Crysis 2 Is Back On Steam, But EA’s Not – For Now

By Nathan Grayson on May 30th, 2012 at 8:29 am.

Gee, it sure is a shame my magical supersuit doesn't have an almost-completely-invisible camo mode or anything.

Remember when Valve and EA didn’t see eye-to-eye last year over certain portions of Steam’s terms of service? First Crysis 2 managed to flub its camo and make a very loud exist from the download empire’s hallowed halls, and then Dragon Age 2 was like “Haha, guys, wasn’t that wild? Well, at least you still have me. Wait, never mind. Bye forever.” Speculation pinned the blame on Origin, but then, people have also been known to blame Origin for premature male pattern baldness and racism. The real reason, however, was never confirmed (though DLC policies were implicated, but not explained), and the controversy slowly died down. Now, though, Crysis 2: Maximum Edition has suddenly reappeared on Steam. So, are the likes of Dragon Age 2, Battlefield 3, and Mass Effect 3 waiting in the wings? Well, it’s complicated.

“Changes made by Crytek to Crysis 2: Maximum Edition have brought the game back into compliance with Steam’s terms of service,” an EA rep told RPS.

In other words, it was an action made independently by Crytek, sans EA’s company-wide stamp of approval. Crysis 2 is, after all, an EA Partners product, which means the developer – not EA – gets to decide the game’s fate in these matters. A similar episode occurred earlier this year with the EA-Partners-published, Trapdoor-developed Warp.

So then, what’s changed – and can, say, Dragon Age 2, Battlefield 3, and Mass Effect 3 be given similar makeovers? Well, I spoke with a reliable source very close to the matter that boiled the nanosuit-clad sequel’s return to Steam down to Maximum Edition’s lack of an in-game DLC store. The above EA proper (as opposed to Partners) games also contain that particular feature. As of writing, however, EA wouldn’t tell me if it planned to follow Crytek’s lead.

So, like I said, complicated. The way I see it, though, so long as each heavy hitter’s DLC keeps flying off virtual shelves, EA won’t bulldoze its in-game stores. So then, maybe - and that’s a big maybe - we’ll see BF3 and co creep back into Valve territory with time. For now, though, there’s sadly nothing to see here.

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79 Comments »

  1. povu says:

    So I guess there’s a small chance of some sort of ME3/BF3 ‘Ultimate edition’ appearing on Steam with all DLC included, once they’re done selling those on their own?

    • PodX140 says:

      Done selling those? Erm, so one month before they shut the servers down, which is a month and a half after they drop the price for the first time?

      This is EA we’re talking about. Monetize, Monetize, Monetize.

      • Lev Astov says:

        While I would usually agree with you, I was amazed to see ME3 on sale for 50% off this weekend. Also, I’m fairly certain that BF3 servers are paid for by non-EA hosts, so perhaps EA will let them keep paying to keep them active.

        I’m also rather confused about this “in-game DLC store” business. Neither BF3 nor ME3 had such a thing. If you clicked the DLC link in ME3, it opened an Origin browser window. The same could easily be coded in Steam so when you click the link it opens the Steam store page. So what’s the problem, then?

        • adam.jutzi says:

          The problem is that the code change would open a link to the Steam store, rather than Origin. Where Valve can take a cut of EA’s profits.

        • Deadly Sinner says:

          It’s not an ingame store problem. Steam just wants to be able to sell dlc in their store as well.

          For example, you can buy Arkham City DLC ingame in the GFWL marketplace, but you can also buy it from the Arkham City Steam Store page.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      There is still no “All DLC edition” for Mass Effect 2 so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. And I would soooo buy it. But as it is now you end up paying triple game price for the DLC that add a tiny percentage to the main game.

      • Andy says:

        There’s also the problem in ME3 of the micropayment booster packs for multiplayer.
        Bioware could easily drop them out and just let you buy the item packs with in game cash but I imagine it’s earning them a complete fortune. Especially with the recent free ‘DLC’ (which really isn’t DLC in my opinion, remember when you used to just get extra levels in patches?!).

        • Optimaximal says:

          They haven’t charged (yet) for the multiplayer DLC and it’s being delivered in, yes, patches. So I guess this is just ‘free levels & characters in patches’.

          I guess the only issue is the characters live behind a paywall unless you grind the multiplayer to unlock them.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Yeah, the DLCs are free until like April 2014 for some arbitary reason.
            I’m not sure why either.

    • ahac says:

      Unlikely.
      ME3 uses Origin for multiplayer, etc.. It can’t exist without Origin (without massive changes) and I don’t think Valve would allow it on Steam.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Valve don’t care about third-party launchers/clients (else they wouldn’t run with Games for Windows or Rockstar Social Club games)… They just don’t allow games to offer in-game DLC stores without also offering the same content via Steam, essentially cutting them out of a revenue stream.

        Most publishers are happy to run with the latter, hence why GFW:Live games such as Fable & Batman: AC have their DLC distributed by Steam. I’m assuming the purchase injects the code into the game via Steam’s downloader then gives you a serial key to unlock it in the GFW client. EA are the only ones doing things differently.

        • AttackOfTheThumbs says:

          Dirt 3 has DLC that I cannot buy via Steam (which is why I havent bought it).

      • Primey0 says:

        I doubt that. There are games on steam that require GFWL so why would games that require origin be any different?

  2. Tridae says:

    I only hope that more developers see the light and decide to produce 2 versions of the game – one with the store – and one without so that we can all get games on steam rather.

    It’s not that difficult surely? Games stores where I live sell DLCs off the shelf so I’m perfectly happy to buy it that way and insert a serial than go through the whole internet purchase business. I like myself some box sets even if it’s DLC

    • Shivoa says:

      The issue is not a store inside your game (Valve doesn’t mind selling DLC through any means, which you can confirm by looking at all the GfWL and so on titles doing just that) but the lack of an option to buy via Steam. This is what MS do: sell GfWL codes in Steam (or buy direct from GfWL) so it’s the minimum possible effort but complies with the rules for DLC on Steam.

      They don’t need to produce two versions of a game, they just need to say yes to letting people choose to buy DLC via Steam (with Valve taking their cut of that sale). The reason why a change in Crysis 2 has enabled this is the GotY box (which will likely have no more paid DLC released, the day they add in Maximum Edition DLC and refuse to put that on the Steam storefront then the game would be removed from sale again). This is where EA disagrees with Valve policy of mandating consumers have a (n optional) way of buying any DLC through the same storefront they used to buy the base game (EA want a 100% cut of all DLC sales on their titles, see ME2 and the low low price of purchase vs the £30 of DLC to get the ‘complete’ story).

  3. Cytrom says:

    ME3 would be nice. It sucks that you can buy ME1 and 2 but 3 has to be in a different collection. Don’t care about crysis 2 though.. its not like I’m ever gonna replay that generic codtrash.

    • Quarex says:

      Yeah, I am refusing to play Mass Effect 3 until/unless Electronic Arts releases it on a service that does not disparage the name of a defunct (superior) game studio.

      • Thermal Ions says:

        Think what I’m dealing with here, they’re disparaging the name of the local electricity company. With the price rises over the past few years disparaging the electricity company further is almost as hard to do as disparaging the name of a politician or lawyer.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Sorry, but Origin is a dictionary word.

        Yes, EA’s use of it may be a bit of a trade on the studio name, but it’s not like they’ve formed a first-party studio releasing casual F2P Wing Commander & Ultima spinoffs under the title or anything.

        The name is being re-used, but the heritage isn’t being raped, especially as the games are available on GOG.com with Origin credited as developers.

  4. felisc says:

    wow, 35 euros for crysis 2 + some multiplayer stuff. that is incredibly expensive.

    edit : oh and Origin removed the basic crysis 2 from their store apparently (or it’s hidden somewhere)… so that’s maximum edition or nothing. weird move.

    • MattM says:

      I think they are trying to combat the quick price reductions that have become common. Now that gamers expect games to drop by 75% in less than a year some of them are holding off buying. The maximum edition is an excuse to keep the price up by including the DLCs.

      • f1x says:

        Well, if gamers are waiting for prices to drop quickly is because frankly, games are too damn expensive

        Of course games are also expensive to make but come on…
        Call of Duty MW3 for XBOX360 here in Spain = 70euros…
        any normal or mediocre game = 60euros,

        for PC its a bit cheaper but still 50euros and sometimes 55

        So as you said, prices should standarize for pc around 35/40 euros then people wouldnt wait for the sales
        some small developers already realized that is a much better option

        • RogerMellie says:

          Economics though right?

          ‘Should’ is a word that only really exists in sentences like ‘Option X should make us the most money, therefore, we’ll do that’.

          People will pay 60 euros, so people will charge 60 euros.

        • Morlock says:

          Why are games in Spain more expensive than in Germany (45-50 Euros for standard editions)? Considering that Germany’s VAT is actually higher than Spain’s, and average incomes are also higher, I am surprised. But then I am no economist.

          • Ringwraith says:

            I’m going to put it down to the fault of the Euro.
            Everyone changed to one currency but still kept their price disparities.

          • Risingson says:

            Hi Morlock. I think it’s part of a pact with the retail distribution.

      • InternetBatman says:

        That doesn’t make sense. Valve has proven in their own research time and time again that a good sale will make more money. Hell, Risen made more during its first Steam sale than the entire year preceding, including the release date.

        • DrGonzo says:

          And what a great game Risen was. Playing through the second right now. It’s got pirates, which should mean it’s great. But it’s not. It’s really, really not.

  5. Paul says:

    Yeah Valve wants all DLC for games to be sold through steam, not through ingame stores of the companies behind the games. Cannot say I blame them though.
    Crytek should have done this immediately though, their sales could have been even better.

    • Roshin says:

      I would really like to know how much sales suffered when they removed Crysis 2 from Steam.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Probably not too badly – the people who wanted/pre-ordered the game through Steam had bought it at release (and still had access to it), the rest could buy at retail (for a lot less – it fell to sub-£20 very quickly) and the hangers-on found out how average a game it was & probably would have ignored it anyway.

        I suppose there’s a number who are still hoping for a sub-£10 Steam Sale, but EA are like Activision – they don’t tend to discount past 50% and this new Maximum Edition has pushed the RRP back up, meaning Retail is still the better option.

        • RobF says:

          EA are all over the sales in recent times. The discounts have been pretty much as deep as anyone’s (see Alice for £3 the other day as an example). They’re not as hyper aggressive as their app store sales (someone farted, EA are having a sale! HURRAY FOR FART DAY SALES!) but they do it all the same. Sometimes tucking it into the origin client but not the site for maximum weirdness.

          But anyway, yeah, the great strength of Steam is that it extends the life of a game way past what you’d get elsewhere (and other digital stores make up a tiny percentage of sales for pretty much everyone), yes it’ll be at a discount for the most part but when all bar 30% goes to you, it’s a much more attractive offer than trying to scavenge money from online passes on consoles. But the gamble with the EA DLC lark is Origin can be the same, will be the same thus keeping the 30% too. I don’t think it is that and I don’t think you can make it that in the way EA tried.

          So yeah, depends. I don’t think sales would have suffered but I suspect that post launch, they likely fell off a cliff with only scant bumps (by EA/Crytek standards) when they ran promotions. Obviously, there’s also the fact that people are talking about the company instead of the game or buying the game, that’s not much use to anyone. Much better to get all that from a Steam sale where you can rake in lots more cash and oh, look, what’s starting in a couple of weeks? Hark! Is that a Steam Sale I hear?

    • StranaMente says:

      This is not true. Dragon age origins dlc’s are sold through the bioware store, and DA:O is still sold in steam.

      • InternetBatman says:

        But they also have Dragon Age Origins Ultimate edition on Steam, which includes all the DLCs.

      • iniudan says:

        Must be because DA:O predate the policy so it was grandfathered in.

  6. mixvio says:

    If you read between the lines on this thing it’s pretty clear that the heart of the issue is EA wanting more exclusive control over customers who buy their games — the original Steam tiff involved EA demanding Valve give them access to the direct email addresses of customers and Valve said no.

    “Crysis 2 has no DLC store” makes little sense as a rationality for Crysis 2 reappearing on Steam; rather, the fact that the game is over a year old and most people who want it bought it already does. I think it’s more about EA deciding they want direct control over that period immediately following a game’s release — most sales happen in the first 30 – 90 days of a game coming out, after all, and it doesn’t take much to realise EA probably wants that cut going to them rather than Valve.

    If this was really something that Crytek decided to do, it also makes no sense to wait to do it now. Again, the game is a year old and available on Amazon for USD$5.00 (funny enough, up until EA put it on Steam, it was sold on Origin for half the price that they’re selling it now) so this is purely an opportunity to grab the last straggling customers who didn’t buy Crysis 2 already.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      It’s back because it has all of the DLC bundled with it, meaning you don’t have to buy the DLC outside of Steam. That’s it.

    • RobF says:

      The sense in doing it now is 1) there’s a summer sale round the corner and more importantly 2) it’s likely that whatever exclusive period was signed is now over so everyone can move on from it and get back to business as usual. It’s very nearly 12 months since removal, give or take a day or so and that seems almost too tidy.

      (Also, worth noting that the game launched across the digital distro stores including Steam so they didn’t chance losing the launch sales to any great degree. Unlike with Syndicate or whatevs.)

  7. dazman76 says:

    This is terrible, terrible news for anyone who may now be compelled to buy Crysis 2 from Steam. We must warn them, before it’s too late.

    • Groove says:

      Exactly right.

      We must warn them before it’s too late.

    • The Aquacharger says:

      Was Crysis 2 that bad?

      • oceanclub says:

        I found it very dull. Loved no. 1 and Warhead, but still haven’t finished 2.

        P.

      • Xocrates says:

        Crysis 2 is a slightly less linear COD-clone with a non-sensical plot, even as far as these kind of games go.

        As a straight up manshooter it’s not that bad, but you can probably get several equally good (or better) ones that will actually run on your PC.

      • Alexander Norris says:

        No. It’s a much, much better game than Crysis 1/Warhead – CryTek fixed most of the bad choices they’d made (e.g. limiting powers to the degree they did) and the game is much more fun for it. Unfortunately, Crysis 2′s plot is so disjointed and nonsensical that it’s incredibly hard to follow, and is otherwise terrible (much worse than the first one). Everything else is good, though.

      • djbriandamage says:

        I think Crysis 2 is pretty bad. The fights can be good and the graphics are fantastic but game is riddled with bad design choices. It’s full of unskippable in-engine cutscenes that blather on and on, the UI is way overhelpful and tells you what to grab and where to stand to kill enemies that haven’t even spawned yet, and there are little collectables to pick up because putting a souvenir Statue of Liberty in your pocket totally helps you save the world.

        I got the game for $10 from Origin but I’d have been happier with the $10. No way in sweaty hell is this infuriating game worth any more than that. $40 is perplexing.

      • Risingson says:

        Not “that bad”, but dissapointingly generic. Crysis 1 was not perfect: it had design choices that sometimes made it play awkwardly, but there wasn’t the feeling that it was a bad written modern COD with some effects. It was something different.

      • wengart says:

        Crysis 2 was a pretty fun game. It had some cool set piece battles and nearly all of the engagements took place in areas that gave you a fair amount of area to maneuver in. I think its problem is that Crysis 1, and Warhead to an extent, were much more striking games which tried to go for the stars but fell just short of them. Which means people remember those games when talking about Crysis. The image in my head is jungle warfare not fighting my way through New York.

        TL;DR Crysis 2 gets a bad rap because it was called Crysis, and people have an idea of what Crysis is and Crysis 2 didn’t quite make it there.

  8. AmateurScience says:

    “…people have also been known to blame Origin for premature male pattern baldness”

    I KNEW IT!

    • bear912 says:

      I blame it for the extinction of the dodo.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      It’s turned my beard grey. Oh wait, no, that’s GFWL.

    • djbriandamage says:

      You can shave your head for the fully bald look, but if you borrow someone’s razor you have to pay EA $10 first.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Is he trying to say that Origin is NOT responsible for male pattern baldness?!

  9. Shortwave says:

    If they kept it on Steam all along and didn’t try to push DLC this game would have a great online community.
    But rather they tried to milk the game, then pulled the title from it’s most popular distribution system..
    And they still want me to pay 20 bucks just for a FEW more maps..
    A few maps which are the main reason the games multiplayer died! Lol.
    Loved the SP game. Wanted to love MP badly.
    But just, no. Piss right off with your DLC pl0x you greedy jerks.
    It split up your already very tiny community. Well done.

    If you guys decide to buy this game, it IS a GREAT game.
    But please don’t pay full price, wait for a good sale.
    They seriously don’t deserve the extra coin after their terrible business ethics.

    • UnravThreads says:

      They didn’t pull it. Valve booted it. They’ve every right to try and sell DLC (it would be more bizarre if they *didn’t*), and if done right it can prolong the life of an MP game, not shorten it.

      Valve are the ones at fault here. Their logic can be understood, but it’s ridiculously hypocritical of them to allow MMOs with in-game item stores (e.g. STO, EQ2, CO) whilst booting games with out-of-store DLC off unless the publishers/developers decide to sell it through Steam as well.

      • zeroskill says:

        The only thing multiplayer payed DLC is doing is splitting the community.

      • Narzhul says:

        Their policy change only applied to games released after that change. ME2/DA:O has an ingame store but wasn’t removed, etc.

        They have every right to sell dlc, but Valve have every right to want dlc to be sold through their stores as well. It’s their store. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s better for the consumer if dlc was sold through Steam. Seen any bioware points sale, have you? Hint: It has *never* happened.

      • Mungrul says:

        Sorry, but that point about paid-for DLC extending the life of multiplayer is complete tosh. Name me one game that has milked customers for maps that has the potential to equal the Dooms or Quake 1, 2 & 3 in multiplayer longevity?
        Last time I checked, these still had active communities with freely available maps and systems that allow you to download the map you’re connecting to if you don’t already have it.
        The first game that I remember trying to charge for multiplayer maps was Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
        How’s the community over there?
        Non-existent you say?
        I wonder why that is?

        • Shortwave says:

          Right but at the time there wasn’t any custom maps and SDK had not yet been released.
          Instead of releasing the game with an acceptable and TYPICAL amount of maps they chose to split them all up and milk them. Leaving us gamers at launch with very few maps that we ended up being stuck with for ages, and likely had already played the hell of in beta.. And are mostly just taken right out of the single player campaign anyways… It was boring TBH. Than months later, after (apparently steam pulled it my bad..) and have to now force people to use their NEW experimental and highly conversational content system that was being rumored to sniff out your entire computer pointlessly just to overpay for what was it? 3 more maps or? : / Some people bought it, some people didn’t. Now all of a sudden the servers are divided up making it harder for friends to play together.. : / Servers on rotation kicking your pal without the DLC.. It sucks man, just annoying. Nobody wants to deal with that when you just want to sit down and have fun with friends. Ultimately they are forcing people to pay just to NOT be annoyed in games and easily be able to simply sit down and play with others. Far too many games have done this in the past few years and it’s terrible to see great games being ruined by it.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Didn’t this whole situation come about as a result of the F2P games with their ingame stores? Valve bought in their ruling around that very time.

        Don’t Valve sell the DLC/coin packs for the F2P games?

  10. Flukie says:

    I was one of the few that really liked the game, it had a nice polished campaign, sure it was a bit linear but it had lots of ways to approach situations, the stealth from the first game was improved on in my opinion not to mention it was just a plain stunning game.

    The amount of detail you see towards the end is astounding, so yeah I’m looking forward to the next one, but don’t expect any real value to come from the MP

    • Shortwave says:

      Pretty much this, ha.
      I was seriously addicted to the SP for a bit.
      On my first play through I refused to stop. : /
      It’s very beautiful and story aside, it’s simply fun.

  11. abandonhope says:

    After hearing about Brian Fargo’s (Wasteland 2) decision to take advantage of EA/Origin’s favorable terms for successful Kickstarter projects, I happened to compare the criticism sections on Wikipedia for both Steam and Origin.

    On the off chance that I have some long-forgotten pirated EA title on my hard drive, I think I’ll pass on ever giving Origin the chance to scan my files, revoke access to the games I supposedly own, and shower me with legal threats. That, and I don’t like EA’s adoration of the permanent $60 price-point, which had been nearly universal on Origin up until the recent site-wide sale, no doubt intended to show a softer side of EA as it coaxes indie into its toothy embrace.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I don’t know if it will in the future, but currently origin doesn’t see if you have pirated origin games installed. It might check, but it fails.

  12. scatterbrainless says:

    I am buying this right now and making a great, big “Consumerism is awesome!” face while I do it!

  13. Jamesworkshop says:

    you should mention that you can upgrade for half the price if you already had gotten Crysis 2 back on steam before the removal.

    Of course while I do like the multiplayer you won’t see the DLC maps in the map rotation, unless you download the levels and put them in the mod folder.

    Feline + SCARAB+Gauss attachment (one dead ceph gunship)
    with Loadout pro

    then a JAW for the snipers on lighthouse

  14. diebroken says:

    Wait a minute, isn’t Bulletstorm EA distributedpublished but also allows DLC to be bought through a GFWL account and not via Steam…(?)

    • Optimaximal says:

      I didn’t think the promised PC DLC ever materialised.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      it’s all over this page, but to clarify… EA isn’t disallowing their games on Steam, Valve is removing them. GFWL doesn’t have the issue Valve has, I guess.

  15. JustOneWay says:

    The original Dragon Age was on Steam from the start and still is. Almost all the DLC for that was bought through the in game store with Bioware points. (I think the Awakening expansion might have been an exception.)

    Why was it allowed for Dragon Age:Origins but not for the sequel and Crysis 2?

    Presumably there is more to it than just the presence of the in game store.

    • Narzhul says:

      That was before the f2p/dlc-related policy change. Only games released afterwards were affected.

    • drivebyhobo says:

      Dragon age 1 DLC is available on steam.

      • JustOneWay says:

        As I said, only the Awakenings expansion is available on Steam, all the other stuff has to be bought through the in game store (unless you buy the ultimate edition which bundles all of it).

        It does not really make sense that it remains if it all happened before the changes to policy either. Crysis 2 was available before and pulled. Dragon Age was available before and was not pulled.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Isn’t that what Crysis 2 is doing though? Bundling it?

          • JustOneWay says:

            Yes but you can still buy the original Dragon Age (without the bundled DLC) and then buy all the DLC for it using the in game store. As you always have been able to.

            I just wonder why the inconsistency between the way it was treated and the way Crysis 2 was treated? Presumably, as Nazhul said, there was a policy change along the way and Crysis 2 fell foul.

        • kaffis says:

          I suspect the difference is pretty simple. If your game with in-game DLC stores was available before the policy change (made in reaction to the increasing targetting of DLC as the primary revenue stream), it gets grandfathered in and kept on Steam…

          UNLESS you are releasing new DLC content after the policy change. Thus, Dragon Age: Origins stayed, and Crysis 2 got yanked.

          Makes sense — if you’re not releasing new DLC, you’re not expanding the scope of the DLC moneygrab you’re not giving Valve a cut of. And, besides, most people who would buy it have already done so. New DLC, though — who knows how much you’d pump out (and not give Valve a cut of), and nobody’s bought it, yet, so that’s actually a missed opportunity for Valve rather than just a little residual revenue from late-comers.

  16. Continuity says:

    Finally! just bought it on steam for £12.49.