Electronic Arts are returning to Steam after a long hiatus. The first game to come over to the dark side is, appropriately enough, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on November 15. It’ll be followed by the EA big guns of FIFA 20, Battlefield V, and more next year. And they’re bringing their subscription service, EA Origin Access, which is a real surprise.
Here’s yer Jedis. As you can see, it is tainted with the warning that it incorporates 3rd-party DRM, which means you’re still required to use EA’s Origin launcher.
They’re not holding anything back, according to their blog post: The Sims 4, Unravel Two, Apex Legends, FIFA 20, and Battlefield V are all on the cards for a release next year, and because players are launching Origin via Steam, multiplayer games won’t be divvied up by platform. They’re all on the same servers.
There’s no word on buying older games, but EA Origin Access does have access to some. It’s a gaming subscription to EA’s titles that’s split into two tiers. For £3.99 or £19.99 a year you get access to the Basic tier, which still has the likes of Anthem, Battlefield V, pretty much every sports game from last ‘season’, a pile of random games from EA and other publishers, and 10-hour trials to upcoming games. The Premier tier is £14.99 a month or £89.99 a year, and you get all that, but the 10-hour trials are replaced with access to the full games. Valve don’t have a subscription service of its own, but it looks like they’re giving everyone the full Origin experience nonetheless.
So they’ve made up after a falling out that seemed to start with Dragon Age 2 over eight years ago. Valve wanted games to handle DLC through Steam, but Dragon Age 2 had a launcher capable of doing that independantly. Terms and conditions won out and EA have been gone ever since.
It seems like a bit of a win for Valve in the current battle of the gaming stores. Do Epic have something to counter this? Do they care? Am I asking too many open questions at the end of this? Mayyyyyybe.