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EA States Origin not to be EA Exclusive

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More news today from EA as it relates to its Origin digital distribution platform.

The company has flatly stated that EA’s games will not be sold exclusively through Origin and that there might be a way for other publishers to sell games on EA’s service.

Of course, Steam is still off limits, according to EA because “Valve’s service restricts our ability to directly support players”.

In speaking to Eurogamer, Gabe Newell of Valve still tried to play the diplomacy card.

“I’m not really sure what they’re trying to get across. We want EA’s games on Steam. We think we have to earn that along with any other developer. There’s not some presumptive right we have to be tools for other developers. Just like Take-Two, or Ubisoft, or anybody else, we have to work hard to convince EA that it’s valuable. Obviously we haven’t done that recently, and we’ll work hard to convince them that there are good reasons to have their products on Steam.”

Eurogamer has a more in depth three page analysis today about Origin, Steam and the value of competition. Worth a read.

Like it or not, EA’s Origin store could prove but a taste of things to come, and it may well be single-publisher stores such as these that eat into Steam’s bottom line rather than more conventional competition. As digital delivery increasingly becomes the industry standard for PC, it’s natural for slow-on-the-uptake publishers to want to make up some ground and wrestle control of their games back from third parties. With a hefty percentage of a game’s asking price being skimmed off by Valve, who can blame Riccitiello (EA) for wanting to strike out on his own?

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

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