Image courtesy of EA and Respawn Entertainment
It’s difficult to write this article without being a little tongue in cheek. EA was one of the first companies to take their ball and go home when it came to Steam. After years of success launching games on the distribution platform, EA had the idea that they could just have their own platform and not have to give money to Valve. Theoretically, it makes sense, but in practice is another story.
Cue up EA Origin, a platform that was almost universally reviled and endlessly mocked. Sure, a lot of that was bitterness. I still haven’t forgiven them for having Mass Effect 1 and 2 on Steam, but not 3. However, the platform was just not great. And as expected, their sales suffered. People started playing their games on console or just passing up their titles altogether. Anything to avoid downloading and running Origin.
Now, we’ve learned that EA Games will be returning to Steam. Both EA and Valve will spin this as a hard fought deal behind closed doors, meant to bring their games to a wider audience. And in a sense, that’s true. It’s definitely to bring their games to a wider audience. But I highly doubt that this is a case of Origin being a runaway success and out of EA’s benevolence, they’re bringing their titles back to Steam. No, this reeks of desperation.
The deal goes into effect with the upcoming release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I’m excited, because now I can get the game on Steam instead of console. Hopefully, this will right some other wrongs as well. Looking at you Mass Effect 3! It’s a good move both for EA and Steam, but it’s one that should never have had to happen. This likely marks the opening shot of the end of the ‘launcher era.’ In reality, the market probably only bears out two or three maximum platforms like this. Origin was doomed the moment Epic Games Store didn’t suck, and credit to EA for seeing the writing on the wall. If only they realized that writing was there years ago.
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