THINGS ARE GETTING REALLY STRANGE NOW. Now being outside of UK office hours mean we're yet to get our own EA response to why Crysis 2 vanished from Steam yesterday, but across-the-ponders have now received one. The upshot? Despite all this 'only on Origin' stuff, EA didn't do it. So: who did?
Valve, apparently. Said an EA bod to GameFront, "It’s unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service. This was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA."
"Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service – many of which are not imposed by other online game services. Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam."
And which other download service is it that Crytek's been batting their eyelids at? Given EA earlier revealed it would be making some of its own games exclusive to its own download platform, could it be EA's own Origin and a Steam-baiting term and/or condition therein? Or a change made at one of the others the game's still available on, such as Direct2Drive, Gamersgate (their impending free service, perhaps?) and, in the US only, Gamestop and Amazon?
On the other hand, there's that reference to "new rules" from Steam. Anyone heard anything about that?
War. War never changes. Or gets any less weird.
Tell you what though: this is happening with a game that was released several months ago and thus there's probably not tooooo much revenue to be lost as a result of this platform bickering. When this happens with a big new release, with a whole lot of money in the balance, then things'll get really serious. Of course, Crysis 2 might end up being the sacrificial lamb that leads to new harmony between the two firms, although one side publicly blaming the other does of course complicate that.
I've asked Valve for their side of things - will update as and when we hear back.