EA Announces Origin Digital Distribution Service

It looks like Electronic Arts wants to go head-to-head with Steam – or at least save some money by avoiding Valve’s digital distribution platform altogether. This morning the company dusted off its Origin label (you know, the company founded by Richard Garriott) as the name of a new digital distribution service. EA is calling Origin a "direct-to-consumer gaming platform where consumers can find, purchase and download all the best content from EA." Origin launches today with more than 150 games. In the months ahead, Origin will be the place to purchase and download exclusive limited edition copies of EA games, including Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12, and content from EA Partners including Alice: Madness Returns and 38 Studios’ Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Later this year, digital downloads of Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available exclusively on Origin.

Also launching today is the Origin beta application. Available for download at www.origin.com, the Origin beta is a desktop application that lets users find and connect with friends, see what they are playing, and download and play PC games straight from EA.

Origin will also be available to mobile devices giving gamers access to an Origin mobile profile where they can connect and play with friends in EA’s smartphone titles, including SCRABBLE and the upcoming mobile version of Battlefield 3. In the future, mobile gamers will also be able to see what games their friends are playing, as well as compare high scores.

Yes, it does sound a lot like Steam. The service is basically a rework of the EA Games Store.

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  1. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    Current? Nope.

    I’ve never had any issues redownloading games from the EA Download manager. Everything I’ve ever owned on it is as accessible as they day I bought it. The way people still talk like it’s a currently existing issue seems like total BS.

    If such internet legends are so strong this long after they stopped doing it, any kind of EA store is dead in the water, no matter how many times they rebrand it.

  2. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    Seriously.  The one time I was about to make a purchase at the EA online store, I noticed their policy about redownloading games, and I was horrified.  You got a minimal window in which to download the game, but for an extra fee, you could extend that window to 2 years.  If you failed to do so and wanted to download the game again later, you had to buy it again.  I couldn’t believe someone could actually attempt to sell things under such a horrible system, when Steam already existed and offered you unlimited downloads of your games, forever, from anywhere.  I said nuts to EA’s online store, and went and bought a physical copy of the game instead.  If they don’t change that policy for Origin, it’s going to be one of Steam’s more short-lived "competitors".

  3. 0
    Zerodash says:

    If they want to stand a chance against Steam, a good start would be NOT charging a $5 fee to let you download the game again at a later date…like their current Download setup does.

  4. 0
    koichan says:

    Poking around the FAQs:

    "Q: Will my game download ever expire?
    A: Digital download rights remain available for at least one year after purchase. Origin typically doesn’t retire games, and we’ve only retired about 10 of the 200 games we sell, and these have generally been because of the expiration of licensing rights."

    So looks like an improvement from the old horrible ‘charge to redownload’ model, but the fact that redownloads are only guaranteed for 1 year still puts it far below steam.

    I really want to buy alice returns on digital, looks like i may have to wait longer to see if it pops up online elsewhere or resort to retail for the first time in years…


  5. 0
    Left4Dead says:

    EA for the lulz.  I’m not installing anything other than Steam until I can TRANSFER DIGITAL LICENSES between platforms.

    – Left4Dead

    Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

    -- Left4Dead --

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