Thursday, 4 July 2013

EA Looking for A New Origin

But will they find what they seek?

Admittedly, a lot of things have been said of Origin, EA's answer to Valve, Good Old Games, and other digital distribution centres. On that same note, if I recall correctly, a lot of what has been said isn't exactly what I would call, you know, good. From the price points to the DRM there hasn't been a lot of nice things said about the young service.

That may be why Electronic Arts is hoping that people will accept a re-establishment of sorts.

It would seem that EA is trying to reorient itself lately, hoping to move away from the image that has earned them the "Worst Company in America" award from voters twice in as many years. Since Origin is a large part of EA's plan it only makes sense for it to change as well. Of course, EA is trying to spin this in a way that makes it seem that it was something that was bound to happen anyways:

"'Over the years … there’ve been some permutations of that vision that have manifested as part of Origin. It is by no means perfect, but we’ve done some pretty cool things. As you say, the plumbing is there. What can we do now to really think about Origin in the next generation?' asked Wilson."

EA can make Origin good, but the question is whether people will still give it shit over what they see as an aping of Steam's features. Even though Steam doesn't have copyrights on things like community pages, online content guides, user profiles and things of that sort, they are the frontrunners in the eyes of many when it comes to the implementation of such things. EA can make Origin less about the hard drive to sell, but in doing so they probably will stand accused of simply following in the footsteps of well trodden ground.

Still, even if they are accused of ripping off Steam, and even if some of those accusations are correct, then I still believe that Origin becoming more about gaming than about selling games is a good thing overall. I mean, even though Steam is, at its heart, a store, it's only because there's so much more to it that it's so loved by the majority of gamers.

“The transaction component of that service has taken a disproportionate amount of the communication and mindshare of what we really try and provide.”

No one is saying that it's a sin to sell a product. But when that's all that's being done to the seeming exclusion of everything else (and with some bad practices anyways) then it's really no wonder that people will turn to other services to get what they actually want.

As strange as it is for me to say this, I kind of hope that EA does keep trying to clean up its act. I know that these are small steps forward after a lot of giant steps back, but fuck, it's better than nothing, right?

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