If you have anything even vaguely resembling a working knowledge of the English language, you’ll probably agree that Play4Free – EA’s diabolical label for its gaggle of free-to-play offerings – was painful, difficult to look upon, and probably responsible for the deaths of millions. But now, on this happiest of days, EA’s kicking it to the curb in favor of Origin Free to Play, a long-overdue reorganization under the service’s woefully anemic (though largely harmless) umbrella.
EA explained the oddly timed switcheroo in an extremely traditionally EA sort of way:
“Why change to Origin Free To Play? The main reason is convenience for players – Origin now becomes your single destination for paid downloadable PC games and free-to-play games alike. Sign on to Origin to play the latest and greatest expansion pack in the Battlefield franchise, or jump into a Need for Speed World race. That’s the beauty of integrating on Origin – all your gaming content in one place, and the choice is yours what and where you want to play today.”
You can now apply a single login to all free-to-play and Origin games too, so if you were only signed up for Play4Free, you’re now technically an Origin user as well. Hooray?
It’s a handy feature, I suppose, but this is the biggest Origin update news we’ve seen in months. And before that, we got a clock. Sure, convenience is all well and good, but it’s hard to buy into EA’s big plans for PC when they’ve yet to really go anywhere after all this time – well, except for some rather worrisome places. Who knows, though? Between this and SWTOR’s slow (not to mention problematic) move to the F2P side, maybe the mega-publisher’s just getting all its ducks in a row for something much, much larger. I highly doubt it, but you never know. If, however, that’s the case, this is one instance where I really hope they decide to do it right rather than fast.