By Craig Pearson on January 25th, 2012 at 2:45 pm.
I’m fairly ignorant of what’s on EA’s Origin, which I currently think of as a Battlefield 3 launcher. But even I can’t wilfully avoid the news of more new publishers dropping games onto the digital distribution service. Not when it’s the likes of Paradox, Trion Worlds, and CD Projekt.
And over the next few months games from Freebird Games, Recoil Games, Autumn Games, inXile, Core Learning, N3V Games and 1C will join those bigger studios in EA’s attempts to distract from Steam’s presence. Trion world’s Rift has just gone live, with a number of bonuses that are not exclusive to Origin.
Is that enough? Steam started out low and slow, and was really just a Counter-Strike launcher in its early days, but that was in 2003. While Origin is building up a catalogue, it’s still missing anything compelling enough for me to want to use it. Steam isn’t just a place to buy games: the program is actually advantageous to install; Origin’s a storefront and a friends list at the moment and there are a few things it needs alongside the new injection of games from other publishers. I should feel excited about putting Origin on my PC, not resentful that it’s needed. There are beta cloud saves, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but where are driver installs, screenshots and video recording? It needs to feel useful, and yes there are things it needs to downright steal from Steam, because that’s the standard people expect from such a service.
They have a massive EA back catalogue that the could cheaply exploit. The proof is that they’re already doing it, but on other digital distribution platforms. Why not their own?
Competition is good and should be welcomed, but it should also be competitive. I know there are plenty of people that feel Steam is unnecessary, that it’s DRM, but it’s the first thing I add to my PC after an operating system wipe. I could use it without ever buying a game. Valve have made it an essential program.
Hmm, I went a bit ranty. I’m curious about other perspectives: who has Origin? Who uses it daily? Do you browse the content there? What do you think of what they have and the costs? And what would you like to see it do? Let me know in the comments.