I’m fairly ignorant of what’s on EA’s Origin, which I currently think of as a Battlefield 3 launcher. But even I can’t wilfully avoid the news of more new publishers dropping games onto the digital distribution service. Not when it’s the likes of Paradox, Trion Worlds, and CD Projekt.
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Posts Tagged ‘Origin’
Because it’s a download. I mean I guess maybe that is still physical in some sense. It is a configuration of atoms on hard-drives… This is a rubbish line of thinking. Look over there, a free thing! It’s out and free, says Battlefieldblog. It’s new guns, as trailered below. So are you Battlefield 3 purchasers still playing Battlefield 3? Or has the lustre worn off?
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RPS Feature A Forum For Debate
For the last week I’ve been sending quite a few emails to various people within EA, trying to get to the bottom of why gamers receiving forum bans are finding they do not have access to their Origin online gaming. My goal has been to get a clear understanding of their current policy on the matter, since the company’s actions don’t appear to match the statements made in 2008, and March this year. On both occasions they have made it clear that forum bans should not affect access to games, and yet it’s quite obvious that’s not the case. So what is going on? We’re getting closer to understanding. While we’ve still no clear idea what their current policy actually is, EA have promised me that they are “planning a policy update which will include more equitable rules”, with a view to having “the time fit the crime.”
Edit: Still working after all! But you have to ‘buy’ it and apply the code via the Origin client, not the website. UK only, by the sounds of things.
Me: Fancy a free download copy of the pretty good Burnout Paradise?
You: Ooh, yes please. You’re so good to me, Alec. I think I might love you.
Me: OK. first you’ll need to install EA’s controversial Origin…
You: WHAT NO, NO I’M NOT GOING TO DO THAT NO NOT FOR ANYTHING I’D RATHER EAT MY OWN NOSTRIL HAIR. And I defiitely don’t love you anymore.
Me: Well, whatever. My cat loves me, so I’ll be alright. Anyway, then add Burnout Paradise to your basket from the Origin store, and enter PARADISE at checkout to remove all cost from it. Yes, in capitals.
You: OK, I might do that, but if you tell anyone I installed Origin to get my hands on a freebie even though I’ve spent the last month loudly saying I would not, I’m going to kill your cat.
Me: Deal. Oh yeah, and this probably won’t last long, so get a move on, right? And stay the hell away from my cat, you bastard.
EA’s Origin service has come under unusual pressure in Germany after a number of (unconfirmed, as far as I can tell) analyses seemed to show the program accessing data used by external programs. Additionally, German newspaper the Spiegel caused particular consternation by running an article suggesting that the licence agreement that came with the service might not hold up under German law. The situation has become so fraught that German retailers have taken the unusual step of offering to refund Battlefield 3, even after redemption of keys and registration with EA. Eurogamer report that EA Germany issued this statement yesterday:
“We have updated the End User License Agreement of Origin, in the interests of our players to create more clarity. Origin is not spyware. Neither do we use nor install spyware on the PCs of users.”
Electronic Arts’ digital storefront is expanding next month, with the news that Warner Bros., THQ and Capcom will begin offering some of their releases through Origin. Batman: Arkham City and Saints Row: The Third are the only games mentioned by name but more will be available and “additional titles” are promised in the coming months. Both of those games will still be available elsewhere so this is a case of choice rather than exclusivity. Maybe it will lead to discount wars, maybe it’ll lead to people shrugging and continuing to purchase games from their preferred distributor, but it does feel like a significant step for Origin. The future looks increasingly competitive. EA-speak below.
There was much excitement when Origin users in the US noticed a buy two get one free promotion that includes three Valve titles: Left 4 Dead GOTY Edition, Left 4 Dead 2 and Counterstrike: Source. Could it mean the end of Valve and EA’s digital distribution feud? Of course not. The games aren’t being digitally distributed through Origin’s service, they are retail copies (in boxes made of actual matter like in olden times) that will be delivered to users as part of the offer. Perhaps an EA man will simply step out of the ‘Pizza Delivery’ van that has been inexplicably parked across the street from your house since you signed that EULA and leave the parcel on your doorstep. Or not. At retail, Valve products have been published by EA for many a moon, so this could be seen as nothing more than a good way to free up some warehouse space.
We never did hear back from EA about the Origin EULA thing, but Giant Bomb have noticed that the EULA has been substantially redrafted to sound less sinister. The new EULA is a bit more of protestation of innocence than the original legalese: “EA knows that you care how information about you is collected, used and shared, and we appreciate your trust that we will do so carefully and sensibly. Information about our customers is an important part of our business, and EA would never sell your personally identifiable information to anyone, nor would it ever use spyware or install spyware on users’ machines.” It does seem like the rest of EULA means you are still basically agreeing to the same thing, however.
As spotted by the canny denizens of the Escapist forum, there is a quite extraordinary clause in the EULA of EA’s new game service, Origin. One that may well make you think twice about letting the software on your PC. Under the title of “Consent to Collection and Use of Data”, the clause states that by installing Origin you are giving EA permission to “collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer, operating system, Application usage (including but not limited to successful installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware.”
I mean they need to bring sexy back, too, but Electronic Arts – who have removed a bunch of games from Steam and don’t intend to put Battlefield 3 on there – will have to come first, according to this article over on Develop. Valve bossking Newell reportedly said: “We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do. I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”
It’ll be interesting to see whether that can now get resolved. Probably not before Battlefield 3 comes out, eh?