Yesterday, EA announced that their online service Origin has gained the support of more third-party developers such as Sega, Kalypso, Team 17, and Rebellion. Origin is now backed by a total of thirty-five publishers and developers after the recent addition and agreement to bring the games of several more third party partners to the service.
Craig Rechenmacher, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Origin, stated:
“By partnering with publishers like Sega, we’re able to bring even more of the industry’s best games to players on Origin… With 11 million registered users around the world, Origin is fast becoming the destination for consumers looking for fresh new content to play with their friends.”
PC titles from the publishers and developers will appear on Origin in the “coming months.” Sega in particular is starting with Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai, which is currently available for pre-order on Origin. Sega’s John Clark, UK Managing Director and PC Digital Distribution Director, has expressed excitement over this new development:
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Origin. The PC Market is continuing to grow and the prospect of offering the Total War franchise and the Sega range of PC titles to the Origin audience is very exciting.”
Analysis: Despite what one’s personal feelings may be towards EA and their Origin service, they have taken it upon themselves to take this competitor to Valve’s Steam very seriously and are aware of what they must do to have any chance of competing in a fairly dominated market. One of those things is having their service provide games created by third-party developers and that has slowly been achieved.
I still think they have quite a ways to go, which I and my fellow staff discussed in a recent Monday ‘Joe. If EA could reconsider their banning practices and their tendency to keep people from playing the games they pay for, I think the service wouldn’t have such a negative connotation tied to it. It would also be ideal if, instead of directly competing with Steam, they could work together. However, I doubt that’s anything more than a pipe dream of my own.
Other than EA making their biggest titles available only on their service and customers having to juggle multiple accounts, I see the development of Origin becoming a viable game service that can serve only to improve the PC industry for all gamers. If anything, it serves as a competitor to Steam and pushes Valve to try and keep their market with specials, sales, and updates for Steam to provide a more superior product. EA would obviously want to take a sizable amount of the market for themselves, and this would involve creating a product that people want to use. Whether you use Origin, Steam, or both, the competition between the two services can only enhance the experience of PC gamers with more affordable prices.