Origin Offering Deep Discounts On Many Games… Er?

By John Walker on June 18th, 2012 at 10:49 am.

Well this is mighty confusing.

So figure this one out. You may remember that twelve days ago, there was quite a lot of discussion over EA’s Origin store boss saying they wouldn’t be engaging in “deep discount” sales on their Steam-rivalling service. David DeMartini (whose name sounds like he should be the star of a Bond spoof) said, “We won’t be doing that,” when asked about such services. Explaining why he added, “I just think it cheapens your intellectual property.”

Today on Origin, Dragon Age: Origins is available for £5. That’s discounted from £40 – an incredible 87.5% off!

Spore is 75% off, as is Darksiders, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, and Battlefied: Bad Company 2. 66% savings can be found on Alice: Madness Returns and Darkspore, while Dead Space 2, Shank, Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam, Mirror’s Edge, The Saboteur, Gotham City Imposters, Gatling Gears, and Batman: Arkham Asylum are all half price.

That’s half the price of their current Origin prices, of course. Not half the price of their original prices. In fact, most of those games are now available for 87.5% off their original launch price. That’s an awful lot of intellectual property EA are cheapening today.

“Occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount,” said DeMartini less than two weeks ago. “Just don’t look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.”

Uh-oh!

We’ve contacted EA to ask them why the sudden change of heart. Cheers to Lewie P for the spot.

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242 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge tumbleworld says:

    Hahahaha!

  2. Unaco says:

    Who really cares? Cheap games, all that really needs to be said.

  3. paddymaxson says:

    I hate to play Devil’s advocate but I’d just like to make a point here:

    DA:O Isn’t 87.5% off its normal price on origin. it isn’t normally £40 and they’ve only marked it as £40 to make the fact it’s £5 look like a better deal. I’m fairly sure it’s £15-20 normally. £5 is still a pretty big discount on their normal prices but the “standard” prices listed there are all goddamn lies to make the sale prices look better.

    Take that as you will, they’re either deep discounting or doing some “clever” but manipulative marketing. Or Both.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Ah thank god. Someone else noticed this, too.

      It is also just the original game it seems, while the UE ships as a physical copy free starting around 18.99 GBP elsewhere.

    • Premium User Badge LTK says:

      Interesting. They don’t do that for the Dutch localization of Origin. It just shows as €20,00 €5 here. DA:O is also the single most expensive one in the list, the others all being discounted from €15 or below.

    • Premium User Badge Malibu Stacey says:

      That’s actually against EU trade regulations. Probably why it shows a different price in Euros than pounds as EA probably forgot the UK is part of the EU since we’re not burdened by the single currency & thought they’d do the same as they do in the US.

  4. MadTinkerer says:

    Okay, this goes a way towards convincing me that Origin may be a viable service. I’m not going to jump at this sale, just like I didn’t jump at Steam’s first sale or Impulse’s first sale. But I am going to reconsider my “no Origin evar” stance, and keep a close eye on things.

    I still vastly prefer Steam, Impulse, GoG, and Desura mostly because I don’t want to add a fifth thing to that list. But I’ll think about it. (I put up with Battle.net because I already had a bunch of Blizzard games, which I registered on it. As for GFWL, I wish it would die in a fire, but it seems I’m stuck with it for part of my collection.)

  5. Premium User Badge LTK says:

    I wonder what changed their minds? Maybe Gabe Newell drove past their HQ in an Aston Martin convertible with the entire back seat filled with a pile of hundred dollar bills. He had the top down, the money was blowing away in the wind, and he was shouting “SUCKEEEEEEERRRRRRRSSSSSS”.

  6. Hypernetic says:

    LULZ

  7. Toberoth says:

    I prettymuch can’t get Origin to let me read the site in English because I live in Belgium (ex-pat). It won’t let me change the language to Dutch either (which I speak a bit of), because of course everyone living in Belgium speaks French (they don’t). Nor will it let me view the UK site for some reason. So I guess I won’t be buying anything from them. Oh well.

    Steam on the other hand lets me view its website in any language I like, and I can view all the store pages/game info in English but still set my currency to Euros, which is how it should be.

  8. Hoaxfish says:

    EA says sales cheapen IP… EA has just admitted that it cheapens its IPs.

    It’s not like anyone else thought otherwise.

  9. Buemba says:

    Hot Pursuit for $ 5.00 is a no brainer.

    If only DA2 was the same price then I might finally buy it.

  10. Vagrant says:

    While I”m sure these comments are full of EA bitching, I’ll make an almost positive comment. I read this, got excited, and went to purchase. Alas, in the US DA:O is $14.99. My Euro-USD conversion isn’t up to the moment, but I’m pretty sure the Euro isn’t 3x the value of the dollar.

    What I’m saying is, I’ll buy DA:O on Origin with no sense of disdain, just as long as it’s $5-7. (I probably wouldn’t end up playing it anyways)

  11. Metalhead9806 says:

    Those sales arent for the US.
    We got a crappy 40% 3 day sale…
    Oh well.

  12. Paul says:

    Typical example of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.
    Nice sale though. Alice is tempting, but seeing as it is on steam, I will wait for sale there. Steam is currently so much more pleasant than Origin it is not even funny.

  13. Wut The Melon says:

    I think this is just a case of a bad choice of words and equally bad quoting. The ‘cheapening of intellectual property’ theory is from public’s favourite GOG.com (which I love, by the way). They also say that they won’t do ridiculous sales so as not to ‘cheapen intellectual property’, and everyone loves them, so EA PR said the same. What he meant by that is that they wouldn’t sell games for $1 or $2.50, as Steam does, but instead at least charge some money for the games ($5 or your local currency non-equivalent). However, because he mentioned percentages instead of this absolute, everyone reacts as if they’re very surprised.

    It still makes (somewhat) sense, to me, at least, you’re all just too keen to focus on a single quote from a single interview.

    • Premium User Badge RobF says:

      POSSIBLE OTHER REASON:

      In order to deep discount effectively, you need some customers. Neither GOG nor Origin have the sort of customer base to pull it off*, so you end up with PR fluff around that issue.

      *being different to install base in Origin’s case, obviously.

  14. Urthman says:

    It was dumb of them to claim they’d never have a deep-discount sale, but it would have been equally dumb of them to list Dragon Age 2 on their site for $50 and tell the press, “But it will be on sale at 85% off in a few weeks!”

  15. zino says:

    Now remove Origin from ME3 so I can buy it. Feel free to add an extra Euro 10 charge to this non-Origin version, I’m fine with that.

  16. anduin1 says:

    Don’t see any of these deal in Canada so is this just Europe? Or is this like a NA sale that excludes Canada.

    • nearly says:

      not seeing anything on the US store either. probably Europe only

  17. absolofdoom says:

    I don’t care if Origin gave out games for free, I still wouldn’t use their “service.”

  18. IntelliMoo says:

    whOrigin can discount all they want, I for one (among many) will NEVER buy anything on there beyond what we unfortunately have to (for me, was Mass Effect 3, but I bought on Amazon tax-free and regged on whOrigin; and a dlc for a game that would not install on the Steam version of it).

  19. abandonhope says:

    EA cheapens Origin with Origin. Around the time they started getting into indies, they launched a fairly significant sale (by their standards). Now I land on the page and see a host of $70 and $80 digital deluxe editions coming at me from every direction, and a fair number of somewhat older titles that should be priced much lower than they are. EA can’t seem to decide whether they want Origin to be a friendly place for gamers that respects people’s intelligence, or one that takes advantage of younger, aspirational buyers who like the feeling of spending a lot of money on games because they think it makes them hardcore.

    Edit: Bring on the Steam summer sale. Now every purchase comes with more intrinsic value–the feeling you get from punching Origin in the balls.

  20. Roshin says:

    It only cheapens your intellectual property when Steam does it.