No Battlefield 3 On Steam, EA Explain (A Bit)

A post on the EA forums has thrown a bit more detail into the blaze of speculation surrounding Battlefield 3’s failure to appear on Steam. While we’re still not precisely sure what it is in Steam’s terms of service that preclude its inclusion, it is, as many speculated, down to how Steam restricts DLC and patch distribution on their service. The author of the post explains: “EA offers games to all major download services. Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices.”

More on EA’s own policies appear here. I don’t think expect this will be the end of this particular power struggle.

314 Comments

  1. Jumwa says:

    It’s funny how EA is the only company to have ever chaffed at these “restrictive” measures, and only after their own download service launched.

    Valve aren’t saints, and I’m not presuming much on things especially with their remaining quiet (for whatever reason, good or bad), but somehow I doubt this is really all about them playing hard and unfairly with EA.

    • Nalano says:

      Seriously.

      It’s like EA complaining that Valve refused to allow them to set up a kiosk right outside the Steam store for the purposes of avoiding distribution fees.

    • Burning Man says:

      That is a very nice summary of the entire mess.

    • Archonsod says:

      They’re not. Ubisoft has had problems with it too, but they just removed the offending titles without complaining about it.

    • Nalano says:

      Because Ubisoft has a stellar reputation of having a principled stance and a good rapport with customers.

    • bleeters says:

      Funny, I don’t remember ever being forced to use Origin to obtain EA dlc from games pulled from Steam anyway.

    • gwathdring says:

      @ Nalano:
      I think it’s more like Steam offering to sell EA’s vacuums at their store. They also offer to handle repairs and upgrades, as long as EA sends over the parts and the instructions for how to use them. EA also has to make sure that those instructions and parts are compatible with the existing methodologies of Steam’s repair guys. EA says that they really want to use some upgrades that don’t work well in that system and–either in a pleading or a underhanded and resentful way, I don’t know the details of the disagreement–considers setting up a kiosk right outside Steam’s store for customer convenience and including coupons in the products they sell through Steam. Steam, understandably, takes exception to this and either kicks the products out of the store or asks for a different solution at which point EA takes their products from the store (again, don’t know the details).

      In other words, both companies seem to want/need more control over the product than the other is willing to allow. The specific details that would allow us to tell how reasonable any of this is are being kept to vague for anyone to really accuse either EA or Steam of being childish or unfair to customers. As such, since the product belongs to EA … I’m going to side with letting the publisher decide how their product gets distributed. It’s the same thing Valve does with their games … only Valve doesn’t also offer those games outside of their DL service. Whether EA is going to tie all of their future games form all distribution platforms to Origin as Valve has done with Steam remains to be seen.

      But they haven’t done so yet, which gives them points in my book. One of the only points they have over Steam with me so far (the others being related to healthy competition and such, so nothing for EA to write home about) and they may well lose it in the coming months. But we’ll see.

    • Bilbo says:

      “EA are the only company to have complained about this”

      – Only that’s total crap. Plenty of games and other services don’t make it to Xbox 360 for this exact reason.

    • jezcentral says:

      I wish EA would actually say what the problem specifically is, rather than a generic “It woz the downloadz wot dunnit”. Give us book, chapter and verse.

      Despite several announcements from them, I’m no clearer on the issue.

    • Parthon says:

      I get the impression it’s because Steam refuses to give out customer email addresses in order to allow EA to spam users about DLCs and other products.

      Either that, or EA is trying to get around Steam’s 30% cut for DLC sold on steam.

    • coledognz says:

      At the end of the day, the game is published by EA so they get to decide how it’s distributed. And that’s that. People need to stop acting like Steam is entitled to distribute the game.

      & @Parthon EA doesn’t spam it’s users. You have to opt in/out of the promotional offers when you create an account. Also the 30% is if i’m not mistaken the highest cut of any digital distributor.

    • Nalano says:

      @ gwathdring

      Your alternative falls flat because EA simply doesn’t care about patches and maintenance et al. EA cares about DLC and not wanting to share profits. The other download services give people the game and then those same people must then buy the DLC straight from EA.

      So it’s still pretty much EA wanting to set up a kiosk right outside of Steamworks so they don’t have to give Valve a cut.

      That they’re trying to make this out to be a “we’re doing this for the customers” schtick is full of bull and shit.

    • Thomas says:

      @Parthon:

      Valve does allow an optional newsletter signup, Telltale, for example, uses it and i think Ubisoft does too.

    • Jumwa says:

      @ Bilbo

      Why are you talking about the 360? What’s that have to do with anything here?

      Also, if Ubisoft has complained about Steam on this issue then I’m only more convinced EA is in the wrong. Excuse me if might be accused of indulging in hyperbole, but Ubisoft is the biggest blight on PC gaming right now (though Activision-Blizzard seems to be competing for the spot). So many fine looking games I’ve had to pass up because of their anti-consumer policies.

    • StuffedCabbage says:

      I’m no fan of EA. In fact I think they’re a bunch of assholes, but I don’t see why you people have a problem with the fact that EA wants to sell their own games and/or their own DLC “via a kiosk outside of the Steam store.” It’s their game, and I think they have the right to refuse/protest whatever restrictions Steam is imposing on them. They have their own digital distribution network now and they seem to be the only ones with the balls to stand up to, what is seeming to be a bully in Steam. I, like all you people don’t know what the problem is, but do you honestly think that EA is stupid enough to restrict or lose sales of their games just to spite Steam. I know they are a bunch of stupid pricks in suits, but I don’t think they are that stupid. Steam must be doing something that nobody likes and EA, thusfar, are the only ones to say, or do, anything about it.

    • Bilbo says:

      @Jumwa read my fucking comment, I don’t need to make it any clearer

      360!?! WE ARENT TALKING ABOUT 360 THIS IS ROCK PAPER SCISSORS HURR DURR I DONT NEED TO READ THE REST BECUS I SEE WORD I NO IS BAD WORD KMART SUCKS

    • qrter says:

      But.. they literally weren’t talking about the 360 – they’re talking about Steam and publishers that have released through Steam..

    • Jumwa says:

      I don’t even know what you’re supposedly talking about, but you obviously need to take a break from the internets. They are angering up your blood somethin’ fierce.

      I don’t know squat about the 360 or how its services work or might relate to Steam or this scenario, and I certainly don’t have any preconceived notion about the console being bad (or good or anything). But I do know internet ragers aren’t worth my time trying to understand anyhow.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I’m siding with the people saying bilbo’s comment makes no sense. He responded to
      “EA is the only company to take issue with Steam’s DLC TOS”
      with
      “Nuh-uh, some games don’t come out on Xbox for this reason”.

      For what reason? Are you saying companies don’t release games on Microsoft’s console because they don’t like something in Steam’s TOS? That’s what it sounds like, and that makes no sense. You can’t get mad at people for asking what you’re talking about when you throw something seemingly unrelated into a conversation.

    • DeschainVox says:

      @archonsod

      Which Ubisoft titles have been removed. I’m not aware of any. The only ones I know of are the EA titles (Crysis 2 and Dragon Age 2). Steam UK did not release AC2 initially (not sure about now) but the title was released in the US and other regions.

    • Bilbo says:

      Obviously this community’s more insular than I’d realised.

      It isn’t about “Steam’s TOS”, because obviously Steam /= Microsoft, but the particular clause EA don’t like – the control over distribution of patches – is the same reason some games don’t make it to 360, MS control how and when you can distribute patches over the system and some developers can’t work with that.

      Honestly I thought it was open-and-shut obvious, amazed how many of you were willing to hold up your hands and say “BTW I’m dumb”. And with such righteous fury! BILBO R TEH DUMBS

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Also the 30% is if i’m not mistaken the highest cut of any digital distributor.”

      AFAIK 30% is the standard cut for the basic number (it tends to go down with big deals.

      The 30% number you see on impulse, and i tunes on marketplace etc etc etc

      hell there was a big deal about impulse because it was 30%

      But hey, facts are boring right!

    • Milky1985 says:

      “I’m siding with the people saying bilbo’s comment makes no sense. He responded to
      “EA is the only company to take issue with Steam’s DLC TOS”
      with
      “Nuh-uh, some games don’t come out on Xbox for this reason”.

      For what reason? Are you saying companies don’t release games on Microsoft’s console because they don’t like something in Steam’s TOS? That’s what it sounds like, and that makes no sense. You can’t get mad at people for asking what you’re talking about when you throw something seemingly unrelated into a conversation.”

      Or you can use a bit of logical thinking?

      The 360 has a system wheere you have to buy DLC using MS’s system, using points etc, there are some work arounds but it has to go through the 360 marketplace and generally use MS points.

      Do you see the similarity between that system adn teh steam system (where you have to use steam)

      Hes making a point that the restrictions on having stuff on teh 360 is the same as on steam (if everything is to be believed) but they are fine with that!

      So yes, you have done what others have done and seen 360 and gone “OMG SODDING CONSOLE PEOPEL ON MY PC SITE WHAT ARE YOU DOING WTF BBQ” without engaging the brain

    • Malk_Content says:

      @Milky1985

      I think the confusion comes from the fact that people were discussing how no other company has openly objected to steams way of handling things and many have praised it. Lots of companies not getting on well with Xbox Live doesn’t really do anything for the argument except say “there are restrictive services out there that developers don’t like” and has little bearing on what Valves ToS might or might not be. If his post was about EA had done something similar with Microsoft (never happen, xbox too big a market but this is just a point being made) or another dev/publisher criticizing steam then it would have made more sense.

      As it is the comment added that some other people (not involved in the debate) have problems with some other service (not involved in the debate. Like adding in an argument over whether pears or peaches make a better tart that, actually, you’ll find bananas make the best bread.

      OT: Naturally side towards valve, but I’m not going to just dump EAs products (like B3) unless valve come out and say “this is why they are being dicks” (if they are) or “here is a letter from our legal team suggesting we shouldn’t openly discuss our business practices and grievances with the general public.”

    • Jumwa says:

      As Malk Content laid out, the remark has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. The fact that a similar situation might exist in the console market involving completely different players has no bearing upon what we’re talking about.

      And Bilbo, with that kind of irrational hostility you might want to think about checking out another game forum where you’d be more apt to consort with your own angry little manchild kind. You know, all us dullards who failed Xboxology at Gaming University are just too dumb for you, as you said.

    • SaVi says:

      I am siding with those that say that EA are not obliged to release on Steam and can do with their games whatever they want for whatever reasons. All EA has to consider is the willingness of people to use other publishing services beside already established ones like steam. It’ll show in sales if that was a wise decision.

    • Bilbo says:

      “All he said is nvm about Steam because other companies exist that have restrictive policies”

      -No. OP’s comment was that “EA are teh sux for getting angry about this and obviously no other publisher cares”. My comment was “Well, obviously lots of other companies care about this exact issue, it happens all the time on Xbox”.

      TOTALLY UNRELATED. And yes, by saying “Hmm, you guys are missing the point, and you’re oddly proud about it” I’m an AGGRESSIVE LITTLE MANCHILD

      I mean, you wanna talk about making statements that have fucking nothing to do with the conversation? Pot, kettle, both totally fucking black. Fuck off.

      Milky’s obviously the only one who gets it. The rest of you are stoically sticking to your original, totally-batshit-wrong-and-by-the-way-fucking-stupid hypothesis that my comment was irrelevant rather than face up to the obvious and admit that you were wrong. You’re terrible commenters and yes, I am going to take a break from this fucking community, thankyou very fucking much, fuck fuck etc. Fuck.

    • Malk_Content says:

      RPS needs a swear jar.

      OT: I realize the point of your post and I apologize that I feel it has little bearing on the topic. Xbox Live ToS are fairly openly talked about in terms of what you can and cannot do, whereas we have no idea whether or not steam ToS are as limiting seeing as only EA have publicly gone against it and have not named any of the apparently unworkable restrictions. If it turns out that Steam does have limiting ToS and we find out that yes in fact this is similar to what xbox does then a comparison should be drawn, till then it may as well be EA PR bullshit.

  2. Text_Fish says:

    My experience of Valve and EA tell me that these “restrictive terms of service” on Steam are designed to benefit the customer before the developer/publisher.

    But I’m just a cynic. Or am I? No. Yes. I don’t know.

    • RianXD says:

      My thoughts exactly. people know what EA are like. Ive heard the phrase “money hungry capitalist pigs” describe them more than a few times :D

    • gwathdring says:

      Bloody $*#&!@& hell, they’re a business. And they aren’t all that bad as large corporations go. Money hungry capitalist pigs my ass. Of course they want money. Of course they’re capitalist. Welcome to American business. Now if you have more [i]general[/i] ethical and philosophical issues with corporate practice and capitalism, then I’m more receptive and I misinterpreted. I don’t like general corporate practice either. I believe in environmentally, economically, and socially/culturally sustainable business. We can be “screw capitalism” buddies. But EA really isn’t bad.

      Valve is an unusually customer friendly corporation. Google is one third terrifyingly unfeeling and two thirds Valve–they’re above way average when the chips are in their favor, and moderately below it when the chips are down (which is rarely so far because they’re damn successful) . EA is right about in the middle. They aren’t swindling anyone, they make some respectable if not outstanding games, and they publish a lot of games similarly large companies never would. It’s unfortunate that they have a tendency to sit on those IPs once the experiment is over, neither selling them nor fulfilling their potential. And to their credit, their Call of Duty isn’t a single game: the Sims and their licensed sports franchise. The sims gets points for not being brown, and being more accessible than a shooter even if I never found it any more interesting; some of their sports games are also about as good as sports games get. I found various games from the FIFA series quite fun, even though I’ve never quite seen the point in playing a sports game more than once in a blue moon. EA is hilariously out of their depth in terms of customer disdain and super-villain behaviors.

    • ericks says:

      If they had half a brain they would know they’ll lose more money from not being on Steam than not getting 100% of the price from their DLC.

      Unless they’re planing on coming out with LOTS of DLC, and in either case, they’re not getting my money.

    • rayne117 says:

      “Welcome to American business.”

      You think American businesses are the ONLY ones who do shit like this?

      Stick your huge pile of words up your bottom, sir.

    • Fox89 says:

      @rayne117

      That really, really wasn’t his point.

      The argument was “this is what capitalism is like, deal with it, and all things considered EA are OK”, rather than anything US-centric. And he’s right. Whilst I love Valve and Steam to bits and side with them on things like this (also because I like all my games on one platform where possible…) EA have to look out for themselves as well.

      If you or I were in their position, we may well have the same complaints. They know as well as anyone that not being on Steam will negatively affect sales, it’s all about deciding whether the long term gains will outweigh that drop in revenue.

      It’s not like they’re pulling some Ubisoft DRM shit that stops you playing your games.

    • gwathdring says:

      That was unnecessarily rude. Of course companies elsewhere do things like this. Hell, corporations in certain parts of the world are worse because the US has a fair bit of regulation. I said “American” because EA is an American company, and it was the first adjective that came to mind. It was not intended to be an exclusive statement. I could as easily have said “Welcome to the video games industry,” but then you might have accused me of forgetting to add television, crackerjacks, and t-shirts.

      I do apologize for stating the obvious, such as “business wants your money.” That was unnecessarily condescending on my part. But it comes out of frustration with the constant disproportionate accusations about EA’s “evil” behavior. No, I don’t think you should have to maintain perfect relativity in every statement. You’re welcome to complain about being hungry even if people in certain parts of the city you live in are starving–not every conversation needs to cover every angle (or every country, as it happens …). But when the same people who talk about how they will only use Steam complain about “evil” EA doing the exact same thing steam does (exclusive use through their own DL service) … I am bewildered and frustrated by their lack of perspective. I apologize for taking my frustration out on you.

      That being said, I will not be ramming anything up anything else, as I stand by the rest of my statement.

      P.S. @ eriks

      That’s sort of how I think about it. This isn’t entirely about money. It’s about control of the product. EA wants more control over their own products than selling through Steam allows them. Valve feels the same way about non-steam venues–including standard retail (as opposed to retail with Steam codes). The way I see it, EA has as much of a right to that control as Valve does, and if I’m going to buy EA products, I’m as happy to buy them from EA as from Valve.The fact that EA might lose money in order to gain this control of their product changes the game a little bit (I’m not convinced this is true, though …). It’s not just a money-hungry market grab, if you assume that EA is going to lose money by not selling on Steam–and that they know it.

    • gwathdring says:

      @Fox89

      You beat me to it, and put it much better than I did. Thank you.

    • billyblaze says:

      @ericks

      Don’t you think their financial analysts did a calculation or two to decide what’s the more profitable approach? If the EA criticism is that they’re capitalist, one should also acknowledge that they’ve proven to be quite good at capitalism. So maybe it’s not as clear cut as you make it out. I mean, if all of us consider ourselves “in touch” with the gaming community, I don’t think it’s an unreasonable assumption that EA hired people that chip in there as well.

      It’s an experiment, a gamble, at worst. If they lose money they will obviously rejoin Steam instantly, because otherwise they wouldn’t run a good business, which I think is the only thing one can’t fault EA for.

    • Rii says:

      I think “American capitalism” is a useful term. Capitalist organs everywhere are the same, but the cultural background is different. In most capitalist societies capitalism is a means to an end, only in America is capitalism an end unto itself, i.e. something that is inherently good, rather than a system that is used because it mostly works most of the time and which is readily abandoned when and where it doesn’t.

    • Idiotmancer says:

      Valve zealot detected.

      You claim that these terms are there to benefit the consumer? I mean, really? Do you truly believe that Valve’s DLC policy is there to benefit you? Oh Jesus, this guy is hopelessly naive.

    • Cyampagn says:

      @ericks

      Oh yes, EA should listen to ericks, his knowledge on how to run a multinational gaming publisher is from another planet.

      Stick to statements you can actually handle instead of throwing up bullshit made of thin air.

    • Nalano says:

      I really do think an observation must be made on the difference between a private company and a publicly-traded company. Valve is the former; EA is the latter.

      EA must attempt to dominate the industry via closed loops. EA must attempt to maximize profits while minimizing investments. EA must be tireless in its search for short-term profits above all, because if it isn’t, then the leaders of EA must then answer to their investors. They are bound by law to screw us.

      They are only to be trusted as far as you trust the capitalist system to, well, “lift all boats:” To create an equitable and acceptable reality for the consumer and the industry overall. I hold no such hope.

    • Text_Fish says:

      EA Evil, etc. etc.

      Generally speaking I imagine people are aware that it’s an exageration to call EA evil or “capitalist pigs” and they probably don’t need to have it explained to them. It’s like when people call Microsoft evil … they don’t actually mean “Bill Gates draws pentagrams with the blood of toddlers to appease Satan” — they just mean “Microsoft have been known to supply faulty or self-interested products and services to me in exchange for my hard earned cash, so I’m not too fond of them”. Likewise, EA have been known to supply shoddy products to earn a quick buck, in stark contrast to Valve who are always seen to strive for quality in both their products and services, at least to the best of their ability.

      As has been observed, Valve are generally an exception to the rule, but if EA want to take Valve on at their own game they would do well to learn a lesson or two from them first, if nothing else then to earn some consumer trust.

    • mlstrum says:

      @Text_Fish

      Extremely well said.
      And that is why I will not encourage origin yet I’ve bought more than my share of games on Steam. May Valve stay prosperous in their agenda to give their customers satisfaction and service.

    • skalpadda says:

      “Bloody $*#&!@& hell, they’re a business. And they aren’t all that bad as large corporations go.”

      That you happen to be slightly nicer than Activision doesn’t mean you get a free pass. The fact that being a bit shit and always caring about money above everything else is part of being a big company doesn’t mean that consumers have to passively accept everything have no opinions about it either.

    • Fox89 says:

      Also for those criticizing the ‘evil’ EA, what exactly is your issue again? You’ll have to use Origin not Steam? It’ll cost you slightly more to buy BF3 than it otherwise would?

      There is an awful lot of “Vilify the money hungry corporate machine”, but naturally no thought to the money hungry consumer. It’s ever so common to see people with a sense of entitlement. Who here cares that by making things 100% convenient for YOU, EA will suffer, and they’ll help secure Valve’s monopoly over the digital distribution market even further?

      OK, EA are a big corporate machine who deal in millions, so let me put it another way.

      If EA are making this move, they are making this move because they will, according to their analysts, benefit from it financially in the long run. And you WANT EA to benefit financially. The more money they have the more money they can spend on their products and services. The more money they can spend on their products and services the better they will likely be. The better they are the more money EA will make. Why begrudge a games company making as much money as they can? You end up reaping the benefits of that as well.

    • LuNatic says:

      Look at all us cool people, redefining words to support our arguments. I want in on this bandwagon!

      Capitalism, in its purest form, is evil. It may not eat babies, but it is horribly destructive, trampling over anyone its way in the name of short-term profits, and to hell with the consequences. See: Animals being hunted to extinction, mass deforestation, strip mining, pollution, sweatshop labour, lowest bidder quality-of-goods, blood diamonds, etc. Capitalism cuts off its own feet to put money in its hands. This is why the civilised world has regulatory bodies, and consumer protection laws. Apparently these things are uncool in the US though.

      Back on topic, EA has a history of consumer unfriendly behaviour. Exclusive DLC, shoddy post release support, artificial price inflation, shutting down multiplayer master servers in short order, releasing exceedingly buggy titles in order to meet marketing deadlines, and I’m sure 5 mins of googling can find more. Valve aren’t perfect, but they have a history of respecting, and even doting upon their customers. High quality release standards. Great post release support. Free content additions. A free game. Fair prices. If Valve sell me a game, I trust them to provide it to me, consistently, and promptly. But how can I trust EA’s new Origin service, when I feel that the people who own it have burnt me so many times? How long will the games be available for download? How long will Origin last before it gets scrapped in favour of corporates next big idea? How many hoops will I have to jump through to get my game working?

      From the evidence presented for this squabble, I can’t honestly say EA is in the wrong here and now, but I have difficulty trusting them considering their past behaviour.

    • Mitthrawn says:

      No capitalism is not evil. Jesus christ, the amount of ignorance and naivete in this thread is frightening. Its like no one ever had an economics class. Capitalism is the only model of economics that has been proven to work on a large scale. The only one. Only. One. Why? Because its brilliant, thats why. It understands that people aren’t huggy lovable folk who go around singing songs and communing with trees. People aren’t evil money grubbing bastards either. Most people are self interested. That’s it. They want to advance their own position, power, influence and money. That’s it. So it uses that self interest, , ambition and everything else the human mind possesses. It is the economic model for the real world. Its not evil. That’s stupid and belies a total ignorance of a) human behavior, and b) economic theory. People act and spend money and manipulate the market because either they are motivated to do it or there is economic incentive to do so. You may hug trees and give all your money to charity and never once be acted upon by the market, but you would be in the tiniest minority of the tiniest percentage of people and you’d probably work for a university, where you are insulated from the real world. Capitalism isn’t bad. Capitalism is practical. It is the internal combustion engine of economic models. Its practical and dirty and gets the job done. And all the other theoretical models sit there in museums and history books gathering dust because, for all their perfection and theoretical beauty, they fail to understand one basic concept: humans aren’t perfect, so we can’t use a perfect model. Capitalism, learn to love it.

    • LuNatic says:

      Wow. Way to jump to conclusions there. Capitalism has its uses for sure, but only when its self-destructive tendencies can be regulated to minimise harm. Its not about hugging trees, it’s about sustainability. There’s nothing wrong with making a mess, if you clean up after yourself. But when the short term is the only priority, the long term will suffer. My assertion of evil isn’t about what people have, it’s about how they get it. The only way to climb to the top is to step on other peoples heads, and if you are trying to say that such behaviour isn’t evil, lets just agree to disagree.

    • Text_Fish says:

      Mitthrawn, you’ve taken a very black & white stance there. Yes, capitalism works well economically and, yes, it’s very likely that anybody who can afford to visit this forum has benefitted from living in a capitalist society but that doesn’t mean we should let capitalism make us its bitches. In fact, the reason capitalism hasn’t been relegated to the history books is because it’s a business model that relies heavily on its consumers to regulate its behaviour — if a company strays too far from the moral consensus of the consumers, it will suffer.

      From a purely capitalist viewpoint EA are a great business because they make a lot of money, but their reputation as a consumer friendly business is poor and that could very well undermine projects like Origin. They’re currently in a position, that the best business decision for them is to produce Origin (and the games on it) for as little money as possible and then rely on their (probably) multibillion $ marketing budget to sell it to less discerning consumers – like you – for profit. The only reason this is a sustainable business plan for the foreseeable future is that there are a lot of stupid people with too much money out there, just begging to be fleeced by a pig in a nice suit.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Sir, beginning your rant with “Jesus christ, the amount of ignorance and naivete in this thread is frightening.” is not socially acceptable and won’t lead anywhere in my opinion. I will also say that the other systems in the books were not really written by idiots either.

      But more to the point: As a responsable consumer in a capitalist society I will always try to give my monnies to businesses whose behavior and practises I support, in order to spread, to strengthen them. And that is pretty much why I won’t buy from origin.

      For the “capitalism is evil” thingie: Well, I guess it depends on how you define evil, if it is something that goes contrary to your moral beliefs and then yes, capitalism might very well be evil. Or at least allows evil to exist and encourage it.

    • Malk_Content says:

      I agree with the “Capitalism isn’t inherently evil” statement. What makes it seem evil is when companies do it badly. Valve are incredibly capitalist, but because they actually do it right nobody really notices or complains much.

      EA has in the past shown practises of bad capitalism, much like theives or pillagers, they get short term profits but burn that source of profits. The reason they do so well is that there is still a very large pool of things for them to raid. For proof look at how in the past they’ve gobbled up studios, forced them to mass produce until they run out of creative juice then move onto the next studio and do the same. That they haven’t run out of things to buy and rape is why they are wealthy and continue to prosper, theoretically though one day they will run out of things to pillage.

      Valve on the other hand follows fairly proper capitalism by buying and investing and then nurturing talent, building consumer trust and loyalty as well as slowly bringing more and more titles under their digital distribution such that now they hold the majority of download trade. Valve has slowly build up its profit margins and much like starting a farm rather than poaching of the land, will likely prosper for it in the long run.

      Both companies pursue capitalism, both companies make profits, but Valve use sustainable capitalism whereas EA have demonstrated a preference for short term profits jumping from favoured studio to favoured studio.

      For examples of EAs buy, produce and then fold business structure look at: Bullfrog, Black Box, Origin Systems (irony!) and Maxis. See also the current row between Valve and EA, where Valve was partnering with EA for publishing disc copies of their games, a deal that will probably no longer persist.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      Mitthrawn:
      I am not motivated by pure self interest. Nobody I know is.
      Only Panglossian apologists for the monetarist right ever claim this is the source of all human motivation.
      Got that? Good.

  3. pkt-zer0 says:

    Oh EA, when will the intentionally vague language stop? Have they even implied in some way that this is because Steam wants DLC to be sold through their storefront as well, not exclusively behind their backs? It’s always just “restrictive terms”, “limited interaction with customers” and whatnot.

    • Shivoa says:

      That’s definitely the vibe I’m getting from the vagueness and other games continuing to exist and bring out new DLC which can be purchased through several avenues (one of which has always been Steam for those games not violating these new business terms).

      EA may try and imply that Valve are refusing the let them sell their own content however they see fit while still making use of the Steam store but it seems like the safe bet is that EA are taking their games off Steam because Valve refuse to allow them to put out games on Steam which have DLC without offering the option to install and buy that DLC through the Steam ecosystem. That seems like something you’d add to your terms around the time you bring F2P games to a service.

      For the physical equivalent (if you need to relate this to the physical world for additional context) see retailers and their dislike of selling a PSP Go. Now a PSP, a device with exactly the same retailer bypassing digital store is fine, Sony can sell their games to PSP on PSN and avoid retailer profits but retailers do not like it when they’re being used as the middleman to sell a conduit that can only be used to exclude them from future sales.

      While I’m no massive fan of the current Steam DLC implementation (you have to install it all with the game, no option to leave an expansion off etc – it would be nice if they could change this and while they’re at it them could also add the ability to change patch rather than just offering to stay current or stop at some point you switch updates off), I’m less of a fan of this idea that after buying something on Steam and opting into that ecosystem I will be blocked from accessing DLC through the same ecosystem / patching method / guaranteed access DRM. So I guess I don’t really want BF3 all that much, I’ll see how I feel once retail discs drop below £8 (same for Diablo 3, the value of what they’re offering no longer feels lie a £20-35 PC game sale, but I wouldn’t say they’ll never see a penny from me as I do love me some games and this isn’t exactly sweatshop level of things you should avoid being a part of).

    • Baines says:

      Except EA didn’t take their games off of Steam, Valve took EA’s games off of Steam.

      EA isn’t going into explicit details, but they have said that much and Valve hasn’t denied it.Even if people believe Valve is trying to stay “above it all” by not engaging in a public shouting match, do you really think Valve stay quiet if EA was outright lying publicly about events?

      I’m not saying EA is blameless. They chose to go ahead and take actions that would violate the Steam TOS. We don’t know the exact details, and can only speculate. But again, while EA is being vague, Valve is being completely silent. Odds are both companies have details that they want to keep out of public debate.

      (As for speculation, my belief is that Valve changed the Steam TOS when they started offering free-to-play games, requiring that DLC be made available through Steam so that Valve can take a cut. EA in return thinks that Valve should only get the cut of the initial game sale, and doesn’t want to also split DLC profits. EA pushed through to see if Steam would bend. Steam didn’t bend to EA.)

  4. Anjiro says:

    Not exactly surprising given the recent removals of Dragon Age 2 and Crysis 2 from Steam. EA’s Origin service also has nothing to do with it (yeah right.)

  5. Bursar says:

    The fact that Valve appear to have made no comments about this makes me wonder if there isn’t some legal shenanigans in the offing.
    The silence from Valve is deafening!

    • Monkey says:

      I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!!

    • frymaster says:

      Valve have never commented on these kinds of things, ever

    • The Sentinel says:

      Getting Valve to comment – on anything – was one of the original 12 Tasks of Hercules. They’re stupidly tight-lipped.

    • zeroskill says:

      I dont think Valve really cares if Battlefield 3, Crysis 2 or Dragon Age 2 is on their service or not. Its no like they are dependent on those titles. Also I think they are pretty busy finishing Dota 2 since they ARE a developer unlike EA.

    • Mistabashi says:

      Thing is, EA is a public company, which means it’s CEO and all it’s management staff are beholden to a a board of shareholders, in fact they’re legally required to do everything in their ability to make the company as profitable as possible, which includes putting out the kind of vague bullshit PR spin we see here. It’s obvious that this is all down to their strategy with Origin, and they’re using PR spin to make it look like their main competition is to blame.

      Valve are a private company, so it’s pretty much up to Gabe what they say or do. I’m not sure what the exact reasons for their lack of comments are, but I reckon it’s partly because they still do a lot of business with EA and want to do more in the future, and also because they have a little bit of class and would prefer to compete on product/service rather than (frankly shitty) PR wars.

  6. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Guys, if buying stuff from Origin really chafes you, just get it from another digital distributor.

    • President Weasel says:

      I like the convenience of having my games all on the one download service, for which I can easily remember the password. I have pre-ordered BF3 from a non-origin, non-steam service, but I find the requirement irksome.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Same here.

    • OddsAgainst says:

      Nonetheless, D2D (much like Steam does) is discounting the game preorders 10%, while Origin is charging the full price. My wallet tells me to stay away from Origin.

    • The Sentinel says:

      There were some interesting thoughts around this ‘one-source’ subject in the Sunday Papers this morning. I reckon a goodly plortion of the Valve love around here is precisely due to the inherent, and reasonable, position of not wanting to belong to seventeen different download portals, all with different logins, passwords, Ts & C’s…

    • Walsh says:

      Umm, I would bet money that BF3 requires Origin running in order to launch the game.

      PS I would win that bet so it’s not very sporting.

    • Walsh says:

      I am also surprised Direct2Drive isn’t pitching a fit about this since they went crazy over games that were bundled with Steam. Maybe they don’t know it yet…. or maybe they are just so happy to have something Steam doesn’t.

    • Kryopsis says:

      No game on Origin requires Origin running simultaneously.

    • Walsh says:

      Those that were in the BF3 Alpha say otherwise.

    • qwiggalo says:

      You still will be having to use Origin…

  7. Zorak says:

    Valve’s TOS has download restrictions based on how it validates installs and does re-installs through the client itself. EA wants to run content updates/ DLC through secondary services outside Valve’s sight (as they stated in previous announcements).

    So the issue is that EA’s demands on how downloads are handled are impossible in the Steam client, as the client itself would be unable to validate caches/ installs (what since the updated content wouldn’t be Steam’s server, making them see updated changes to the game as erroneous), all on top of a good helping of the fact that it’d be screwing over Valve’s customers by making them have to update their game via a secondary service with no content back-ups or support by Valve.

    Yes, this is a wonderful stance to take EA.

    • Zelius says:

      If that´s the restriction, Valve isn´t enforcing it at all. There are lots of Games for Windows Live games on Steam as well, and those should be subject to the same restriction. Either EA is using this as an excuse, or there is something else going on entirely.

    • Zorak says:

      Not all DLC or content updates need to over-write local data. They just expand onto pre-built in game code.

    • gwathdring says:

      I agree, that’s my impression of matters.

      I disagree however, with your last statement. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that stance. EA games have ha automatic patching systems for years. My ancient FIFA 2002 game had a rather primitive patch and match-making system. The BFME games had automatic patching systems. I haven’t played too many EA games so other than saying the BF series had manual patches that’s all I’ve got. My point, however, is this: I find the implication that a game company shouldn’t want direct control over the file system, timing, and functionality of their DLC and patches absolutely absurd. I love using Steam, and I wish EA was willing to work around them. And do think it is wrong of them not to do the extra work for already released games as when they released and outstanding piece of DLC for Mirror’s Edge with no intention of giving Steam users any options to play it. But I think they have every right to decide whether or not they want to limit their options to valve’s system of content updates before they commit their games to the download service.

    • RDG says:

      Valve probably changed their terms and conditions with the launch of free to play games. In order to avoid the situation where developers would host their free games on Valve’s server and thus get free distribution, while then being able to sell the DLC outside of Steam and avoiding the 30% cut Steam (apparently) demands. Seeing as DLC is the primary (and only) source of income for F2P games, a move by Valve to protect their own interests would seem likely.

    • skalpadda says:

      Does anyone know where this 30% number comes from? I’ve seen it in a lot of forum posts but never a mention of where it originated.

    • Azradesh says:

      Value’s TOS changed but is not retro active. Old games that did this stay, any new games or DLC can not do this.

  8. Koozer says:

    I’m guessing by “restrictive…patches” they mean they can’t force downloads from their servers to play if a user has turned off automatic updates. I can’t really think of any other reason why having to release your patches wrapped up in a Valve parcel would be so godawful for developers – besides the extra effort of making your patches Valvelated.

    • Zorak says:

      No, you see, EA says they want to have a “closer relationship” in how patches and DLC are handed to us, is all. Intermediaries get in the way of that closeness!

      I get the feeling the closer relationship has a lot to do with being much closer to our wallets.

    • Koozer says:

      But wait! I remember Fallout 3 only patched through GfWL – I played it for a week before logging in to GfWL, which patched my game and promptly deleted all my saves.

      This must mean that EA truly do care about snuggling up to customers* and being the most kind and considerate** company ever!

      *bank accounts.
      **despicable and conniving.

    • Pardoz says:

      There’s also all the lovely, lovely demographic data they can collect and datamine (or sell on). With the phone-home element of games like ME2 and DA, they know when and where you play and what you do when you play; tie that in with name/address/gender/age/etc. information from your Origin account, and there’s gold in them thar hills that they don’t get if you buy the game from a different download service.

    • gwathdring says:

      But it’s not an Origin exclusive. This isn’t about forcing people to use Origin, I don’t think. They offer it on all the other download services, and I haven’t seen a “registers on Origin” warning.

    • Zorak says:

      Pretty sure the playable versions of B3 that are out right now all require Origin. So uh.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Except, Zorak, Origin isn’t required to run in order to play games bought with it.

    • skalpadda says:

      @PoulWrist:
      ..yet.

  9. Sunjammer says:

    Between BF and CoD being expensive turds as a whole, I can’t see this in any other way than as a triumph for PC gaming. Fuck those games.

    • frenz0rz says:

      CoD? Absolutely. Battlefield? Hardly. I dont suppose you’ve played Bad Company 2, have you? Because I find it hard to believe that anyone who’d played the multiplayer for more than 5 minutes could call it an expensive turd.

    • gganate says:

      Expensive turd is pushing it, but I was surprised how similar BC2 was to the Desert Combat mod I played all those years ago with BF1942.

    • gwathdring says:

      Whoops. Thought you said “BF2” not “BC2.”

      Completely changes the post. Sorry.

    • AlonePlusEasyTarget says:

      Then the only thing you need to do is to buy Red Orchestra 2 : Heroes of Stalingrad. I bet you got your money worth with all the mods and free updates from Tripwire Interactive.

    • Koozer says:

      If you think BC2 is in any way similar to DC apart from the setting you need to either reinstall DC or see a doctor.

  10. Ham Solo says:

    Weird no other developers and publishers complain and withhold games from Steam.
    I guess EA wants some new, original way to cornhole their customers via Steam, and it doesn’t quite work that well. Or they are making it up in order to “pursuade” people to use Origin.

  11. skurmedel says:

    Wonder if they’ll peddle it on GamersGate. I’m going to stay away from Origin. I don’t trust I’ll be able to download my game after a couple of years there.

  12. acidtestportfolio says:

    electronic arts pitches a fit because valve won’t let them use their own download service (also a backhanded attempt for more money)

    good riddance

  13. Rii says:

    There’s a reasonable argument to be made in EA’s favour here, but it ignores the market reality whereby Steam is the single largest DD vendor and therefore that jumping through their hoops is not actually a significant imposition in terms of the market thereby served.

    And one could reasonably reply to that with “so what, there’s a principle at stake.”

    And my reply to THAT would be that EA are willing to jump through Sony’s and Microsoft’s hoops for the returns on offer, why is Steam any different?

    And then we come back to Origin.

    • Gnarf says:

      And my reply to THAT would be that EA are willing to jump through Sony’s and Microsoft’s hoops for the returns on offer, why are they making a big deal out of Steam?

      Because it’s a platform on a platform.

      By jumping through Sony’s hoops they are making the game available to PS3 users. By jumping through Valve’s hoops they are making the game available to PC users. Only the game will be available to those users either way.

      I guess there are some dudes that really, really like Steam and won’t get the game unless it’s on Steam. But still, I’d jump though more hoops for “otherwise these people won’t be able to buy your game” than for “otherwise some of these people might not want to buy your game”.

    • Wulf says:

      And then there’s my problem with it: The name ‘Origin’ is a massive kick to the balls for any Ultima loyalists. This pretty much means that this is what they want to do with the name Origin, now, and it completely kills any hope that they’ll ever bring Garriott back for one, last amazing Ultima adventure. Why? Think about it. Origin and Origin Systems would create too much confusion in the simple minds of their customers, so they can’t use the name Origin Systems for the development of great games.

      They’ve taken the name of one of the best RPG developers of the past, one of my all time favourites, and slapped it on that piece of shit. Thus not only being an insult to that developer but, again, dashing any hope I had for future Ultima goodness. It was a very cruel and unusual thing to do.

      This is what Origin is now. It’s a download service.

      FFFFFFFFF.

      Valve at least had the creativity to come up with their own name, so I’ll stick with Steam, Gamer’s Gate, and GoG, with a little D2D on the side, maybe.

    • Nalano says:

      @ Gnarf

      So your complaint is that the PC isn’t a closed loop?

      And here I thought that was one of its advantages.

      I’ve had no problem never buying a console game since the original NES specifically because of the nature of consoles’ closed loops.

    • Doesntmeananything says:

      @Gnarf

      It’s not the question of customers’ convenience. The thought that ‘it’s better for gamers to launch our games directly instead of relying on a client’ (with which many, many people are happy, by the way) would virtually never cross EA’s mind. The fact remains: “Steam is the single largest DD vendor”. It doesn’t take a lot of insight to see what EA is really doing here by not releasing one of their leading titles on Steam.

    • Gnarf says:

      So your complaint is that the PC isn’t a closed loop?

      Eh? I wasn’t making a complaint. It was about the “EA are willing to jump through Sony’s and Microsoft’s hoops for the returns on offer, why is Steam any different?” And I think it’s because they don’t have to go through Steam in order to make their games available on the PC. (And I agree that that’s a good thing.)

      With Sony, you’re probably willing to jump through more of their hoops, because if you don’t then the PS3 users won’t be able to buy the game.

      It’s not the question of customers’ convenience. The thought that ‘it’s better for gamers to launch our games directly instead of relying on a client’ (with which many, many people are happy, by the way) would virtually never cross EA’s mind.

      Also not what I was getting at, but yeah. And all the EA games have always been available outside of Steam anyway, so it’s not like the people who would rather not use Steam are gaining anything from this.

      I’m looking forward to this game and would prefer to get it on Steam. For the record, or something.

    • G_Man_007 says:

      My two cents is this; I’m on Valve’s side – though their silence isn’t helping them, and never has done, would be nice if they were more communicative – as it appears that they are trying to make sure that their customers have access to DLC, irrespective of what version of the game they have (in terms of what vendor they bought from; I think Gamersgate are offering a version of Borderlands that isn’t compatible with the DLC, for example, and I think there is DLC in say Burnout Paradise City that you can only get through the game itself, at least I saw that when I played it on the PS3). Now, I’m not pretending that Valve have our best interests at heart, but if this is all to do with how DLC and patches are provided, then I’m all for providing them to the download service you chose to use, to allow you to get the most out of your purchase. I know this is rather a simplistic view, but without knowing more, all we have to assume is that it’s to do with DLC.

      I’d rather not see DLC at all, some games are reasonable with it like Fallout, as it adds a lot to the game (for the most part anyway), whereas with others such as say, Dirt 3, it takes what you would expect in a brand new £30 game, and turns it into a £70-100 or more title. Just allow me the choice to get it from where I want. I like Steam.

      Also, what is it with the big publishers trying to outdo each other to win the Cuntiest Of Them All Crown? EA had the crown for a while during the first Sims influx (at least that was the feeling back then when I was reading PC Zone), then Activision took it in a big way, and has recently been jostling for it with Ubisoft. I’m not feeling the love anymore. Not from them anyway. My love belongs to Valve, CD Projekt and numerous indies, and lets face it, Valve are doing a lot for them. So who really seems the better horse here?

  14. kikito says:

    To me, if it’s not on Steam or free, it doesn’t exist.

    • aircool says:

      Oooh, you’re missing out on Gal Civ II…

    • Rii says:

      Valve appreciates your subbing for them.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Hang on. So half the catalogue of GoG no longer exists?

    • Koozer says:

      A life without Dwarf Fortress is no life indeed.

      PS. I just realised DF is effectively free.

    • Quatto says:

      Few games can break my steadfast steam fundamentalism. I’m sure that those with only a mild interest simply can’t be arsed to go elsewhere.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      That kind of attitude is outright anti-PC gaming really. One of the best aspects of the PC is that it is an open platform with no real overseer. Volunteering for Valve to control everything you can play is pretty opposed to that sense of freedom.

    • Rii says:

      “That kind of attitude is outright anti-PC gaming really.”

      Yep. There’s no getting around the dominance of Windows, but there’s virtually nothing outside Valve’s own catalogue that’s only available through Steam. In swearing undying fealty to them regardless, well, yeah, you’re pretty much a traitor to the cause. Collect your Xbox and iPad on the way out.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ Rii

      And on top of that Windows is rather different because they don’t control what can be used with it after it is released. Windows itself is an open platform, while what is on Steam is completely controlled by Valve and must be approved by them.

      I welcome anything that weakens Steam because if they get much bigger they will basically have defacto control over what indie games can be successful and not.

    • Nalano says:

      I’m not a Steam fundamentalist (GoG is too good) and while I think competition is good for ensuring good service, this is not the way to compete and what we’re going to end up with vis a vis Origin is pretty much the opposite of good service.

    • Rii says:

      @StingingVelvet: “I welcome anything that weakens Steam because if they get much bigger they will basically have defacto control over what indie games can be successful and not.”

      I hear you. This is one of those multifaceted issues that’s difficult to talk about though, in that you say A and people go on to assume you’re also arguing B, C, D, etc. It’s not so much that I support EA in this matter as that I oppose those who are opposed to anything which threatens their precious Steam. I don’t really think Origin will be a boon for consumers by increasing competition in the market, but most of the opposition to it falls into one of several objectionable categories of which this one – mindless obeisance to the almighty Valve – is perhaps the most vexing.

    • Starky says:

      Steam might have the power to make a unsuccessful indie game massively popular – but it will NEVER have the power to prevent a indie game (or any game) becoming massively popular.

      Basically it is massive influence in a one-way direction, they can be massively beneficial, or not – but they cannot directly harm.

      Take for example Minecraft – massively successful – would probably sell a million more copies within a week of been available on Steam – but it is massively successful already anyway.

      The only way it could “harm”, is if a indie dev assumed Steam support (front page ads, and sales) – and Valve refused the game or didn’t advertise it front of house.
      Which would be a case of developer stupidity and not Valves fault, no indie dev should ever dare to count those chickens too soon.

    • mouton says:

      Thankfully, blind fanatics are a minority. I like and use Steam, but it is sad to see how religious some people get towards it.

    • pekbro says:

      Having all your games centrally located with steam is nice and all, but pray you never find yourself in a dispute with them. I have had issues with them in the past but always backed down out of fear of having my account disabled thus losing 150 or so games in one shot.

      Steam is fine so long as you don’t piss them off…

    • kikito says:

      Dudes, chill.

      When I was younger, I could afford spending 2 or 3 hours fiddling with autoexec.bat settings in order to squeeze the 640KB of memory that my PC had in order to run this or that game.

      But I’m 32 now. I have maybe 5 or 6 hours per week to spend on gaming, and that’s it. I want that time to be enjoyable. And with Steam, it is.

      I don’t have time to fiddle with DRMs, updates, external programs and whatnot any more. I *might* consider spending some extra time installing good, free stuff (mods, for example); but an extra client is just a no-go for me.

      Let me be clear: that’s where my own line is. I’m not saying everyone should have the same … “tolerance levels”; I’m happy there are alternatives to Steam, and people use them. But right now Steam it’s just too convenient for me.

      If you have the time or energy to jump through the extra hooks, please do, with my blessings.

  15. unangbangkay says:

    I sure wish SOMEONE would reveal just what these restrictive terms of service are that EA is blaming just about everything on. Honestly, no one is coming out of this petty slapping match looking the better for it.
    EA’s trying to make Valve look like the big bully on the playground, throwing its weight around to get special treatment from the poor little megacorporations. They’re succeeding to an extent, given that Valve has yet to say anything substantial in their “defense”.

    On the other hand EA is also making itself looking petulant and childish, refusing to do the right thing for customers due to greed and envy, and treating everything as some ludicrous either/or proposition. Either we choose the wonders of Origin and all of its wonderful EA-published games, or we choose Steam and all of its wonderful games from pretty much everyone else.

    • Archonsod says:

      Because we’ve all got the mental faculties of goldfish and therefore cannot possibly use both services?

    • Nalano says:

      Not just two, really.

      Rockstar’s Social Club, Valve’s Steam, Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live, Blizzard’s Battle.net 2.0, GamersFirst Live, Bioware’s EA Online and Cerberus Network…

      …there are a lot of running-in-the-background online services.

  16. aircool says:

    Hmmm, where on the fence to sit, stand or fall. On the one hand, I’ve a well developed mistrust of EA. However, I also get annoyed at Steam whenever it decides to update a game that I’ve bought somewhere else (most usually, a physical copy).

    With BF3 being an EA game, I’d expect any updates to come straight from EA. If that means installing Origin, so be it. Both Steam and GFWL can be annoyingly intrusive at times, and I doubt EA will start installing mind control devices onto my PC. So as long as it’s no worse than Steam and GFWL, I guess there’s nothing to really complain about.

    Wait and see I guess.

  17. StingingVelvet says:

    Pretty sure it has been made very clear that Valve changed their ToS to force any DLC for a game sold on Steam also be sold on Steam. This change occurred roughly when they started offering free-to-play games and is surely related. Crysis was pulled the day it offered DLC that was not on Steam, Dragon Age 2 was pulled the day it offered DLC that was not on Steam. Fable 3 and Super Street Fighter 2 Arcade were both the first GFWL games with DLC sold on Steam as well as GFWL. Anything older than these was grandfathered-in, of course.

    Battlefield 3 will certainly be offering DLC on day one and afterward and EA have no intention of selling that stuff outside their own marketplace. On top of that EA have tied Battlefield 3 completely in with Origin judging by the alpha, which means Steam would basically be selling Origin codes like Direct2Drive and Gamersgate sell Steam codes. I don’t think Steam wants to do that.

    In the end EA are doing exactly what Valve have been doing for years now, tying their games to their own platform and selling DLC directly to the consumer through the game and their own service. It’s hypocrisy to scream at EA for doing the same thing Valve do. What I do admit is that their “power struggle” hurts Steam customers, but then that was probably inevitable and the same could be said of Blizzard going their own way with Battle.net. When all is said and done I think a developer or publisher cutting out the middle-man and selling direct to the consumer is a good thing, so I would have bought the game on Origin anyway.

    • frymaster says:

      it hasn’t been made clear.

      I’d agree that that is one very valid hypothesis, but that’s all it is

    • gwathdring says:

      I agree completely.

      Steam games require special delivery methods that further require access to the Steam delivery system; my guess is that EA is being a tad hyperbolic and what they really mean is that they want to have control of delivery methods without having to wait for an OK from Steam that their patch works with the system and is ready for delivery–or maybe they just don’t want to have to engineer multiple patches. Or maybe, as with Mirror’s Edge, they want to include their own authentication software in the patches. Or maybe they just, quite sensibly, want to make a patch delivery system every bit as customized for their particular games as Steam was once customized for Valve’s games … that sounds perfectly reasonable to me and I don’t understand how some of the people here who have basically acknowledged that argument as EA’s most likely reasoning still seem to find it despicable.

    • Shivoa says:

      @gwathdring:

      Because the likely scenario is:
      -EA wanting to be the only retailer of DLC for their games (but still with access to the retail ecosystem of Steam) and bypassing the Steam patch/DLC system to do it while…
      -Valve only want to restrict Steam purchased copies of the game to have the option to buy DLC inside the ecosystem (or maybe you’d rather by direct from Origin or GfWL or whatever – we’ve seen since the rule change that other stores have not been blocked from offering DLC for Steam copies of games, the rule seems to be that you must also offer a Steam DLC route if you want to offer a non-Steam DLC route for new content, not that Steam is the only route).

      So EA have every right to take their ball and go home with it if they don’t want to also support Steam DLC as well as Origin DLC for their games. But, being as EA are the guys who hardballed MS on xbox to retain matchmaking / online auth rights for all their Live games and have used this to switch off all online functionality in many, many games; I can’t see locking my DLC to EA’s ecosystem makes me feel more secure about my continued access to the content I’m thinking about buying.

      In the end, I trust Valve more than EA to not work against the rights of consumers and that makes a difference to how I want to buy my content and how I value that content. That means that my preference is to buy content inside the Steam ecosystem and Valve enforcing the option to let me do that sounds cool to me. It’s a shame that EA do not see it that way, especially as Valve seem good enough to not be restricting anyone from offering their own DLC shop as long as they also offer the same stuff inside Steam for those who don’t want to leave.

    • gwathdring says:

      It is a shame EA isn’t willing to do that. And I can see your perspective. But I strongly object to the idea, clearly not espoused by you, that EA is doing something downright wrong and unfair by taking their ball and going home to play by their rules with their stuff. Sure it’s nice when everyone cooperates and gets along, but as much as I love using Steam and appreciate Steam policies from the perspective of an end-user … as a content provider I can see how Steam would be difficult to work with. You have a whole new set of technical issues to resolve, a lot of restrictions on how you deliver content … and maybe you just don’t want to have to play Steam’s way. And while I wish EA was willing to do so, I’m completely understanding of that decision.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I understand the perspective of “I like EA more than Valve.” I also understand the perspective of “man another account? what a hassle!”

      That all said you can’t be mad at EA for doing what other publishers, Valve themselves included, already do. The PC platform offers an excellent opportunity to directly sell to your consumers and keep 100% of the profit, which in turn makes the PC platform more appealing despite lower sales numbers. I am sure that is one reason Battlefield 3 is leading on PC development-wise. Assuming you have been buying Valve games directly on Steam for years when they were not available anywhere else you can’t then call this “wrong” in turn. You can say it annoys you certainly, but it’s not any more wrong or bad than what Valve and Blizzard do.

  18. RegisteredUser says:

    Or, they just want to keep building their own EA store, because they want to make the money themselves.

  19. Daiv says:

    Why does this strike me as the Empire from Star Wars complaining loudly and publicly about the cost of Death Star Laser raw materials?

  20. BobJustBob says:

    Remember that EA is the company that refused to get on board with Xbox Live until Microsoft agreed to let EA run their own servers, so now EA has some of the only Xbox Live games that you can no longer play multiplayer because they shut down the servers. I won’t go so far as to say EA is always the dishonest party, but it would take a pretty monumental pile of evidence to make me believe they were in the right.

    • Rii says:

      Microsoft has shut down all game servers for the original Xbox. And y’know, it’s not like they actually served the games in the first place. How EA’s stuff works I don’t know.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      link to ea.com

    • Rii says:

      No, I mean how it works in terms of whether they’re merely running matchmaking (and other ancillary services) for peer-to-peer, or hosting honest-to-god dedicated servers.

  21. Coins says:

    They still haven’t explained what those “restrictive terms of service” are.

  22. Werd says:

    Greedy EA, real greedy. Oh well I WAS interested in BF3 but now I think I’ll give it a pass.

  23. kila1221 says:

    He says at the bottom: “The good news is: you’ve got plenty of choices.” Doesn’t that sound alot like Blizzard’s thing of play other games

    • Torgen says:

      They have crunched the numbers, and have decided that the increased profits offset the extremely tiny number of people who won’t buy the game over this.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Unlike Blizzard and Valve games you really do have a choice though. Origin games are still sold on Gamersgate, Impulse, Direct2Drive and more.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ll likely still be buying the odd EA game from Gamer’s Gate. My problem isn’t with the games, it’s entirely with Origin.

    • Cyampagn says:

      @Wulf
      Excuse me,but that sounds like some unfounded biased statement; I myself downloaded Origin, redeemed my codes for BF BC2 and ME1 (which I bought reatail) like npnpn, then proceeded to pre order the new BF. And it, fanboyism aside, runs great, smooth.
      I think people are hating on Origin because of EA’s (awful) old EA DM. Well, Origin ‘not only looks but works so different IMO.

  24. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    Am I the only one that doesn’t care because I buy half my games from GamersGate anyway?

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I buy everything that isn’t Steamworks on Gamersgate. I like Origin though, so I will probably buy EA games on there from now on.

    • Kaira- says:

      We could form a club. Not that I’m interested in BF3, but this “fight” between Steam and Origin and their fanboys is bound to be interesting one to follow.

    • Fuxalodapus says:

      I’m also full of “meh.” Steam doesn’t add to the gameplay experience for me so no loss.

      Though I have to admit, it gets annoying trying to sort through which games you bought from which DD service sometimes.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ Fuxalodapus

      “Steam doesn’t add to the gameplay experience for me so no loss.”

      That’s a really good point. Battlefield 3 was not going to be a Steamworks game anyway, no EA games are, so really all you are losing by buying it on one of the other platforms is… I don’t even know what really. Nothing.

    • Nalano says:

      Steam adds to my gameplay experience. I no longer have to worry about patching my game. Ever.

  25. Rirse says:

    No Steam, No Sale

  26. Navagon says:

    Do EA really think that it’s not obvious why they’re doing this?

  27. Pantsman says:

    I guess this will be the first game in a few years that I buy a boxed copy of. If and when I decide to get it at all, that is.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Box copies will tie to Origin anyway, just like Valve games tie to Steam.

  28. Pardoz says:

    File this spat beside UbiDRM and the Actiblizzvendi Diablo 3 clusterfuck in the “company that publishes games I have no interest in ever buying does dumb shit; I point, laugh, and go back to playing games that are actually good” file.

    • Kuraudo says:

      There are so many games to play already that all this does is further ensure that I won’t be tempted to buy BF3 on release.

  29. Hensler says:

    Am I the only one who thinks EA and Valve are equally to blame for this, and Valve aren’t saints?

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I’m not sure either is a good guy or a bad guy really. They’re both doing the exact same thing.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Why would you make that kind of judgement when virtually none of the facts are known?

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Because even if it was EA saying “nanner nanner we don’t like Steam har har” they still would not be doing anything worse than Valve have for 8 years?

    • Hematite says:

      Ah, but EA are certainly playing up the “poor us, Valve won’t take our games” line – it’s pretty dickish, and my only stake in this is that I don’t like doing business with dicks.

      Edit: By which I mean, if EA just came out and said “We’re starting our own DL service, and that’s where you’ll get our games. Because they’re our games” I’d be cool with it. They could compete on price, or total value package or something. Have at thee, warriors of capitalism! But they just seem to be defaming their business partner and tactically pulling titles which might ‘flip’ customers to their service. It’s not cool.

  30. ecat says:

    Maybe there is a clue in the possibly all embracing term ‘and other services’. The phrase appears twice in the link. We can speculate what the ‘other services’ may be, but that is the whole point. It is one thing If EA is reluctant to describe services to the general public – though it may be a sign of avoiding public backlash, but it is a totally different matter if EA is also reluctant to detail the meaning of ‘other serves’ to Steam. Only a fool would sign a totally open, we can do anything contract.

  31. Big Murray says:

    Once again EA have shot themsleves in the foot by making me utterly unable to care about their Origin service.

    Come back when you’re trying to pull this crap with a game I care about.

  32. The Sentinel says:

    “Moron EA’s own policies appear here”

    Fixed for ya. :)

  33. D3xter says:

    Honestly I don’t wanna jump on the EA hate-train and I don’t fucking care if Battlefield 3 is on Steam or not cause I’ll buy it Retail anyway, but I find it highly unlikely that this has something to do with DLC e.g.:

    link to steampowered.com
    “In-game DLCSell additional content from within your game to the customers who want it most. Steamworks provides true in-game DLC, allowing customers to select, buy, and use DLC — all without leaving the game. Additionally, using Steamworks’ DLC does not close off your other channels. You are still free to sell the content at retail, either with other online sites or through the Steam store.”

    Furthermore Dragon Age: Origins has a bunch of DLC items that aren’t sold over Steam either or might only be in the Ultimate Edition, they didn’t remove that… And this all started after EA “introduced” Origin.

    • gwathdring says:

      Which is why I suspect it has to do with content delivery and authentication rather than the actual sale of content. Or maybe EA just really wants to be able to use Origin like Valve uses Steam.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      That doesn’t conflict with the common assumption at all. For one thing it’s not selling the DLC elsewhere that is the problem, it is NOT selling it Steam. Secondly Dragon Age and its DLC came out a long time ago and therefore would be grandfathered-in.

  34. My2CENTS says:

    Ohh come on everyone can see this is just an excuse to move to Origin. Without a big title Origin cannot possibly monetize the potential in the platform. Plus i prefer a non-steam version anytime. This fucks can disable you entire account on a bad transaction any day. I was this close to losing all of my games.

  35. deadsexy says:

    As I see it, EA have set up 2 games to be released soon. Both of those games cost 60€. That’s 10-20€ more than other newly released big budget PC games except for Activision’s CoD of course. So, yeah, I really don’t care if they’re on Steam or not. I really don’t see a reason why I have to pay as much as I would for the console version, nobody made my PC parts cheaper in exchange for fees on every game I buy…

    • Cyampagn says:

      Actually it is 49,95 euros on Origin, so please stop spreading lies.

    • deadsexy says:

      Actually it is 59,99€ here in Austria.
      How about you stop insinuating that I’m a liar?

    • Cyampagn says:

      Ok. my apologies.

      But I can’t get how I’m getting it cheaper (living in Argentina) than anyone from the EU.

  36. PenTagonL says:

    I have been made aware of this, and perhaps others have seen it as well and mentioned it in some other comment, though I have not seen it made mention here, so I thought I would point this out.

    Another game which came out fairly recently, DiRT 3 (on May 23rd, 2011, to be exact, so essentially after the enactment of these “new”, “restrictive” terms of service), also has DLC which can only be purchased outside of Steam, via GFWL. Yet the game is still happily sold on Valve’s service. Why has Codemaster’s game not been pulled from Steam? Is there something special with the way EA does it? Perhaps. It all seems a bit fishy to me, however. EA doesn’t quite have the best reputation, as I’m sure we are all aware, and all these shenanigans seem a bit too coincidental.

    On the same token, Valve could very well be being childish towards EA and booting their games for the tiniest reasons in response to Origin. Though that doesn’t quite seem to be Valve’s style, nor would it make any sense, considering Valve’s market share of online distribution. These actions would only serve to benefit EA’s service, not harm them. But I could be ignorant on the matter.

    Anyway, that’s my two pence.

    • DClark says:

      The Dirt 3 DLC was grandfathered by about 2 weeks. It was released on GFWL on June 1st while the Free to Play games came to Steam on June 14th (which is when I suspect the TOS was changed).

      Edit: Ah, yes, I see more DLC was added later, well after the free to play games launched on Steam. It would be interesting to find out whether Codemasters negotiated some sort of deal with regards to their DLC.

  37. Deano2099 says:

    You can patch through your own client and sell on Steam.

    You can sell DLC through your own client, and also sell on Steam.

    But if you want to sell on Steam and also want to offer either of those two services, you also have to provide them via Steam as well.

    Steam insists that the player is given the choice to patch and buy DLC through Steam, if they want to. That’s all.

  38. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    As interesting as EA vs. Valve is, there’s not much to the story if neither side is willing to come forth with an honest accounting of their side.

    So why not report on EA’s weird relationship with GOG instead? Even if they can’t legally say anything of substance, I bet the guys at GOG/CDProjekt could at least give entertaining responses.

  39. CerberuX says:

    Annoying to say the least. I do find it amusing EA is the only publisher having problems though, “Oh its Valves fault with their silly terms”, tbh the way I speculate this is they found a hole they could exploit with these “new terms” seeing as it’s ONLY EA.

    What bums me out even more is it seems like BF3 is going to have payed DLC, I knew about the Karkland thing if you didn’t pre-order but if theres more than that you can imagine me crying in a corner. I’m sick of payed DLC I still refuse to buy it, mediocre content at best and you charge so much for it. Not to mention if there IS payed DLC it seems the console centric game BC2 gets free DLC and the PC centric game BF3 has to pay.. I think they have got things a little mixed up. The more I hear about this the more sour the taste in my mouth becomes about this situation/game.

    • Shivoa says:

      To be fair they’re not the only publisher to have issues complying with the new rules.

      See Fable 3. MS added the ability to buy codes to enter into GfWL to buy the DLC from Steam. Rather than touch the Steam integration options, MS just hooked up their retail system for DLC code generation to the Steam store (which already has a cd key system for displaying the auth key to the user and instructs the user to open GfWL and enter the code into their game). You can also buy that DLC on GfWL directly.

      So EA either can’t work out how to generate redeemable keys for DLC (to redeem in their Origin/in-game store) or have decided to use this excuse and the launch of Origin to make a grab for some customers and cut out the optional middleman.

    • CerberuX says:

      Yep it proves there is a way to do it. Not a fan of GFWL but props for it all the same at least trying to get along with Steam. Come to think of it I guess games have been doing that for a while, GFWL included, having to enter a CD key etc. I dunno EA just smell fishy on this one… If I do buy BF3, which I do want too it will most definitely be through a site like Amazon. I wish we had some facts for this, at the minute I just see it as one biiiiig excuse.

  40. PersianImm0rtal says:

    link to steamcommunity.com

    Join the boycott!

    • Doesntmeananything says:

      Why? Origin may suck whatever it is the most insulting to suck, but the game isn’t exclusive to EA’s DD service. Yes, it may be nice to have all (most of) the games in one handy place, but which Steam features would be essential for this, not Steamworks, game? As was the case with BFBC2, Steam would just play the role of a purchasing platform.

      EA’s policy is one matter, the actual game is quite another. Boycotting the game based on the former, more so that it isn’t some heinous crime against gaming community, seems like a stupid thing to do.

    • Fox89 says:

      Because that worked SO well with MW2…

    • Cyampagn says:

      N-N-N-N-Nerd Attack

    • reticulate says:

      I believe this efficiently sums up my opinion of “Boycott Game X” Steam groups.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Ah the picture choosen to prove a point, made an a undeterminded time after release, after IW did make some consessions. You should also take into account that while you might not follow through with the boycott, the threat of a boycott is a MASSIVE thing for a publicially traded company as it makes investors worried.
      But hey lets not use our heads and just go “hurp durp boycotting peopel ended up playing the game”

      BTW I am of the firm belief that anyone who brings out that picture as an argument that boycotts does not work is a idiot. As it shows that you don’t know the ideas behind the boycott or the simple fact that people don’t always follow through, but the threat to not follow through is good enough.

  41. YourMessageHere says:

    But what “restrictive terms of service”? What do EA want to do to “interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content” that Steam says they can’t? I for one am dying to hear what it is EA actually want to do that’s not allowed. In fact, I’m rather more interested in that than I am in BF3, in all honesty.

    I’m also concerned that I’ll not be able to get ME3 on Steam when that eventually comes out – I rather assume that the daft Cerberus Network wouldn’t have got past these new T&Cs if ME2 were coming out now, but has to be supported because it’s already on Steam.

    • Shivoa says:

      From what I can piece together, if Mass Effect 2 was released today it would be fine until the first paid DLC was added, at that point it would violate the new contract as (as is currently displayed on the Steam store page for ME2) there is no equivalent option to buy the DLC from inside the Steam ecosystem.

      So, if we move the new Steam rules back in time Mass Effect 2 would release on January 26, 2010 as expected. The Cerberus Network would be included in every new copy and so the 1200 point option to buy doesn’t really have much relevance to Steam (which does not offer resale of games) and so would probably pass through just fine (I am not 100% certain of that, still trying to find someone who has a copy of the new contract so I can read it myself).

      On March 23, 2010 Bioware/EA would put up the Alternate Appearance Pack 1 for 160 points on social.bioware.com and did not add it to Steam as a DLC option. This would trigger the breach of contract and Mass Effect 2 would be removed from the Steam storefront, no new customers would be able to buy a copy on Steam. That is unless there is a clause allowing developers to sell small value or trinket only items exclusively outside of Steam, I don’t expect there is a clause like that but it is possible.

      For certain, on April 6 and the release of the Kasumi – Stolen Memory DLC for 560 point on Bioware / in-game but not on Steam, the storefront presence would be removed. If EA opted to provide a DLC purchase option inside Steam for the DLC then they would be allowed to continues to direct people from inside the game to buy DLC from social.bioware.com and offer that publisher run store in tandem with the Steam store. But EA have decided that allowing PC customers the option of buying DLC from Steam for games purchased from Steam is not in their interest. They do not think the access to new customers that Steam provides them is worth the potential cut to revenue from providing Valve with a cut of any DLC purchased via Steam.

      As EA themselves say, “the good news is: you’ve got plenty of choices.” You can choose to buy their games wherever you want as long as you understand that every piece of DLC must be purchased exclusively from EA directly with every penny going back to them. Or you can choose to not stand for such a wilful distortion of the word ‘choice’ and call bull on this whole thing.

      As Valve start to expand their “sales help developers make money and customers feel they get value for money back so why don’t you join in” initiative to DLC (see Summer sale DLC prizes/releases and getting more DLC advertised as discounted as part of sales pushes – right now the storefront proclaims saving are to be had on Fallout games and their DLC), I think having a retailer open to providing some sales on their DLC to help push new customers might be a good thing. I know Bethesda went from getting £0 of my money for the New Vegas DLC to getting half of what they probably really wanted to get (they got £11 – Valve’s cut and wanted £22 – the cut) by offering a sale price so that worked out for them and I’m quite happy to buy the DLC that otherwise I was planning on giving a miss (well, definitely was going to give the first two a miss, review of OWB might have been tempting).

      Dragon Age 2 has $40 of DLC beyond the sticker price to get everything currently on offer for that game (remember when $40 was the total price of an expansion pack almost as big as the original game, I suspect the current DLC for DA2 falls slightly short of that lofty goal for content). Mass Effect 2 has £30 of DLC for sale (excluding the Cerberus Network that new purchases come free with) at the Bioware social. For a game that regularly is valued below £10 for the boxed game at retail (that’s the new price). I would enjoy that content and get a fuller journey through the developers’ wonderful world (I liked it so much at the start that I paid launch day price on console for ME1 and then brought it again on the PC later) but without sales and discounting (or, at the very least bundling – if only I had a working PS3 to buy the GotY edition that only came out on that platform) that is not a decent value proposition and is very hard to justify.

  42. malkav11 says:

    Hey EA: if I want you to handle DLC and patching for a game, I’ll buy it from you. If I buy it from Steam, I am most likely buying it there because I prefer to have Steam handle my DLC purchases and patching. Is this hard? I don’t think so.

  43. paco says:

    All EA are really doing is screwing themselves out of publishing rights for Valve titles in the future.

    No one will adopt Origin over Steam, at best they’ll buy the few EA titles they want from Origin, only use it for those games and the service will otherwise rot just like GFWL

  44. Vinraith says:

    What’s remarkable about this is that it’s a rare instance of a publicly traded company thinking ahead. There’s no question that in the short term EA would make more money if they had these games on Steam. There’s also no question that in the long term it’s bad for everyone but Valve if Steam is allowed complete dominance of the platform. Trading short term money for the a long term chance at a significant slice of the pie is downright forward-thinking, who knew they had it in them?

    • gwathdring says:

      That is sort of unusual isn’t it? And I’m not even being all that flippant when I say it. Normally these sorts of companies aren’t savvy in the slightest. That’s why advertising is so lucrative.

    • Xiyng says:

      On a side note, most people on the net (including here) don’t seem to be able to grasp the idea.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You’re confusing not understanding with not caring.

      For the most part, the customer doesn’t and really shouldn’t give a crap about what may be best for any given business.

      Sure, EA doesn’t want to give Valve a large chunk of their revenue. The motivation is pretty obvious, and if this puts pressure on Valve to lower their fees to stay relevant, great for developers.

    • Xiyng says:

      What I mean is that there’s tons of people who seem to think EA’s going to lose money etc. because of this. It’s a very stupid argument to use if they do understand the idea behind it.

    • Calabi says:

      The thing is it might be too late. Valve came in with a product at just the right time with a ton of good grace from customers.

      EA have to do this thing perfectly, they cant make any of the tons of mistakes that Steam made along the way, the will not get any compassion or patience from customers, especially with solid competition.

      Is one game enough to do it with?

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ Calabi

      No one is unbeatable. Even the most loyal customer will skip off to somewhere else when given a better deal or faced with an exclusive. The fall of Nintendo to Sony, then Sony to Nintendo and Microsoft, shows this clearly in the games industry.

      Big releases not being on Steam will take away from Steam’s market share without question. Is Battlefield 3 enough on its own? No, probably not. Every EA game from now on though? Every Blizzard game? Every Activision game if they start using battle.net more effectively? Yes, that shit adds up. Then you have the THQs and Ubisofts and Eidoses thinking to themselves “hmmmm 100% of the profit sounds good” and so on and so on.

  45. Xiyng says:

    Some of the complainers are funny.

    Some seem to think EA is evil for wanting control over THEIR game. Naturally Valve is not at all evil for wanting to control the games of OTHERS on their platform. If a publisher wants its game on Steam, I agree that they have to follow the rules. But if the publisher doesn’t agree to the rules, I also think it’s fine if they don’t use the service.

    Some seem to think that having all in one place is good, and there’s nothing wrong there (well, at least nothing I want to talk about right now). However, I bet many of these complainers still buy games that use GfWL (Fallout 3 for example) and while they’re probably quite unhappy about it, they don’t do anything about it. In the end, they have to create another account and also use a service that’s probably much worse than EA’s Origin. And that’s not all, GfWL is also likely to handle updates and DLC. This makes me wonder: how exactly is EA more evil? Origin is probably superior to GfWL, AFAIK you don’t have to run it in the background, and you can still add the games as non-Steam games if you really want. The only practical difference could be that you didn’t buy the game on Steam. (Please note that I don’t know how Steam handles in-game chatting for GfWL titles and non-Steam games so there could be some differences too.)

    Also, don’t take this too seriously (because I really don’t want to get in a fight because of this again): how is Valve better than EA when Valve’s games are available on Steam only while EA’s games are available everywhere but Steam (well, actually only EA’s newest games aren’t available on Steam)?

    I don’t see why people want to defend Valve so blindly. I can understand people wanting all their games on one service and I don’t necessarily mind it. I just find blind Valve fanboys very annoying and hard to understand. In fact, lately even console fanboys haven’t been able to come even close to Valve fanboys, and they used to be pretty bad.

    • paco says:

      People defend Valve over EA because Valve doesn’t fuck their customers, offers a simple platform full of great deals that are easily accessible. Only Europeans cry about Valve, because of the pricing in Europe. Anyone who defends EA over Valve prove themselves an unreliable opinion because of the simple history of the two companies and how they treat their customers and fanbase.

      Valve, simply put, are the gamers bros. EA are not.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ paco

      Valve have certainly nurtured that reputation despite doing a ton of things other companies get bashed for (DRM, paid DLC and microtransactions, keeping their games exclusive). It’s kind of amusing how good they are at it.

      At the end of the day both these companies want money and power though, make no mistake. Neither is your bro.

    • Nalano says:

      Valve offers tangible benefits along with its DRM. Other publishers don’t.

    • paco says:

      Nothing Valve does is onerous is how they get away with it. Paid content dlc for…games they then give away for free, items you can acquire in game anyway without paying anything, “drm” that is the least restrictive of any kind on the market, these aren’t things to complain about, some people simply are never satisfied.

      Valve is our, the gaming communities, bros. That’s why they’re so successful. EA has shat on us for decades.

      Sorry but you’re just flat out wrong

    • Kaira- says:

      “drm” that is the least restrictive of any kind on the market

      You are truly a funny man, I believed you for a second and then you said this. And Valve is definetly not my bros. Maybe yours.

    • paco says:

      Kaira = No ability to actually back up his whining about valve drm

      Enjoy being butthurt over nothing bro

    • Kaira- says:

      @paco

      Eh wut?

      How about… let’s see… Steam being the only DRM so far that has prevented me from playing a game that I’ve bought? As compared to CD-keys, CD-checks and so? Or even Tages (though removing that was really unpleasant experience and I’d rather not install it again on my computer).

    • Rii says:

      The only butthurt I’m seeing here is from you, paco. Apparently you can’t handle the fact that not everyone bends the knee to Valve.

    • Xiyng says:

      @paco:

      I wasn’t talking about why people defend Valve. I was talking about why people blame EA.

      I did bring up a point my Valve isn’t the saint people claim it to be, but that wasn’t the point this time. And when I said I’m annoyed by blind Valve fanboys, I meant blind – people who defend Valve no matter what. Even when Valve does something that would be loathed should anyone else do it, these people just say just Valve did it for our own good.

      Also, you’re obviously wrong about only Europeans complaining about Valve. Personally I am annoyed by it, but was that my complaint? No, it wasn’t. And I believe many Americans find the same problems with Valve as I do, excluding regional pricing.

      Also, Steam is one of the most restrictive forms of DRM if you really think about it. It just happens to have an actual service tied to it as well so people don’t notice it.

  46. zeroskill says:

    No mod tools -> dont care. Battlefield used to be a PC game with a proper modding community. Now its just a empty shell designed to milk the fanbase with Paid DLC. No thanks. Dont even care if it is on Steam or on Origin or in my freaking crapper. I just know one thing. EA stands for no modding tools and paid DLC. With Origin, they bring the way of the console to the PC. Go die EA.

    • Xiyng says:

      This, very much this. Worst of all, they have maps as pre-order DLC. I don’t really see a much better way to divide the community. It’s almost like they want the game to fail. Seeing how they are ready to divide the community at release, I have no doubt they’re going to release even more DLC later. They want to beat CoD but they are damaging the part that made CoD popular: multiplayer. When you release DLC, you have to be careful not to divide the community too much. I’d say a game can take two or three map packs at most without suffering a lot, and even that’s a lot.

    • Cyampagn says:

      That DLC will be released for everyone at the same time, I guess? You’re only getting it ‘free’ if you pre order.

    • HermitUK says:

      The DLC will be released a couple of months later, and those who don’t preorder can buy then if they want it. We’ve been told it’ll work in much the same way as Vietnam did for BC2 – entirely different set of servers for it. To be quite honest, getting a free ~£8 expansion pack for preordering isn’t exactly a bad deal, assuming you’re intending on buying the game at launch anyway.

    • zeroskill says:

      There is more to this DLC deal then you might think. There has been a rumor about coming from Valve insiders that EA accually tried to buyout Valve, and Valve refused to be bought out. Now, why would EA want such a thing. Because of 2 reasons. First off, obviously, Valve is highly profitable. Second, Valve still stands for the PC way, EA dont want that. They dont like it one bit. Valve releases modding tools for all of their games, and free DLC to go with it. Also, Valve stands for community integration. They have always been very close to the moding community, the people that make maps, skins and other extensions to their games, as well as to their competitive players. Thats why they hold tournaments, reward community contributors and support them in all of their games (See the Cold Stream campaign for Left 4 Dead 2 or the recent Portal 2 mapping contest). Also, a big majority of Valves employees started out as modders themselfs, most of the original team that worked on Half-life accually were Quake modders.
      EA does nothing of that sort. Quite the opposite is true in fact. They have a great history of castrating great studios like DICE and Bioware which stood for modding, and today? They are reduced to sell paid DLC instead. Crysis 1 has quite a big modding scene, and what does Crysis 2 have? Paid map packs. EA doesnt want a community of gamers. The only thing they want is to sell as much of their shitty 4 map packs for 10 bucks. Origin will be a part in their plan to make the PC market more like consoles. All paid map packs, no modding, no mapping, no competitive scenes. I say no thanks.
      Oh, and remember “Origin systems”? No you dont.

  47. ScubaMonster says:

    The only saving grace for Origin is that it doesn’t need to run in the background. I registered my key for Bad Company 2 on Origin to test it out and when I downloaded and ran the game, there was no background process running. I was able to start it up and play just fine without running Origin.

    So basically it’s entirely optional to use the community features. Assuming it stays that way for their future releases you can just buy the retail copy and not have to mess with Origin period. Or buy it from Impulse, etc.

    The fact they don’t guarantee download rights after a year and the old EA store charged a fee to re-download after that year was up is reason enough for me to steer far away from this. They still have that clause in the Origin FAQ and since they actually did that before with the old store I really doubt it’s just legalese and they won’t actually do it again.

    • Xiyng says:

      @kila1221: The game is running and is using Origin’s community/other features? I’m guessing you can run games you’ve bought on Origin without using Origin but you can’t shut down Origin when you’re already running a game on it.

  48. fritz says:

    BF3 is the kind of game I would likely have purchased if it was on Steam but likely not if it wasn’t.

    Your loss, EA.

    • Jimbo says:

      Only if enough of the market thinks the same way you do, which I doubt tbh. 3 sales on Origin is probably more profitable for them than 4 on Steam after all. They’ll lose some sales from not being on Steam, but (given the marketing for BF3 will be massive and everywhere, meaning they aren’t relying on Steam for exposure at all in this case) I doubt enough people will refuse to buy anywhere other than Steam for EA to end up losing out.

    • PoulWrist says:

      No, I’d say it’s your loss. But if monopoly building is something you want to support, go on ahead. Maybe one day you’ll feel the price on steam being as hideously expensive as those of us in the EU that aren’t in the UK getting the special treatment of having the cheapest steam prices in the world, are.

  49. McDan says:

    Start of a showdown(ish). Which I imagine will be going on for a long while.

  50. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    No reason whatsoever why EA should indefinitely pay Valve a cut of nearly every online sale, when they can just move everything to their own equivalent service and get more profit from each sale. It was always going to be the logical end game, surely.
    There may be some teething problems while it all takes place, but I’ve yet to hear a proper argument as to why they shouldn’t do this. (Apart from the Steam-diehards who *must* have everything on one client, regardless of the reduced profits it’s costing some of those games’ publishers who have the infrastructure to do it their own way – but is this really an argument?).

    • Teddy Leach says:

      The haters are going to hate you so much.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      I have my kevlar armour on ready for them!

      But I’m really interested in whether someone can – for the first time – actually respond with a valid reason why EA shouldn’t do this, beyond personal preference or the usual ‘coz EA iz shit!’, etc.

      Financially, it will eventually make sense for them. And the vast majority of gamers would still buy an EA game outside of Steam if they had to (if it was a game they really wanted to play). A few lost sales to Steam diehards wouldn’t harm them.

    • Tomm says:

      I’m of the same opinion Hippo, nice to see someone else on the same wavelength.

      I tend to buy my games where they’re cheapest. If that happens to be Steam then so be it, but I’m not averse to buying boxed copies retail. When it comes down to it, if it had been on Steam and Origin it would have been so massively overpriced (as are all major releases) that I would have got it retail anyway. I even get pre-order bonuses if I do. Then all I have to do is link the game to Steam and it’s sitting right there alongside all my other games. People seem to be forgetting that you only need Origin to download games, it doesn’t need to be running in the background when you play.

    • Harkkum says:

      In an ideal world, I’d love to see every game being available from every download service. Then I would have the power to choose which store to use and that decision would be based on my personal preference not on the effective limitation of the market.

      There are no bad guys or good guys on competition like this. I’d wager that the only losers are going to be the customers, but that’s a topic for a totally different discussion. I wonder when EU will take a stance on this matter, after all it is pretty close to the (in)famous car parts decision where games are cars and DLC are parts.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      But this ideal world has no real sense of reality, since to go along with this EA would need to be prepared to lose 30% (or whatever they have to pay Valve) every time their game sells on Steam, which would still have the majority online sales if they decided to sell on there along side Origin.

      These last few years of convenience were always going to come to an end at some point, since it makes no sense for EA to continue in the same vein, and I think the ball is rolling now.

      Again, like I said earlier, I’ve yet to see an alternative argument on all 6 pages of comments on this article which stands up to scrutiny. It’s all about personal preference, convenience and ideal world scenarios.
      Which are irrelevant in terms of EA’s decision making.

      This whole process should be seen as an inevitability, not something to get riled about. There are many other EA business practises worth getting stuck into, but moving away from Steam isn’t one of them.