Valve’s Gabe Newell on EA’s Progress with Origin

EA's digital distribution platform "has a long way to go," according to Valve's Gabe Newell, who owns Steam. As part of episode one of the Seven Day Cooldown podcast, Newell gave a blunt response when asked what he thought about EA's digital distribution platform.

"They have a lot of work to do to get to where they need to be and where I as a customer would want them to be," he said.

He was then asked if he thought Origin is currently doing anything particularly well Newell stammered on the air and then offered a long silent pause.

"I don't want to dodge the question – I don't think they're doing anything super-well yet," he offered. "They have a bunch of smart people working on it but I think they're still playing catch up to a lot of people who have been working in the space for a while. I think they're recognizing what the challenges are with building and scaling out this kind of system."

"That's not to say they won't build stuff in the future that is useful to software developers or to gamers but they haven't done that yet," he added.

Newell also responded to a question about the possibility of seeing any of EA's "Origin-exclusive" games coming back to Steam at some point.

"We'd love to have their games on Steam," he explained. "We think their customers would be happy if their games were on Steam. We tell them that on a regular basis. I think EA wants to take their shot at building their own alternative to Steam, and if they're successful at that and their customers like that then that's great."

Finally, Newell said that EA needed to recognize that "whatever they're trying to do to create value for their customers is not a zero sum game."

"As we learn about this stuff we're all going to be making things better for other gamers. [Epic Games boss] Tim Sweeney doesn't look at Steam and say 'F***, we shouldn't support that because that will hurt long term sales of the Unreal Engine.' He's like, 'that's pretty cool, that's pretty useful.'"

"So hopefully EA get their head to the same place."

Source: Eurogamer by way of Reclaim Your Game. Image from Seven Day Cooldown

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  1. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Well it's like this. I am an avid BF3 player. Origin fails at the most basic of features, alerts and in-game chat. Alerts are abysmal. They never tell me a friend is online until my friend is actually already joined to the server I am on and already in my squad, then… MAYBE… Origin will pop up and say "XXXXXX is online." Then 5 min after we have been playing together it will then pop up. "XXXXXX is playing BF3."

    In-game chat is wonky at best. its about a 50/50 if a friends chat pops up on my PC and honestly, since it pops up in the lower right corner…. I miss it frequently. 

    Steam has none of these failures. I know right when a friend comes online and when a chat window pops up, I can move it to wherever I can see and move it to where it is of the least inconvenience.

    I could keep going on about advance feature failures like VoIP etc… but if you can't handle the simple stuff, why bother?

  2. 0
    Yammo says:

    Install Origin or never play another EA game, ever?
    Choice is simple…
    …good bye EA!
    (And good riddance to you, I haven't bought a single EA game since Origin…)

    Publishers cry about piracy, then turn around and require the paying customers to install bloaty spyware programs on their PCs, while cornering markets and forcing paying customers to jump through hoop after hoop by making things exclusive this and exclusive that.

    Mr Newell was absolutely correct when he said that piracy wasn't about pricing, but about service… I may not really like Steam a whole lot, but it does ONE thing RIGHT… it is pretty damn convenient! All the games i want… at the click of the mouse.

    …but it stops being convenient if i have to install a spyware-platform-DRM for every single publisher out there! 



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