EA + Steam: Together At Last?

Now here’s a thing. Rousing myself from hangover horror enough to glance briefly at my inbox, I notice a press release about Crysis: Warhead coming to Steam. “Oh, that’s nice”, I think before collapsing into another hour of semi-concious agony. It’s only later that I have a waitagoshdarnedminute moment – this means EA are now prepared to stick their games on Steam. Which is, y’know, a big fecking deal. I believe this means there’s now no remaining major publisher who hasn’t signed up to Valve’s world-devouring download service. Edit – apart from Vivendi, as Theory observes. I is stupid. Still, it’s a fairly momentous occasion, making it increasingly hard to argue that Steam isn’t the iTunes of gaming.

Additional, post-coffee edit – yeah, this seems more to do with Crytek than EA, but EA are mentioned in the press release, and must have at the very least okayed this. It’s a positive step even if it’s not as big as I first thought.

What this means for EA’s own Downloader service, with its unbelievably monstrous restrictions (you have to pay extra if you want to re-download the game you’ve paid for more than six months after the date of purchase) only time will tell. I do hope the stinking thing’s about to be killed, though.

Full press release about Crysis Warhead and Steam’s newfound chuminess beneath the cut.

CRYSIS WARHEAD COMING TO STEAM

Latest from Legendary Studio Coming to Leading Online Platform

September 12, 2008 – Crytek and Valve today announced an agreement to bring Crysis Warhead® and Crysis® to Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC games and digital content with over 15 million accounts around the world.

“The millions of gamers logging into Steam every week to play today’s best PC games are going to love Crysis Warhead,” said Avni Yerli, Managing Director at Crytek. “Crytek Hungary has done a terrific job creating this new experience while optimizing CryEngine 2, and we’re looking forward to delivering it and the original Crysis as our first offerings on Steam.”

“Crytek is one of the industry’s great success stories, emerging new technology and talent,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “Crysis is one of today’s leading PC franchises and delivering the original and Crysis Warhead via Steam is landmark for the platform.”

The follow up to Crysis, one of the highest rated PC games of last year, Crysis Warhead will take players through the parallel story of Sergeant Michael ‘Psycho’ Sykes as he embarks on an intense, explosive adventure on the other side of the island. With waves of more challenging human and alien enemies to navigate through, players will once again be outfitted with the revolutionary Nanosuit and an arsenal of new weapons and vehicles to help Psycho complete his critical mission.Crysis Warhead will also come with Crysis Wars®, a tailor-made experience for multiplayer gamers, featuring three diverse match types and 21 maps.

Crysis Warhead and Crysis will be available for pre-purchase via Steam starting this weekend, and expected to be released in mid September. Both games are published by EA Partners. For more details, please visit www.steamgames.com and www.crysiswarhead.com.

About Steam
The leading online platform for PC games and digital entertainment, Steam delivers new releases and online services to over 15 million PC users around the world. For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com

About Crytek
Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) creators of the multi-award winning first person shooter Far Cry®, and the recent blockbuster hit Crysis®, awarded best PC Game of both E3 2007 and the 2007 Leipzig Games Convention, and awarded Best Technology at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards, is an interactive entertainment development company with its headquarters located in Frankfurt Main, Germany and additional studios in Kiev (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary) and Sofia (Bulgaria). Crytek is dedicated to creating exceptionally high quality video games for the PC and next-generation consoles, powered by their proprietary cutting edge 3D-Game-Technology CryENGINE®2.

Development teams who are interested in obtaining a commercial license for the CryENGINE® 2 middleware should visit www.cryengine2.com.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS Freestyle TM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA’s homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

Crytek, Crysis and CryENGINE are registered trademarks or trademarks of Crytek GmbH in the USA, Germany and/or other countries

EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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