EA's Origin Makes a Play for Your Digital Dollar

Just before E3, EA announced that the service formerly known as the "EA Store" was being rebranded and repurposed as Origin - proclaimed as "your new destination for browsing, buying, downloading and playing your favorite games".

Yesterday, news got out that the recently released Crysis 2 was withdrawn from sale on Valve's Steam delivery service, with the game's official page updated to say "only on Origin". That latter part has since been removed, however in a discussion with GamesIndustry.biz, Frank Gibeau (President of EA Games) made it clear that EA sees a big future for Origin.

"We are going to continue to be great partners for our retail channel partners as they evolve their business models to account for digital," he told GamesIndustry.biz.

"But at the same time you talk about platform exclusives like Halo or Uncharted, EA's going to have some of our own platform exclusives."

The new Star Wars MMO based in the Knights of the Old Republic world, The Old Republic, is one of those exclusives - not available anywhere else, gamers that want to play will need to sign up to Origin if they want in.

"In the case of Star Wars we're trying to build an audience for Origin. And it's also an opportunity for us to better manage the downloads and how we bring people over from the beta and that sort of thing. For a lot of reasons it made sense for an MMO, which is a highly complex deployment."

The strategy was made crystal clear later in the interview, with Gibeau stating ""For us it's really about, we're the worldwide leader in packaged goods publishing, we'd like to be the worldwide leader in digital publishing."

So there you have it. Are EA doing the right thing by you, the gamer? Is having yet another digital distribution method something you're excited about? Does this signal the beginning of EA looking upon themselves as more than a publisher? Can we expect a EA-branded gaming console at some point? Or is this just another example of a publisher looking to cement their future as content delivery mechanisms move more and more towards the online-only future?


Relevant Articles


Comments Comments (1)

Posted by OriginalSin
On Thursday 16 Jun 2011 2:52 PM
As the prices on Origin for digital products are higher than retail box, I don't see the point. Especially when you factor the download into the final cost. Hardly a way to encourage people to come shop there.

Fail? Or am I missing something.