to the 2 overlays interacting, I imagine it would bsomething like Mega Shark(Steam) vs Giant Octopus(Origin)

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      @Lord Byte

      As in the same way Valve didn’t let Portal 2 be played without the steam interface. At the very least, until Valve release their own games outside Steam, EA shouldn’t be required to release games on Steam just ’cause you like it best.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Fair enough, still I’m not buying it. The Halo series is supposed to be awesome, they’re not coming out on PS3 (or even timely on the PC), I’m not buying an Xbox for it / installing Orion.
      I’m the customer and just letting them know that if they don’t walk our way, they won’t get a sale from me.

  3. Forgoroe says:

    I really do hope it’ll come out on steam as well in the end.

  4. Mike says:

    This is their response to piracy too – prove their worth, rather than expecting compliance. Whether or not they’re ‘begging’, it’s far better than months of petty rivalry and sniping press releases. Good stuff.

  5. ResonanceCascade says:

    “I don’t think Valve can pick just one thing and think the issue would go away if we fixed that,”

    So still no clarification on what caused EA to leave, but if I’m reading this right Newell seems to be implying that the TOS wasn’t really the main issue — to which a lot of us say, “Duh.”

    • Gar says:

      From the article:

      “Recently, a number of EA-published games have suddenly dissapeared (their spelling, not mine :P) from Valve’s leading online game portal. Speaking to Develop, Newell said the reason why is down to “a whole complicated set of issues”.”

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yeah, I saw that, but it doesn’t really tell us anything. “Well, you see, stuff happened.”

  6. kikito says:

    No, they need to bring Half Life back.

    • MisterT says:

      Yes.

      GABE, Y U NO MAEK SEQUEL TO CLIFFHANGER?

      I mean, they freaking changed portal’s ending to give an excuse for a seqeul.

    • Prime says:

      Mr T, don’t give them ideas! They’ll run back and change the ending of Ep2, tying it off with a nice little bow and a sunset!

    • Tatourmi says:

      Hey, that is actually an awesome idea.

    • Screamer says:

      This! Oh and fuck Steam :<

  7. d3vilsadvocate says:

    I’m not interested in either Origin, BF3 or ME3. And I won’t get any of those if Origin is mandatory.

    Ah well, they will be on steam for 5 Euro before long anyway :D

    • Khemm says:

      Mandatory Origin = WAAAAAAH EVIL!!!
      Mandatory Steam = YES YES ALL OVER MY FACE, GABE!!!

      OK, makes sense.

    • PetiteGreve says:

      to Khemm (trolling Valve fans) :

      You never owned an EA game, nor heard of “developers”, nor read an article regarding working conditions under EA reign, nor made a list of studios EA bought and closed (to only keep IPs and the few veterans) the same day. You’re swimming in ignorance.

      The only things Valve mismanaged were the Kim Swift blocking (partially why she left the company), L4D2 and the currency rates policy. Pioneering digital distribution (and failing to provide perfect service on day 1) doesn’t count.

    • Stochastic says:

      I have nothing against Origin IF it offers the same selection of games as Steam, has frequent sales that are as good as Steam’s, and is overall as robust and polished a service. But that is a massive if.

    • Khemm says:

      @PetiteGreve
      I know which studios EA closed, I know about certain working conditions. So, what else is new? That’s the gaming industry for you. What can we do? Btw, EA under Riccitello’s reign seems to have improved drastically. Do you think Gabe pretending to be the good guy will be the CEO of Valve forever? Wait for another Bobby Kotick to take his place. It might happen.

    • YeOldeSnake says:

      So , keep playing Episode 2 , whenever you notice slight changes to the ending , that will be the beggining of a new hope.
      I know that it was already made to support a sequel , but valve loves secret ARG stuff , that boost their sales and have little in common with the game that it is about.

    • Lord Byte says:

      YES YES ALL OVER MY FACE, GABE!!!

      FYI Valve is a privately owned company, which means NO they don’t need to change CEO’s whenever an investor gets his panties in a bunch (or the CEO just wants a huge sending off bonus / pay-raise).

    • Saldek says:

      Honestly, Khemm, PetiteGreve shot you in the head fair and square. Roll over, already.

    • Commisar says:

      wow, somebody doesn’t like AAA PC titles, have fun with the indie versions of all of those

  8. Vinraith says:

    Savvy to the point of Machiavellian, as always. EA’s obviously done letting Valve consolidate its stranglehold on the platform, but you can be sure this is the beginning of a (wildly successful) campaign on Valve’s part to make EA look even worse than they already do, and bully them back into the fold. Steam’s your friend after all, you wouldn’t want anyone to hurt your friend.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Haha, well said Vinraith. This is either a very classy stance to take, or an incredibly clever one that just manages to look classy.

    • Premium User Badge

      tikey says:

      And to the brilliance of Newell. While EA pointed fingers at valve he’s just implying that It’s EA’s fault while looking good in the process.

    • Khemm says:

      Well said.
      Don’t worry, Valve will force even more people to create Steam accounts with Steamworks enabled games (whether they like it or not) and THEN show EA the total number of users saying “Look at how HAPPY all these millions of folks using Steam are!”.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Steam saves me time and lets me play games I would have passed over or never heard about for cheap. I couldn’t care less about how they do this, if they need to use their clout to bully other co-orperations, so be it. This is EA we’re talking about being bullied, big whoop.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Agreed, I’ve never liked the idea of Steamworks.

      I want to go back to the day when buying a game meant you just had to install it then play :(, why do I need Steams permission to play this game I just bought from a retail shop on the highstreet?

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      @Vinrath, I was wondering why Valve were projecting weakness and you explained it completely. An excellent call.

      @Brise Bonbons, It is amazing how nearly everything Valve does is like this, could be a decent thing but also happens to be very savvy for them in business terms.

    • Premium User Badge

      Zephro says:

      Because Steamworks establishes a useful software platform in a similar fashion to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. It’s good for consumers as if you want to play online, chat with friends, invite people to games, create clans, cloud save etc. etc. etc. You have a unified interface.

      This is true on the 2 other major platforms guys. Steam are way less anti competitive or restrictive than MS or Sony.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      @Zephro

      What if I don’t want all that though, why can’t I just play the game? Why do I HAVE to install steam, make and account for all these features I don’t want. Thats what I was saying, I want to go back to the days where I could just install the game and play it…

      If I want a friends list, or online achievements or whatever else, THEN i’ll go get something like Steam. But if I just want to play the damned game…

      EDIT: Also to be fair, I believe Steam is the only one that requires to be running permanently isn’t it? Might be wrong there.

    • Stochastic says:

      I think you guys have nailed it. The key to Valve’s success is that they realize that pleasing the consumer by generating goodwill and maximizing their profits are not antithetical to one another. Goodwill and consumer loyalty are massively valuable.

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      TheApologist says:

      Oh please. This is PR, sure, but it’s pretty benign, not least by virtue of being true.

      It’s hardly sinister mind-control to say ‘the best way we can get EA back on board is by making it financially the best option for them’. That’s what Steam does and it’s how Valve makes its money from it.

      This anti-Steam campaign is getting dull, not to mention a little weird.

    • PetiteGreve says:

      @Iain_1986

      “Back in my times…” – I wish we were still in the pre-2004 era too, but you have to understand this is 2011, don’t live in the past.

      Nowadays, there’s a different updates policy, a different content policy. And Steam is a good tool for that kind of entertainment. If you hate that kind of entertainment, simply boycott these games.

      Oh, and you NEVER OWNED A SINGLE GAME… hum, excuse me, but I had to say it. Even in 1995, you were buying a license (and a physical copy of the game, so you can use your license). You never owned “a game”.

      @everyone crying over Steamworks : This is Steamworks or Starforce or Securom or UbiDRM. Pick your favorite !
      There is NO choice, publishers want DRM, they’ll put DRM for all their titles.

      “But, no second-hand sales !” => recent (retail) titles force you to pay a “pass” when you register a second-hand games, while Steam often have -75% deals (if you’re really broke, you can still get these games ; btw, -75% is often much better than what you would get at the second-hand store).

      With Steamworks, you don’t need to have the DVD in the burner/reader, nor need the Securom/Starforce to successfully recognize the DVD as genuine (I bought several games that didn’t work because of that).

      With Steamworks, you don’t need a constant connection like the UbiDRM, the offline mode exists for several years now and is working perfectly (been using it since 2008 on my notebook).

      Steamworks is the least problematic DRM out there, so know who to blame : publishers.

      If you want your games DRM-free, contact publishers and propose business-compatible solutions.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Oh, and you NEVER OWNED A SINGLE GAME… hum, excuse me, but I had to say it. Even in 1995, you were buying a license (and a physical copy of the game, so you can use your license). You never owned “a game”.

      No. You’re repeating a self-serving industry lie. When I buy a book, I own that book. I do not have the right to copy that book, but I own that book. There’s no “license”, I can do whatever the fuck I want with it, as long as I do not infringe on the rights reserved to the copyright holder.

      It’s the same with software. The vendor may impose certain terms on sale (within the law), but you still own the copy that you bought. It’s really very simple.

    • Arona Daal says:

      Lets hope no Book publisher reads this,or we will get new “Printed Word Rights Management” where you have to sit in front of a web cam to open your book , which automatically closes when your webcam connection to the Publisher Guardian AI goes offline.

      Btw: i dont have a kindle or other ebook reader,I hope this still is a joke and is not reality already with ebooks.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      When I buy a book, I own that book

      Yep, but you don’t own the story in that book. You own paper and ink, but not the pattern that has been imprinted on your paper with your ink.

      There’s no “license”, I can do whatever the fuck I want with it”

      You can wipe your arse with your hard drive if you really want, take it over to your friends house, whatever. I guarantee you in a few years time e-books will have DRM if they don’t already, and every industry that ever existed would stamp out second hand sales given the opportunity.

      EDIT: Except maybe Cash converters et al

      You don’t own the software. You own the medium it is stored on, just like in every industry that deals with the distribution of information. If you photocopied a book, you are doing the same as copying a game.

      If you want to be angry consumer rights guy, use some intelligence before you do so.

  9. Tei says:

    This make me very happy.

    Repect for Valve ++++

    I hope EA realize ignoring a market of 30 million gamers ( Steam ) will be a bad idea, even on the long term. Is ok to try to push Origin all the way to the moon, but EA is still a bussines, and theres a lot of money in the Steam table, is all to EA to abandon all these money. It will be bad for EA, and bad for everyone else.

    • Khemm says:

      This, ladies and gentlemen, is Valve’s tool.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      And Khemm is it’s troll.

    • Khemm says:

      And Ultra-Humanite makes no sense.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      You have 7 troll comments on this page alone. You sir are a troll (and are now blocked).

    • Jimbo says:

      “I hope EA realize ignoring a market of 30 million gamers ( Steam )…”

      That market doesn’t really belong to Steam though, it belongs to the PC. Steam doesn’t have a hold on those gamers in the sense that Microsoft does on 360, because they aren’t the platform operator. Those 30 million are free to float between distributors at will, at no expense and with relatively little hassle.

      EA certainly aren’t ignoring them. In fact they’re quite actively trying to drag them over to Origin (or at least to stores where they can push DLC from in-game).

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      You’re right about the 30 million belonging to the PC, not Steam. But, you can’t deny that 30 million users is a lot of eyeballs hitting the store on a regular basis. At peak usage Steam has about 10% of the user base actively using the service.

      It’s hard to imagine that EA wouldn’t want a massive PRE-ORDER NOW banner for Battlefield 3 on the main Store page, much like Activision did today with MW3.

    • Khordal says:

      @khemm
      If you don’t like steam then you don’t have to use it, Personally I like steam but am completely fine if people do not want to use it for whatever reason. But unfortunately there are people like you hiding in their caverns in the depths of the internet who seem to think because they hold an opinion, they must be right and so try and force it down the throats of everyone else. Just accept that there is people who like steam and will defend it unto death, and stop trying to force people to your way fo thinking. In trying to do this you are acting just like the “Dictator” you claim steam to be.

  10. wild_quinine says:

    I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam.

    I think Valve can probably rely on Origin to do that for them.

    I mean, Valve only just got away with it with Half Life 2 and no competition. Steam was a *lousy* platform in ’04.

    • MisterT says:

      At the moment, Origin actually *is* pretty good in that it downloads and plays games for you, in a lighter client than steam.

      that said, it needs a “verify files” and some other features, but it’s still solid on its own.

    • yutt says:

      “Lighter client” meaning, lacks the features that make Steam a valuable platform to many PC gamers.

      If all you want is a portal to download games, web browsers have existed for decades. Steam is much more than that, Origin isn’t.

  11. djbriandamage says:

    If I’m forced to pledge allegiance with either Valve or EA, then sorry EA. Valve have proven themselves to have my best interests as a consumer at heart.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Whose forcing you to pledge allegiance?!?

      This whole Origin vs Steam thing is getting ridiculous, its really bringing the worst out in the gaming community with this obscene “Steam is the second coming, Origin is the devil” view so many are taking. The idea of boycotting a game just because its on steam, or just flat out refusing to even acknowledge another distribution service while blinding potraying another as almost faultless.

      Its quite a sad state of affairs to view as a somewhat outsider.

    • Mr E Meats says:

      @lain
      I have to agree. I don’t really think it matters to me, I don’t see how some people could deprive themselves of some of the good games EA comes out with just because “It’s not on Steam.” I think it really depends on how they plan on improving it. Regardless of whatever it turns out to be I’ll be happy to download it to play BF3.

      Newell still has a point, they’ll be losing some money, but I don’t think they will lose nearly as much as he thinks.

      Sorry to say but Steam doesn’t control my thoughts or purchases.

    • Khemm says:

      “Valve have proven themselves to have my best interests as a consumer at heart.”

      LOL, how delusional some people are. Ask the CS community whether Valve had its best interest at heart, forcing them to adopt Steam. Or the HL fans, millions of which barely had any internet access back in 2004. They did that to rapidly grow the account number, used CS and HL2 as the first trojan horses to make you install Steam. They use Steamworks for the exact same purpose today. THAT’s a trustworthy company?

      When the right time comes, Valve won’t hesitate to kick you in the groin if that will help them increase their profits.
      Keep living in a fantasy land where Gabe loves you.

    • PetiteGreve says:

      @Khemm :
      “LOL, how delusional some people are. Ask the CS community whether Valve had its best interest at heart, forcing them to adopt Steam. Or the HL fans, millions of which barely had any internet access back in 2004.”

      We got it gentlemen !

      The troll is a CS fan who got butthurt at Valve for putting Steam to replace WON, and failed to install WON2 (aka No-WON), he’s drowning in his nostalgia (and I bet he’s crazy-mad at Valve over “Counter-strike: Source”).

      When in 2004 he had to wait a whole week (or two) to play HL2, he decided he should hate Steam forever, even 7 years later.

      My kingdom for his opinion on the CS tactical shield/dynamic pricing, CS:S and CS:GO :D

      edit :
      PS : You know why they made Steam in the first place ? You took the time to read the papers ?
      => automatic-updating for Counter-Strike.
      Simply because they saw that everytime they launched an update, the community was split in two for several months (they had the numbers, client and server versions).
      And the CS devteam wanted to do more updates, that’s why Steam became more than WON (a “simple” server browser).

      Then digital distribution kicked in later, because Valve wanted to be more independent from retail publisher (Sierra never paid them all they money they owed to Valve, while Vivendi tried to get the Half-Life IP). Then the indies stormed the Steam store, and the retail publishers cartel was shattered.

      But yeah, keep on hattin’ Steam for being slow and/or doing the DRM job, it’s much easier that way.

    • Barnaby says:

      Regardless of the topic at hand you come off as a pretentious douche bag Khemm. Most people here can at least get their argument across without seeming combative and aggressive. Maybe once you escape your teenage angst this will improve.

      Any of my thoughts on this subject are trivial compared to how annoying 1 or 2 of these people who can’t get off their anti-Valve soapbox are.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      Khemm, i was one of those pissed off HL fans too, and i understand that steam has become this big neccassary monster, but i think what most are conscerned about is another neccessary monster retail platform.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @Iain_1986: I agree with you whole heartedly. However, I do resist having to install yet another program on my computer. I originally resisted installing these types of programs for a long time, partially because I was at uni and gaming was doing my studies no good and partially because I was fed up of constant windows reinstalls due to bloatware crippling it.

      When I first took the plunge it was for the release of elemental: war of magic on stardock. When I made the jump to steam, I uninstalled stardock because, quite frankly I didn’t want all these programs sitting in memory, clogging up my hard drive and demanding processor time. That was fine because I had finished with elemental, but now I haven’t finished with games on steam. I’ve nothing against EA’s version at all, just like to keep my computer neat and tidy, which means I will have to choose. At the moment it will be Steam as I have so many games on it that I’m not ready to get rid of in favour of a game library exclusively EA… and minecraft.. and Dwarf Fortress.

  12. abremms says:

    I certainly hope they get things sorted out. Exclusivity may be good for the business of selling hardware, but exclusivity between competing digital distribution platforms isn’t likely to be anything but bad for the consumer. Points of competition should be in service, convenience, and value.

    If Origin wants to succeed, they need to at least match steam in service, convenience and value. the fact that they are resorting to exclusivity at a detriment to thier consumers tells me that they are unwilling or unable to compete with steam in those three big areas. If they could compete with steam, I’d happily buy from Origin when they offer a better deal. As it stands though, EA has a lot of work to do.

    • Joe Duck says:

      You nailed the key point. It seems so obvious but it needs to be said over and over.
      Gabe competes by giving us more features and better service than the competition. It is expensive, yes, but it also is the right thing to do.
      How is it better service? Well, a simple example. TF2. More than 200 updates. Free to play.
      Now, go compare Steam with TF2 with D2D, Origin or whoever.
      Off the top of my head, if EA wanted to compete with service, they could for example make BFBC2 free to play in Origin. They would lose a (very small by now) amount of money in lost BFBC2 sales, true. Instead, they choose to spend 120 million dollars in advertising for BF3.
      Choose for yourselves, but I repeat, one company is being completely selfish and competing through customer service and the other is being completely and competing through advertising.

  13. GenBanks says:

    THE GABE HAS SPOKEN, LISTEN TO HIM EA

    • Khemm says:

      EA have gotten too smart to fall for Newell’s bullshit.

    • skinlo says:

      I think you have issues Khemm. Every time a Valve related post pops up, you are instantly in it criticising everything possible to do with Gabe, Valve and Steam generally. I think you are butt hurt over something that probably happened 8 years a go with Steam, and still haven’t got over it.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      “Khemm says: EA have gotten too smart to fall for Newell’s bullshit.”

      This ladies and gentlemen is EA’s tool.

    • Khemm says:

      @skinlo
      Not really, I have the same issues Valve fanatics have – that is, posting in the comments uder articles related to Valve, except I’m not fond of Steam and they are. If you like dictatorships and love the idea of preventing people from speaking their minds – as negative or positive in regard to Steam they might be – head for Steam forums, please. Oh well, you’ll find an anti-Steam crowd not liking the idea of being forced to use Steam, too.

      As for the client- it’s an unnecessary bloatware forced upon PC gamers in an effort to turn PC into a console-like platform. Windows monopoly is enough, we don’t need another one.
      Sorry, but for the last 8 years things have only changed for the worse. It used to be just a store, only Valve games were tied to it. Now, almost every single AAA release is, including indies. It’s gotten to the point a huge number of Valve fanboys refuse to buy indie games directly from devs, they THREATEN them to go for Steam releases with statements “Release it on Steam or NO SALE!!!”, depriving them of 30% of profits.

      Also, see my comment here:
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/17/ubisoft-listens-barely-changes-driver-drm/#comment-page-2

    • zeroskill says:

      Khemm, you are a idiot :P

    • Khemm says:

      @zeroskill
      I take pride in you labelling me as one, since that means you have no counter-arguments. You know I am right.

    • zeroskill says:

      You know that thing about idiots, they think they are clever.

    • Reefpirate says:

      @Khemm I’m with the guy who said this whole dichotomy is silly. No one is forcing you to use Steam. If you don’t want to, just don’t. If a game you like somehow forces you to use it, then you have a choice to make I suppose. But there’s no force involved. Also, about ‘ripping off’ indies for 30%, that 30% is a trade that the indies make WILLINGLY. THERE IS NO FORCE INVOLVED. Why would they ever give up 30% of revenues? Because Steam has a shit-tonne of users and that equals a shit-tonne of exposure for your indie game, which so far usually translates into a shit-tonne of sales for your indie game. Not all indie games are on Steam, but of all the ones I’ve seen that aren’t, then want to be. But remember, all this being said about the benefits of Steam, if you don’t like it, go somewhere else: Impulse, D2D, GamersGate, GoG, Origin, and on and on…

    • PetiteGreve says:

      @Khemm
      “head for Steam forums, please. Oh well, you’ll find an anti-Steam crowd not liking the idea of being forced to use Steam, too.”
      => ha ha, you got banned on SPUF you too ? so you though “hey, let’s talk down Steam on other forums”. How cute ! :D I used to do that in 2006 (or was it 2007 ? I can’t remember) …

      Nah, seriously, SPUF are run by == volunteer == moderators, this is not Valve/Steam at all. All they want is a “peaceful” forum, so the banhammer is swingging quite often (for no reasons sometime), don’t go there if you want to have a serious discussion over a topic. It’s better than those empty or non-existing forums on other publishers/devs websites.

      “As for the client- it’s an unnecessary bloatware forced upon PC gamers in an effort to turn PC into a console-like platform.”
      => ha ha xD One of the best troll sentence I have ever seen : bloatware (34.6 MB of RAM), console-life platform (hu what ? How a digital distribution store can be something “consolish” ?! oO)

      “Windows monopoly is enough, we don’t need another one.”
      => ha ha, you cry over Windows monopoly, but who forced that standard, so you don’t have to buy several OS to play all the game you want ? (never thought of that, hu ?) On consoles, you need to own a Wii, a 360 and a PS3 to play all console games. On PC, you need Windows to play 99% of PC games (there’s not billions of Mac exclusives iirc).
      => also, having only DirectX (more precisely, Direct3D) and OpenGL let devs optimize and track API-related bugs much more easily than if we had 5 or more OS-level API.
      We already have tons of hardware configurations (different GPU/CPU and MB NB/SB) (while console only have 2 or 3 different versions, much more easier for devs), we don’t really need tons of software configurations. Windows monopoly sucks sure, but don’t be blind over the positive effects.

      “It’s gotten to the point a huge number of Valve fanboys refuse to buy indie games directly from devs, they THREATEN them to go for Steam releases with statements “Release it on Steam or NO SALE!!!”, depriving them of 30% of profits.””
      => hu ho, so know you blame common people for being lazy ? (Steam is a heaven for the lazy people : auto-download, auto-install, auto-patch, auto-setting)
      You know that thousands of people threaten indies “RETAIL THROUGH EA/ACTIVISION PUBLISHING OR NO SALES”. When you go indie, you accept that negative part of it : people are people – Big Freaking News !

    • Tatourmi says:

      @Khemm

      This is only an opinion but:

      I really think you should stop insulting everyone you are talking with. How productive is that? What is your purpose? In a rational discussion both parties should try to reach the “Objective and indeniable truth” together, or at least an agreement, not fight over it like two dogs to which someone threw a rubber bone.

      How are your insults helping you convincing the other or helping yourself to get convinced by the other? How are they making the debate valuable? Really, there might be something I am missing, but as it is I just don’t understant you.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      “Windows monopoly is enough, we don’t need another one.”

      Ironic then that Valve are the only games company that have bothered to pro-actively support other OS’es with simultaneous releases and their “buy on Windows, get the MacOs version for free” policy, eh Khemm?

      What a twat.

  14. 7rigger says:

    If it comes back to steam I will be purchasing BF3, if only to show EA that I reward their commitment to their customers choice of delivery method.

    They should be doing a Valve and offering Origin with extras that steam players can’t get. Just like Valve can’t compete with pirates on price, so they choose to deliver on service (I believe I heard that quoted) EA can’t compete on service (until we see it running) so should be trying to win with content.

    Although I suppose keeping the entire game for Origin counts as winning on content, I just don’t know if it will pay off for EA.

  15. I4C says:

    In other words Gabe wants EA’s money.
    That is what steam is “stealing money from developers since 2005″.
    Happy EA are making a stand, others should do the same.

    • magnus says:

      I see sales of tin-foil aren’t slowing.

    • skinlo says:

      Nope, Steam allows you to buy pass publishers and go straight to the developers.

    • Coins says:

      You do realize that brick and mortar stores take a larger cut than Steam does, yeah?

    • I4C says:

      I see that fanboy hats are selling well. :)

      Steam works as a evil publisher except all they do is steal earnings from the game(around 30%), but don’t even fund it and do all they can by forcing people to use their crappy steam DRM on games they don’t even develop themselves, on top of that they only sells their games digitally on steam.

      Valve knows how to make a monopoly, credit should be given for that.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Yeah, Steam is really bad for developers. I guess that’s why I see interviews with developers raving about it all the time. Frictional, and probably dozens of other companies, wouldn’t even be in business if it weren’t for Steam.

    • PetiteGreve says:

      Muhaha, Steam stealing the developers money ! xD

      You’re really hilarious, retail publishers take 90% of the price at least, even with a 50/50 deal developers get MUCH more money from their sales, you’re so ignorant it’s amazing.

      Do your homework and see what the developers are actually saying about Steam, gosh -_-*

      Oh, and when there’s a game on Steam, the developers often sell licenses on their own website (a retail publisher like Electronic Arts NEVER allowed such thing), so you can give your money directly to the devs (minus Paypal/Visa/Google Checkout cost).
      And you can register it on Steam, to get automatic updates (AT NO ADDITIONAL COST).

      Did that for tons of indie games, that I first found on Steam (so the devs got my money, free bandwidth for the automatic updates from Steam, free forum platform from Steam, free exposure from Steam).

      But yeah you’re right, Steam is evil because it’s something new and because it’s making profits.
      Sure it was better in the past, with DVD-linked Securom, lack of patches/updates, 90% of your money going to the publisher, publisher deciding how the game should be. New and big is evil.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Magnus win’s the prize for best post of the day

  16. bitkari says:

    It pains me to say this, but if EA want Origin to succeed, they should probably keep BF3 on their own service.

    Remember back when Steam was a buggy, horrid mess? But we still ran it, right? That’s because if we wanted to play Half-Life 2, we had to get on the Steam train and ride it to destinations unknown.

    Same deal with Origin. Heavy-hitting games like Battlefield will guarantee a certain amount of players using Origin, and this is what EA need if they want to make a proper go of the PC download market.

    I can’t blame Valve for saying they’d like EA back, but could you imagine Valve allowing us to eschew Steam in favour of Origin for Valve’s own games? Exactly.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Maybe thats a stance we could see in the future (which I hope we do)….Steam can get Battlefield 3 if Origin can get Half Life 2

      A bit of give and take

    • Premium User Badge

      TeraTelnet says:

      They could also make Origin work on Macs.

      For example, buy the Sims 3 and its expansions at retail and the Mac version is thrown in free. Buy it on Origin for the same price and it isn’t. You have to buy it again from another download service to get the Mac version.

      They tried to remove all the Mac icons from the packaging shots on Origin, but they’re still there on loads of them.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Zephro says:

    Oh god the steam hate is getting nauseating in these threads. It’s all conspiracy theories and monopoly nonsense. Note: Steam does not constitute a monopoly. Nor does Steamworks.

    This article looks like Gabe has his head screwed on straight when it comes to corporate dealings anyway and manages to make EA look childish for all the snide press releases.

    • magnus says:

      But steam IS evil, it’s making a profit. If you’re favourite thing starts becoming comercial it’s not your ‘thing’ any more it’s somebody elses, it doesn’t care about you, it hates you and just wants your money. Oh, it used to be good when it wasn’t making a profit but now that seems like everybody has heard of it it’s evil must be stopped, boycotted or pirated because it’s not appealing to YOU it’s appealing to THEM!.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Steam hate??

      Most of the time these types of threads are full of people proclaiming they won’t buy something if its not on Steam followed by people saying “Why not, just use both services”.

      Most people aren’t saying “Don’t use Steam”, rather “Why ONLY use Steam?”

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      Yeah, bit of an odd statement.

      Steam hate is definitely in the minority on these RPS boards. The Steam defenders (at all costs!) are the majority.

    • magnus says:

      O.K., O.K. I’m not exactlywhat you’d call a steam fanboy, but for the sake of convenience and not having loads of differnet download clients I’l never use much, I’ll stick with what I’m used to which is steam.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      I agree with the OP – you can’t mention Valve, or indeed any download service, on RPS without the discussion getting invaded with anti-Steam rants.

      There is no way of telling whether one camp is in a minority or majority, but there definitely is a largely unreasoning Steam hate campaign, that confuses popularity with monopoly to justify its anger.

      What Gabe said seems uncontroversial, laudable even (to the limited extent that big companies selling stuff can be laudable) and yet it attracts vitriol. What’s amusing is the weird conspiracy theories that have to be generated to make it seem ‘evil’.

    • yutt says:

      I find Steam useful. Maybe others don’t. I want to buy my games on Steam, and only Steam. I don’t want a different download manager or web site for every single publisher and indie game I buy.

      If you do, fine. But don’t lecture me about how shortsighted my desire for community, consolidation, and convenience are.

  18. Randdalf says:

    I don’t feel Steam could be said to have a monopoly in the traditional sense – Steam is very much like a market place where you can set up your stall and sell your stuff. At least that’s how I see it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Zephro says:

      Because it isn’t. It isn’t legally a monopoly either. People just like bitching.

    • magnus says:

      Economics students with Socialist Workers Party T-shirts and a bizzare sense of entitlement too, I bet.

    • I4C says:

      Steam is like a Mafia, they demand a cut on anything.

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      No more a monopoly than iTunes is with the music industry. Valve/Apple go into the space early and offered what people wanted with a moderate amount of lock-in.

    • Gar says:

      @I4C

      Steam is a DISTRIBUTOR and takes a significantly smaller cut than more traditional distribution channels (about 30% vs 70%?). It also allows Developers to get their game out there without having to go through a publisher, saving them boatloads. The whole Potato nonsense helping to promote indies with the Portal 2 launch? Allowing Humble Indie Bundle games to be activated on Steam and d/l’ed on their bandwidth even though they didn’t get a cut of that pie? You sir are a moron.

  19. swordmoon says:

    It is convenient for me to have all my games in one place. I used to be very sceptic about steam. Then i slowly started using it, now I’m at the point where all the new games I buy will be on steam. I don’t want the trouble of distortion in the market. I never bought Starcraft 2 even though i wanted to, because it wasn’t on steam.(Why go to the trouble? Why should I bother if the companies don’t bother supporting a service I use for my gaming?)

    I’m worried about Mass Effect 3 possibly not coming to steam..I’d like to buy it, if it isn’t on steam I won’t. EA aren’t an exception, neither is Blizzard. I admit to buying games from GOG but they have the service and extras to justify it.

    I don’t always agree with everything Valve does. They hold my games hostage, I let them do that willingly for all the service they provide me for allowing it.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      This. If you want compete with Steam, provide a better service as an incentive. Don’t fuck over your customers. I want to buy Mass Effect 3, and I want to buy it (and any DLC they might add) through a store I know and trust, that allows me to keep the whole trilogy in one place.

      CD Projekt made GOG the best place to buy the Witcher 2, whilst still showing their customers the respect of allowing them a choice, and properly supporting it through Steam achievements and the like. EA could learn a lot from them.

    • Jomini says:

      It is convenient for me to have all my games in one place. I used to be very sceptic about Gamersgate. Then i slowly started using it, now I’m at the point where all the new games I buy will be on Gamersgate. I don’t want the trouble of distortion in the market. I never bought [Insert Valve game] even though i wanted to, because it wasn’t on Gamersgate.(Why go to the trouble? Why should I bother if the companies don’t bother supporting a service I use for my gaming?)

    • yutt says:

      Jomini,

      If you prefer an alternative service, I implore you to use it. I hope publishers support whichever system you find most convenient, rather than trying to lock you into a proprietary one.

      Steam offers community features that make playing with my friends extremely convenient. To my knowledge, no other distribution service comes close to this. Impulse was heading there with Ready2Play before GameStop bought them, but I imagine that is dead now.

  20. UnravThreads says:

    I’m confused.

    Gabe N makes it sound like EA left.
    EA have made it sound like Valve forced them to go. It’s been backed up by comments about their DLC/patching policy.

    What the frak is happening?

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      Lots of PR and being issued on both sides. EA is mostly firing a bit of FUD but at least Gabe is coming out and being fairly honest about the situation being complex. Points to Valve I think.

  21. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    “..and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam”

    This to me is quite a telling comment. I’m starting to wonder if the main issue really is the amount of money EA have to give Valve for each sale – I think it’s rankling them – Valve are implying EA will still make more money remaining on Steam despite these costs (which they would say either way), whereas EA are thinking they can make more by selling their games elsewhere without that overhead in the long term. While also starting the ball rolling on their future digital gaming distribution plans..

    Or is this all a ruse by EA to get Valve to eventually reduce their percentage cut for each sale and meet them somewhere inbetween? Perhaps Valve are being a little greedy with their sales fees, knowing they’ve got market dominance. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes.

    Also, this could end up costing Valve a lot of money too if their EA cash cow is ripped out from under them. They need to tread carefully themselves here.

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      I’d be surprised if EA is a dominating source of revenue for Steam compared to the rest of the store. EA’s got a lot of product but they’ve routinely delivered games late to Steam and a lot of their releases this year aren’t evergreen and died out after a month or two.

  22. grundus says:

    EA obviously had this all planned out, and they’re unlikely to go back to Steam for that reason. I mean, come on, do you really think a TOS dispute would escalate this quickly? EA either value the extra sales they get on Steam or they’d prefer to keep 100% of their profits instead of giving Valve a cut. It’s clear that they wanted to go the latter route and Crysis 2 was the catalyst for the change, it’s not as if EA woke up one day and decided to read the TOS and got a nasty shock. They knew exactly which part of the TOS they’d use to break their contract with Valve, and they did that because it gave gamers a reason to be sympathetic with EA, if they’d said ‘sorry guys, we want more money so it’s Origin or GTFO’ then the entire gaming community would have been up in arms, instead of just the 80-90% it seems to be now.

    Then with Battlefield 3, EA knew that was their chance to push it. The same point has been made with EVE, MW3 and Diablo 3: It takes a big release to bring change, right? EVE had the whole money for stuff disaster (which admittedly isn’t a good example), MW3 has the whole Elite thing and Diablo 3 has the online-only thing and the marketplace, and now EA have BF3 to force people into using Origin.

    Frankly, Origin won’t cost me anything and BF3 was always a preorder for me anyway, so I don’t really care. I probably won’t get ME3 if I can’t use my Steam ME2 saves with it, but that’s another game I’d pay full price for to play ASAP. Other than that, EA have little on the horizon that interests me.

    Anyway, yeah, I can’t see EA sharing their catalog with Valve, at least not as near as BF3. If Valve really want them back they’d offer all sorts of incentives to EA and probably give Activision and maybe a few other publishers the chance to demand the same deal, and I can’t see them trying too hard to get EA back. At best EA might release games on Steam after their sales have dropped off or give them smaller releases to help their sales, but for something like BF3, they don’t need much help shifting that. They could probably care more about the people saying ‘no Steam, no sale’, in fact this whole thing might encourage them to be a console-centric developer which would suck for Battlefield games at least.

    • IDtenT says:

      “I probably won’t get ME3 if I can’t use my Steam ME2 saves with it”

      There is zero reason to think that would be the case. I’m 100% sure you’ll be able to that, unless a technical issue arises, but there shouldn’t be one.

  23. Sorbicol says:

    The probability of EA games returning to Steam will probably depend on how much of a “success” Origin is – i.e. how many people are prepared to put up with it in order to be able to play Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3.

    Unless the sales of Battlefield 3 are really disappointing, I can’t see any decision being made until after ME3 has been and gone. And then that will probably bleed into The Old republic and possibly even Dragon Age 3 by that stage in the game as well.

    As for Origin, I had to download this in order to get the BF3 alpha to run. Annoying but not unexpected. It’s……. fine. Sits in the background, didn’t really do anything really annoying, didn’t really get a chance to try out the friends features though as non of my friends were in the alpha.

    Yes, given the choice I would much prefer to keep all my games on steam but I’m not going to throw my dummies out of the pram over it.

    Look at it this way – at least it isn’t GfWL.

    • Baf says:

      “At least it isn’t GfWL” is exactly what I thought on reaching the words “didn’t really do anything really annoying”.

    • TormDK says:

      People that knock origins are just used to Steam. It’s a perfectly fine service as it is.

    • MisterT says:

      All aboard the “actually tried origin, it’s not bad” train
      CHOO!
      CHOO!

      Hell, I now have BC2, MOH, BF3 pre-order and ME2 on it (combined cost of $70 CDN)

  24. Silphatos says:

    leave Brit EA alone!

  25. Danarchist says:

    Ya know what I would really like? A game download service with a store that isn’t 80% pre-order, 10% available games, and 10% paid addon’s that are purely cosmetic.
    I no longer pre-order anything after being burned so many times, the crap they give you for pre-ordering is not worth spending $60 on a game that is complete crap on release day. After dragon age 2 I wait for reviews. But if i go onto the steam store page I have to scroll through pages of pre-order crap just to find one game I can play right now.
    It’s the boondoggle of the gaming industry.

    • skinlo says:

      You are obviously using Steam wrong.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Indeed, you are doing it wrong. There are filters and ordered lists you can use on Steam if you’re really getting bothered by the pre-orders.

  26. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    Modern Warefare 3 sales/activity should be more than enough convincing right?

    EDIT: Oh look, massive MW3 PRE-ORDER NOW banner on Steam today. Imagine that.

    EDIT EDIT: That all said, glad to see Valve is talking about the situation finally. Looking forward to reading the Develop interview, since their Portal 2 interviews were great reads.

    Valve doesn’t speak publicly a lot, but when they do it’s usually worth listening to.

    EDIT x3: Also interesting that he references Ubisoft as well. Isn’t there some speculation about the next Trackmania having it’s own update client or something that would put it in the same situation as BF3?

  27. FakeAssName says:

    Gabe pre-Caspian trailer: “HaHa, run if you dare EA! we don’t need you! you ain’t got shit that will get people to use Origin!”

    {insert gamescon}

    Gabe post-Caspian trailer: “oh fuck me! All PR thrusters to full reverse, All PR thrusters to full reverse!”

    • skinlo says:

      Well considering this is the first time Valve have mentioned this, we don’t actually know whats going on here.

    • FakeAssName says:

      Gabe/Steam sat there saying nothing while titles started dropping and EA pointed the finger directly at them each time.

      If anything EA had said was technically false Valve would have leveled a lawsuit or at least refuted it; they didn’t, so that leads me to believe that everything EA said about it being Steam that was pitching their games out due to non-compliance with their DLC mandates was true.

      The whole thing stinks of both sides playing hardball:

      EA said “f-your stupid terms, they are our games so we will run them how we want to.”

      Steam said “whatever, try it and we will throw out any game that bypasses our “steam version/steam DLC only” laws.”

      EA said “fine” and walked off …

      Crysis 2 and DA2 were small fries but now that EA has flopped it’s meat cannon on the table, and the table creaked, Steam is suddenly unsure that calling EA’s bluff was such a good idea.

    • PetiteGreve says:

      EA wanted to have its own store to run its own “Special Deals”, “Super Summer Deals” and similar marketing stunt. Also, to stop giving Steam the x% cut.

      Valve said nothing so far because they don’t want to PR-attack EA (hoping they could bring some old titles back on Steam), that’s why they didn’t say “EA IS A BUNCH OF LYING SCUMS”, acting like a 12-years-old-kid with EA wouldn’t be smart. If the TOS was the real issue, EA would have provided much more details. EA just want to go FFA, let them try, they could end up with pretty good ideas and services.

    • zeroskill says:

      “EA just want to go FFA, let them try, they could end up with pretty good ideas and services.”
      Like EA downloader? :P Yeah EA has BIG history in “pretty good ideas and services”

  28. Adekan says:

    Bottom line, I’m not going to use two digital download services. I’m happy with Steam, happy enough in fact to not purchase BF3 ( a great looking title in a series I have loved since 1942 ) on principle alone. I won’t be bullied into using these clients. I already refuse to buy/play any game that requires GFWL, despite how much I might like them. I purchased DiRT 2 and GTA 4 and have barely done more than attempt to deal with the obnoxious GFWL client before ceasing to play them. Since then I avoid any other ” service ” forced on me when I buy a game.

    Steam offers genuine advantages to using its client, such as the overlay ( which is a godsend when I bring it up and realize i’ve been playing a game for 6 hours and it’s now 1 am ) the Social stuff which I honestly don’t care much about, although keeping track of what friends are playing is helpful. The Steam sales are frequent and actually offer games i’d want to play rather than bargain bin trash, and the Steam messenger took the place of MSN messenger pretty much the second I started using steam back in ’07

    Origin may offer these same services, but why would I change now? Most of my friends aren’t going to migrate over. On top of that, EA is not a company I place any amount of trust in. They have done nothing to garner my good will or trust, the myriad ” Due to compromised information you must change your EA passwords! ” emails I’ve received in the past only serve to further cement the belief that EA isn’t worth trusting with anything of mine, let alone sensitive credit card/paypal account information.

    Boy, this got a bit wordy. To close it up, i’ll say this: I hope they come back to the Steam fold. I would love to play BF3 and future EA titles.

    TL;DR Version: Steam is run by a competent, security aware company, Origin is run by EA, which is neither of these things. The choice is obvious.

    • Commisar says:

      well, ok, but please not that you are most likely never going to play another Bioware, DICE, Command and Conquer, Medal of Honor game again. Origin is a 20megabyte client, your PC can handle Steam and origin at the same time, if you don’t like EA using games to leverage origin, talk to Valve about HL2 and Steam back in 2004.

    • metalangel says:

      @Commissar: I can live without EA’s games, too. No game is worth this hassle.

  29. smg77 says:

    Even if Battlefield 3 comes to Steam I doubt I’ll buy it at this point. EA has been loathsome about the entire situation. There’s nothing wrong with them creating Origin and trying to compete with Steam but the way they are going about it (refusing to sell their games on Steam and forcing people to use Origin if they want to play) is all wrong.

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      So it is wrong for EA to only have their games on Origin , but it is okay for Valve to only have their own games on steam. Gotcha, that seems totally fair.

      —————————————————————————————————–

      [And for the record, I have equal amounts of respect and trust in both EA and VALVE; ie. Not much. Both EA and VALVE are equal in that they are large, obviously profit focused companies, can we please treat them that way. VALVE isn’t the holy messiah you know.]

    • Commisar says:

      All they are doing is leveraging to big games to try and attract people to origin. its good business sense, and if it horribly backfires, they can always put the games back onto Steam.

    • zeroskill says:

      Valve and EA are nothing but equal, saying so is an insult to Valve.

    • celewign says:

      @trig

      the situation is a bit different now. when valve released hl2 they were the only digital distribution platform on the market. they weren’t “locking out” any other excellent services. EA is only allowing dd downloads from their platform.

      i personally dont trust EA. I really want this game, and would probably preorder it if it were on steam. since its not, and since it relies on some new client i haven’t used i will approach it carefully and the plus or minuses of the client will figure into my purchase (which would not happen if it were on steam because i am familiar and happy with steam).

      EA has not necessarily lost a customer on me with this origin thing but theyve lost a preorder and they’ve lost a guarantee of a sale. i think i represent a fairly normal viewpoint from a normal pc player.

      basically EA is weakening my resolve to buy this game, which was pretty strong after watching the caspian video.

      edit: i did buy 2142 through the EA download manager and it was horrible. it won’t return my password to me and makes me use some awful letters numbers and caps 8+ digit password every time i have to reset. and it downloads slowly last i checked (which was, granted, over a year ago). so im not a really trusting soul.

  30. somnolentsurfer says:

    So long as they get it sorted before Mass Effect 3 comes out. I’m unlikely to buy any other EA games before then, but I’d quite like to have the whole trilogy in one place.

    And I’m all in favour of competition for Steam, just do it the CD Projekt way, by actually providing a better service, not by removing games from the stores where your customers want to buy them.

    • Commisar says:

      sorry, but I guess you won’t be playing ME3(on PC at least), if origin is a success, or even breaks even, this will become the standard for all new EA titles on PC. So say goodbye to any Bioware, DICE, C&C, and any other EA PC games.

  31. TheGameSquid says:

    Competition is good.

    That is all.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Indeed it is. Removing your product from a leading store because you know your own sucks to hard to compete is not. Posted it several times already on this thread, but GOG are showing the way here.

    • sd4f says:

      meh, origin and steam are different cheeks on the same arse!

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      @sd4f

      This analagy is the truth, for sure to be sure.

      [Edit]
      ANALagy hehe….if anyone wants me I’ll be in my room.

  32. Kaira- says:

    I don’t give two shits about Origin. Or Steam, for that matter, except I’d rather see Steam having much much smaller market share than it currently does. Why? Because I loathe the fact that when I buy a game, say, New Vegas or Human Revolution, I have to tie it to my Steam-account and thus make it completely dependant on a 3rd party to provide me access to a game I bought as a boxed copy. It’s shit like that makes me want to buy games on console toys instead of PC.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      I agree that tying to a 3rd party to play a game is a negative, though it comes with trade-offs in the service Steam offers. But just with respect to the consoles reference – surely that is even more the case there? Their d/l services are more restrictive and restricted. You have no choice of who to buy from, some PSN downloads are bound not to your account but to specific hardware, and once PSN goes away I will be unable to get my games again. And for disk based games, the hardware gets replaced every 5 or 6 years with no guarantee of backwards compatibility.

    • Kaira- says:

      The thing is – I don’t want nor need the services Steam “offers” me, I can use Xfire just fine.

      Obviously digital services on consoles are even more restricted than on PC – a reason why I don’t use them (except I bought Worms 2 from XBLA to have some good time with my fiancee).

      And as for disk-based games, yes, hardware can (and probably will, I’m afraid) prove troublesome after this generation passes, so to speak. Of course one can hope that there will be ways to fix hardware faults, but never to be sure. Though my NES has been going strong for… I don’t know how many years, as well as my PSX and PS2.

      The point which I was trying to make though wasn’t quite this, even though you raise interesting points. I was mostly thinking about reselling your games, which account-tied thingy makes quite impossible. Not that second hand PC-games are doing well anyway, but still.

    • Commisar says:

      well, it looks like your solution is to never buy another PC game ever again, unless it is from GoG.com. I for one am going to LOVE playing BF3 on launch day, and love playing ME3 on launch day 2. Having 2 20 meg clients running at the same time shouldn’t be an issue. But, if you’re that worked up about it, then have fun never playing a big budget PC game ever again because DRM, in whatever form it takes, is not going away any time soon

    • Prime says:

      We can dream, Commissar, we can dream. The fundamental irritant behind your kind of thinking is that in your view we are powerless to do anything about the things we’re experiencing: “We can’t change anything, so why fight it? Why deny yourself?”

      Tell that to the two simple individuals in the UK who took MacDonald’s to court and won, ending MacDonald’s tyrannical reign of terror over the press, their legislating the hell out of anyone who dared print a negative word about them. Two individuals spoke up, not having any legal training between them, and fundamentally changed the way a mighty corporate entity operated. Awe inspiring, isn’t it?

      What people like you don’t quite grasp is that for some of us an injustice cannot be tolerated. And it doesn’t matter how pervasive, how big something is there is absolutely nothing that says it will always be this way now and forever. In that context, raising our voices matters. DRM is founded on greed and stupidity, harms consumers (which is why Valve go to great lengths to counter-balance that with stuff you’ll want/like, although note they’ve not taken that harm away just covered it over. We apparently hate Ubisoft more precisely because they don’t bother with this nicety. They just DRM and to hell with how it hurts) and therefore should never be blithely accepted. Piracy has always existed in some form – back in the 80’s they’d copy the tapes by covering over the little open tab on the top with a bit of sticky tape – but that hasn’t stopped gaming from becoming an industry that rivals Hollywood. Punishing consumers with DRM is wrong.

      That’s a ideological position, and yes it does make living in this particular world a constant challenge, but this is who we are and how we wish to live, dreaming and hoping for a better tomorrow.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      @Prime

      McDonald’s won, didn’t they? (Albeit in a supremely Phyrric way).

  33. Premium User Badge

    icedon says:

    Fuck region locks!
    As far as I know, Steam is the only digital service wich uses region locks to make you buy the most expensive version of a game.
    For example: If I want to buy a US Version of a game and then try to activate it on Steam, I could be screwed. So, I am actually happy for any competition Steam gets. I am not so sure about EAs intentino about region locking so we will see.

    • Kaira- says:

      As far as I know, pretty much every DD-service sells you games with price based on where you reside. However, GOG is the only one that I know that doesn’t use GeoIP, but rather trust their customers to tell them honestly where they live.
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/10/er-australia-gog-drops-geo-ip-check/

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Every download service that has DRM provides some kind of “territory control”, whether they achieve it through Steam, GFWL or some form of publisher online service. It’s just usually it’s used to fix a street date, so games can’t run before they’re supposed to be out in that country. It’s Square-Enix who are abusing that to fix prices, not Valve.

  34. db1331 says:

    The funny thing is, I tried to use Origin and it wouldn’t let me. They gave me all these free games to lure me to the platform, then was unable to launch them. So I added the .exe’s for the games to Steam and haven’t looked back.

  35. JohnnyMaverik says:

    @ The people calling Steam a monopoly. Steam don’t make games exclusive to steam. Even games that use Steamworks are allowed to be sold through other services, many choose not to, but some do. Only Valve’s games are exclusive to steam, and that’s kind of fair enough really. A monopoly is where a company will force people onto their service and block all competition, steam doesn’t do that, sure you have to install steamworks games through steam, but that’s the DRM side, you don’t have to buy them through steam, even digitally.

    The thing about EA is that they seem to be edging toward a scenario where all EA games will be exclusive to Origin, that’s a hell of a lot of games, a hell of a lot of big names. Sure you can still get them in brick and mortar for now, and some even on services that aren’t steam like D2D, GOG (note: not American McGee’s Alice, which I think is a massive shame) (not sure about impulse or Gamersgate but I presume so) but Valve pissed off brick and mortar stores, especially here in the UK despite bending over backwards to appease them, and only in so doing have they managed to just avoid brick and mortar stores boycotting and generally kicking up a major stink about steamworks and the general success of steam. I doubt EA will do the same, and looking at the digital vs. physical retail stats as of late, I’m not sure they’ll care either.

    Monopoly? Still no, not unless they start selling other publishers (unlikely) or indie games (still unlikely) through Origin and making them exclusive to the service, then maybe, but even as it is, it’s going to be a lot closer than Steam has ever come to being one.

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      Re: Retail boycotts.

      Impulse stopped carrying MW2 after Activision announced they were using Steamworks for the matchmaking, etc. What’s amusing is that now we’ve got confirmation BF3 is requiring Origins even for retail games, Impulse is still carrying BF3 despite containing software that would be competitive to Impulse.

  36. Calabi says:

    See I think its good that steam is so big. The trouble with the pc used to be that its such a fractured market. The reason why Apple takes off big with its app store and whatever is because its the simple straightforward reliable where you can get all these cool things you want.

    The pc especially now while its in decline(and it is, phones and tablets are taking over), needs some central figurehead, like steam where people know its good and reliable and they can get all this cool stuff from.

    I’m not saying its good that steam might be a monopoly. Steam will always have competition. But if things are just all over the place with no big player, consumers wont be interested, most dont hunt around for the best places and prices. Its why Amazon took off.

  37. passingstranger says:

    This feels a lot like the way movie streaming is going at the moment. Netflix is the platform that’s convenient and has the most good will of any such company, but content providers see that it’s popular and decide that they’re going to make the next Netflix. So they pull all of their movies and TV shows to put on their new service, which promptly fails due to lack of content.

    They’ll eventually come back, because the smaller percentage of revenue they get is a whole lot better than how they do on their own, but it’s a pain for users in the meantime.

  38. magnus says:

    Re all this steam bitching: where’s the praise for Origin or the other download sites, these people must be getting their games from somewhere, but where? It’s an empty argument when alternatives are not given.

    • Kaira- says:

      I guess that you didn’t read this thread, lots of alternatives have been mentioned, such as Gamer’s Gate, GOG, Impulse, Green Man Gaming and D2D, for starters.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Even though G.O.G doesn’t really count as an alternative but yeah, alternatives have been given sir.

  39. Lord Byte says:

    In other news: ” YES YES ALL OVER MY FACE, GABE!!!”

  40. Armante says:

    I’m thinking Gabe saw the BF3 trailer with all the planes, helicopters and shooty tanks, and figured he wanted in on some of that :)

    /troll

  41. Tatourmi says:

    I just wanted to ask one thing that really fucks up my mind about this:

    Aren’t steam games distributed by E.A? I’m pretty sure I sometimes see their logo on titles like l4d or portal and yet this sounds so nonsensical.

    • Joe Duck says:

      Of course you are right. EA has been the distributor of disc versions of all Valve games since Valve quit Sierra. And to my knowledge, this has not changed.

  42. Unrein says:

    ZOMG surely this is another kernel of proof of the GAMING ILLUMINATI LEAD BY NOTCH AND GABE NEWELL! How Machiavellian their calculations for optimum PR! 1984! ILLUMINATI! MACHIAVELLIAN! STEAM PROBES YOUR BUTT WHILE YOU SLEEP! YOU ARE BUT SHEEP!

  43. PersianImm0rtal says:

    Please I urge you. If you love PC gaming join the Battlefield 3 boycott today!

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/bf3boycott

  44. Bart Stewart says:

    Everything I’ve read so far says that this slapfight is not about the Main Game at all. It’s about the follow-on DLC sales.

    Apparently Valve are insisting that if the Main Game is sold through Steam, then any/all DLC for that game also has to be available through Steam. For their part, EA apparently (again, this is just my reading of the public comments from all involved) feel it would be a bad idea to allow Steam to dictate any terms to them, so they are taking their Main Game and going home (to Origin).

    If that is an accurate reading, then Gabe Newell is being a little disingenuous. The things he’s quoted here as saying are all perfectly sensible, but he’s (deliberately?) not saying anything at all about the actual source of contention.

    I’m not even suggesting Newell’s position on DLC is wrong. I can see the possible point that it is necessary for a digital distributor to be able to to provide the DLC along with the patches for a game in order to properly support that game, and to insist on that as a matter of effective business practices. The problem I have is with the principals in this little drama not simply coming out and saying so, if that is in fact what’s going on here.

    What makes this rather fuzzier is that it makes sense for EA to stand up their own digital distribution system. Even without the comments made by EA during their investor calls to describe their “forward-looking” intentions for digital distribution as part of their overall five-year strategy, it’s simply smart for EA to not only distribute its own games digitally but to try to elbow its way onto the playing field as a distributor for other peoples’ games as well. EA is big, but Steam is getting big; EA can’t afford not to get into that game. The only thing that’s been holding them back has been retailers, with whom EA has maintained a happy monogamous relationship in public… until now. I guess somebody at EA finally decided Steam was getting too successful and pulled the trigger on Origin.

    My free advice to EA and Valve: sort this before it snowballs and really starts costing you money.

  45. Premium User Badge

    CelticPixel says:

    I don’t trust EA as far as I can throw them. Thanks for my incompatible Mirror’s Edge DLC! Sometimes I think about it to stop my brain from hurting while trying to figure out how to buy Mass Effect 2 DLC; So I need my Cerberus Network code, which I input, where? Wait, it’s not recognised? Then I sign up for EA download manager? Now I sign up for BioWare Social Network? I have to find the hidden link somewhere? Now I have to buy points? I can only buy set amounts of overprice points? I’m so glad EA want to take control of their own DLC and stop Steam from providing me with a convenient and effective service that works.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      I don’t mind using Origin and Steam, and I do put some trust in EA wanting to make money from Origin, which will only happen if they provide a good enough service to make people want to use it.

      However, you raise a good point that EA’s sign-in policy is all over the place. I’m hoping they followi through properly on their promise that Origin will integrate all the Bioware and other EA companies’ set-ups in to one Origin pass. (And get the achievements sorted as well, maybe with an EA gamer-score). And the Bioware DLC distribution (you have to download it yourself, and keep track of the ones you have installed and those you haven’t, for pete’s sake) is just plain embarassing in this day and age.

  46. jiminitaur says:

    What Newell didn’t come outright and say: Steams job is now to convince EA that customers not only shouldn’t be screwed over with hidden content distribution system inside games that force them to sign up for multiple services from providers of questionable service reputation, but that not allowing a 3rd party distributor to protect customers in that regards is going to limit EA’s value in the market place over the long run.