EA games come to Steam, without DRM

Starting today, some of EA's biggest titles are available for purchase for the first time on Valve's Steam, a huge online superstore for Windows games. The first games availiable are Spore, Warhammer Online, Need for Speed Undercover, Mass Effect, and FIFA Manager 09, along with the hugely popular Crysis, Crysis: Warhead, and SiN Episodes: Emergence. Another batch of games is soon to hit Steam too, such as Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, and Command and Conquer: Red alert 3.

The prices are comparable to the retail prices, except, there are two major differences: No physical product and no DRM on EA's part. If you have a fast broadband Internet connection and don't mind downloading the games, you can probably live without the physical CD and product key. The second exception comes as a huge surprise, as EA's latest games (such as Spore) have been ridiculed and boycotted due to strict DRM restrictions, such as not being able to install the game more than three times without calling up EA technical support for help with activation. SecuROM is no longer present in the Steam releases, and instead uses Valve's own form of DRM, which is much more loose: Don't go crazy. As long as you have a reasonable amount of PC's hosting the game at once (not 1000 for example), you will be able to play the game and redownload it when necessary.

EA has contributed this move to help drive Christmas sales, and plans expansion up to the point when titles released to retail are also released on Steam.

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22 Comments

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What I do when I format is backup my steam files on a separate hdd. When I reinstall windows I copy them back and install steam in the same folder and everythings back! No need to install games in steam, they just work

I love Steam, I always reformat my Pc at least two times a year. I love the fact that I only have to download the Steam Client and download the games I own with out having to look for the CD/DVD and manuals and look up the CD Keys.

Redant said,
I love Steam, I always reformat my Pc at least two times a year. I love the fact that I only have to download the Steam Client and download the games I own with out having to look for the CD/DVD and manuals and look up the CD Keys.

Yeah Vista's like that.
But seriously, I hope you backup your GCF folder, save you a long download. I've done it since I had steam, massive time saver!

is this only for america ? I am in teh UK, wanted to buy the latest NFS , but no EA games are coming up when I search ?


I love steam, love the fact i can downlaod my games and play them wherever once I have signed in, and I hate having optical discs everywhere.

EA games sucks, and this won't make me want the crap they put out any more. Just for the sake of adding to the steam conversation:

Things I like about Steam:
1. Easy access to buy games and for the most part cheaper.
2. No CDs or CD-Keys to keep track of.
3. Can get all your games installed on a clean Windows install without rounding up media.
4. Keeps all the games updated to the latest patch level.

Things I do not like about Steam:
1. Steam application persistence. I'd like an option to have steam close when I close whatever game launched it.
2. Advertisements.
3. Games take longer to load if you don't have Steam already up-and-running in background.
4. Not sure what is going to happen to all my games when Steam goes under.

Shadrack said,
Things I do not like about Steam:

1. Well, close Steam when you're finished. Bit tedious, but hey! (also see pt 3)
2. What ads? I can't say I actually notice them.
3. So start steam when your pc starts. In the day-and-age of modern pcs with lots of ram and Vista, this shouldn't be a biggie. I start steam up then an app, and it's quite fast.
4. Already stated that IF this happens, Steam will give users a way to use their apps offline.

I want to really like steam, however the fact that they charge more than the actual price in the shops (for UK at least) is a let down, its a download and as such should, in my opinion be cheaper, as there are no disks/manual/shipping etc involved.

clwrightv said,
Steam sucks. I will never buy a game that requires it again.

Why? I never had a problem with Steam since I started out in 2005.

chconline said,
Why? I never had a problem with Steam since I started out in 2005.

+1. what's wrong with it? Works perfectly here. Especially helpful with GTA iv - was expecting the worst; but no! "100% Ready" + pressed launch and began playing. No bugs yet....2 weeks in!

Crysis and Crysis: WH do have Securom and have been on Steam for weeks now. The recently introduced games do not have Securom.

bb10 said,
Crysis and Crysis: WH do have Securom and have been on Steam for weeks now. The recently introduced games do not have Securom.

And yet the article CLEARLY states Crysis : Warhead as being in the list of "Non DRM" titles.

Well, the Steam DRM is barely noticeable and the benefits of the platform far outweigh the negatives. Even if you lose access to the internet you can still access your games, as I found out earlier this month (to my surprise).

As soon as these games are available in the UK I will be grabbing some of them (at least Mass Effect, possibly Spore).

theyarecomingforyou said,
Well, the Steam DRM is barely noticeable and the benefits of the platform far outweigh the negatives. Even if you lose access to the internet you can still access your games, as I found out earlier this month (to my surprise).

As soon as these games are available in the UK I will be grabbing some of them (at least Mass Effect, possibly Spore).


I agree, I really like Steam as a platform, it's just the title isn't really correct :P

True: DRM is something applied to music and movies to restrict user rights to what they supposedly own. (Digital Restrictions Management).

Video games have anti-piracy software... that is routinely bypassed by the pirates the anti-piracy software is supposed to protect the game from.

People who have only a vauge idea of what either DRM or SecureROM are tend to lump them both together as if they were the same thing and call it all "DRM" Soprry folks, but that's like calling a microwave a toaster because they can both get things hot and both draw power from a household power outlet.