Publisher's new digital download platform takes precedence
EA just launched a new digital download PC software platform called Origin, and it looks like the company plans to back out of what is currently the most popular digital download platform.
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Up until now, if someone wanted to buy a game for their PC, they would download the Steam client and then browse for games through there. It had become the unofficial standard for instant access to computer game titles.
However, EA is now throwing a wrench into those works. Earlier this month, it launched a rival service called Origin.
At its E3 press conference, Origin seemed to be more of a star than Madden, The Sims, or Battlefield, as nearly everyone who took the stage put in a plug for a trailer or demo being available "on Origin.com."
It's a direct competitor to Steam, the long-running digital download platform owned by developer Valve, which has sort of become the universal service for publishers wanting to get their downloadable games directly to consumers.
That includes EA. The publisher has dozens of titles available on Steam, but now that it has Origin, one of EA's best-selling games, Crysis 2, has mysteriously disappeared from Steam.
The publisher confirmed the game is now available "only on Origin." In addition, the newly released Alice: Madness Returns, launched on Origin with no sign of it on Steam.
While this move makes sense if it wants to draw attraction to its new digital download platform, the question is whether or not it will lose out on potential sales from Steam users who may not know or care about Origin.
Origin incorporates social networking features, allowing users to share news about the games they purchase, and is also available on the iTunes App Store.