EA hints that Valve's Steam won't give EA control over patches and DLC

Several weeks ago Electronic Arts announced that its online downloadable PC store was getting a facelift and a new name: Origin. The service was seen by many to be EA's attempt to compete with other downloadable retail PC game outlets, particularity Valve's Steam service. Now in a new blog posting on EA's web site the head of the company's Origin business hints that it has some conflicts with Valve on how to update EA games on Steam.

In his blog post, EA senior vice president David DeMartini states that EA is still going to offer its PC games via other download sites, including Steam, "except under extremely special circumstances". One of those special circumstances is the release of the upcoming MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic. EA has already announced that the game will only be available to download via Origin when it is released later in 2011, although it will still be sold in brick and mortar retail stores as well.

A few weeks ago, the sci-fi shooter Crysis 2 was taken off of Steam. In a chat with Gamasutra, DeMartini states the reason was "because the DLC was not available through Steam; it was available through [Direct2Drive]. That would, I guess, be a situation where two partners didn't see eye to eye, and by their choice, they were going to take that product down because they were insisting that the DLC be available through Steam"

EA states that it wants "direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players". While he didn't mention Steam by name, DeMartini stated in his blog post, "At present, there is only one download service that will not allow this relationship. This is not our choice, and unfortunately it is their customer base that is most impacted by this decision. We are working diligently to find a mutually agreeable solution." So far Valve has yet to comment on EA's statements.

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my crysis 2 was bought on steam and when the dx11 stuff n high res patch came out, i was happy enough downloading it outwith steam which happily patched the steam purchased game,tbh ive used EA electronic downloads before on bf2 (euroforces/Armoured fury) and quite frankly it was a joke, I doubt their new idea will be any better. Be as negative as you want about steam, what I will say in its defence patch management is a dream on steam and just works.......learn from it EA.

I was going to get Crysis2 when the DX11 patch hit, wasnt on Steam, so i didnt get it, still use Steam wont use EA, was a mess trying to do NFS Online, Sims, Spore patches.

Still use steam, wont use Origin. Its a good bet that BF3 will be the same way.

I think it's unfortunate that Valve removed Crysis 2 from Steam. And since I don't know the full story from both sides, I won't be pointing any fingers. It's definitely an unfortunate situation for consumers. I'm sure a lot of people would prefer to have most, if not all, of their PC games on Steam.

Anaron said,
I think it's unfortunate that Valve removed Crysis 2 from Steam. And since I don't know the full story from both sides, I won't be pointing any fingers. It's definitely an unfortunate situation for consumers. I'm sure a lot of people would prefer to have most, if not all, of their PC games on Steam.

I wouldn't actually. Maybe I'm in the minority here but I actually like buying my games on disc and installing them. Steam is great as an alternative but I'm not buying all the "it's the future of gaming" hype.

Can't say I have used Origin however Steam is not just a store, it offers its users so much more. A simple to use gaming hub.

Screw EA I've spent alot of money on steam and being a good little boy in not pirating.. if there are going to be issues with EA games on stream then ill be heading to the bay!!!

"Unfortunately, if we're not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve,"

EA is just mad that Valve won't provide customer information to "communicate" (spam) its clients.

thornz0 said,
"Unfortunately, if we're not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve,"

EA is just mad that Valve won't provide customer information to "communicate" (spam) its clients.


Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if that was actually the case.

It also sounds like they wanted to have their own interface for DLC and just piggyback on Steam's servers. All this would have done is confuse users because they're already used to the way Steam presents DLC for every single other game.

Not every game actually uses Steam for managing it's DLC, a whole bunch use in-game stores or such.

While the EA statement isn't exactly clear, it sounds to me as if they weren't going to offer the DLC to Steam users at all.

The_Decryptor said,

While the EA statement isn't exactly clear, it sounds to me as if they weren't going to offer the DLC to Steam users at all.

not quite EA wanted full control over how it delivered Patches and DLC but steam said no we want control we're doing the delivery as it's our servers so basically EA said to Valve/Steam F U we'll pull it completely

Athlonite said,
not quite EA wanted full control over how it delivered Patches and DLC

Yep, that also how I understood it. It's like when a company owner tells a store manager that he wants his own people to waltz into the store and put his company's products on the shelves. Even though the store has personnel that can do it as well.

Athlonite said,

not quite EA wanted full control over how it delivered Patches and DLC but steam said no we want control we're doing the delivery as it's our servers so basically EA said to Valve/Steam F U we'll pull it completely

Any idea what they mean by "full control"? As is my understanding, EA can upload a patch for a game and then release it without Valve's involvement. Are they saying they want people to download updates from EA's servers instead? Why? :\

I always thought it was strange Mass Effect 2's DLC wasn't on Steam in the "normal" way other games have it. What a mess that can't be worked, it doesn't seem to be rocket science. lol

Tender Foot said,
At least Valve has balls to stand up to EA where others just roll over and take it up the arse!

Stand up to EA? It's Valve who's throwing around a hissy fit, EA is right here.

rpsgc said,

Stand up to EA? It's Valve who's throwing around a hissy fit, EA is right here.

Can you blame them, EA are a bunch of jerks period!

rpsgc said,

Stand up to EA? It's Valve who's throwing around a hissy fit, EA is right here.

You have it wrong. EA was arguing for Valve to change its rules, they said no. So they're now, very publicly, advertising their own download service and pointing fingers at Valve. Valve hasn't said anything, so how can they be having the fit?

rpsgc said,

Stand up to EA? It's Valve who's throwing around a hissy fit, EA is right here.

Sounds to me that EA is bitching, not Valve.

hagjohn said,
Sounds to me that EA is bitching, not Valve.

EA are well within their rights to do that as well, they're the publisher/developer not Valve. Just as EA are within their rights to pull all their games off Steam should they decide to.

GamersGate have changed their versions of some of the EA's games that they were selling. They now perfectly activate on Origin, even though that is entirely optional.

So Valve, instead of bitching like this, how about work with EA to provide the customer a better experience?

KavazovAngel said,
GamersGate have changed their versions of some of the EA's games that they were selling. They now perfectly activate on Origin, even though that is entirely optional.

So Valve, instead of bitching like this, how about work with EA to provide the customer a better experience?

Not to mention that codes for EA games on Steam can be entered into Origin They're then added to the library on Origin for download.

I have to actually side with EA on this. Constantly I see "EXCLUSIVE STEAM PRE-ORDER BONUS" that you get ONLY if you pre-order through Steam or even purchase through Steam. EA decided that it wanted to give another publisher that freedom and BAM, Valve doesn't like it.

I'm a HUGE Steam user and I have spent hundreds of dollars on the service but if they want to have exclusive content themselves, then they should let others do the same....

Eli said,
I have to actually side with EA on this. Constantly I see "EXCLUSIVE STEAM PRE-ORDER BONUS" that you get ONLY if you pre-order through Steam or even purchase through Steam. EA decided that it wanted to give another publisher that freedom and BAM, Valve doesn't like it.

I'm a HUGE Steam user and I have spent hundreds of dollars on the service but if they want to have exclusive content themselves, then they should let others do the same....

DLC should not be exclusive though, the most Valve has done is get a free weapon (or a hat)

Eli said,
I have to actually side with EA on this. Constantly I see "EXCLUSIVE STEAM PRE-ORDER BONUS" that you get ONLY if you pre-order through Steam or even purchase through Steam. EA decided that it wanted to give another publisher that freedom and BAM, Valve doesn't like it.
...

Uh, lots of games do that (annoyingly), it's nothing new and Valve certainly allow it.

What utter crap I thought EA was going to be a shining light with BF3 and SWTOR, but they keep pulling **** like this. The worst is still them pushing Origin store exclusives

Holey said,
What utter crap I thought EA was going to be a shining light with BF3 and SWTOR, but they keep pulling **** like this. The worst is still them pushing Origin store exclusives

if BF3 is origin exclusive then I guess i will be saving 50-60 bucks, since i will not buy from that place.

So valve was mad that EA was giving them the short end of the stick with DLC. i'm with valve on this one... that's not fair at all to steam's customers to not get the same content as everyone else and valve is going to lose a lot of sales because the DLC won't be on their service.

Why with valve? EA was willing to offer the same DLC as everyone else gets for the Steam client version.

I'm told some of EAs previous products on Steam have issues with DLC (Mirror's Edge, possibly Mass Effect 1) and they've certainly had other games removed (Battleforge.) So this relationship doesn't seem like its been on stable footing for some time.

randomevent said,
Why with valve? EA was willing to offer the same DLC as everyone else gets for the Steam client version.

I'm told some of EAs previous products on Steam have issues with DLC (Mirror's Edge, possibly Mass Effect 1) and they've certainly had other games removed (Battleforge.) So this relationship doesn't seem like its been on stable footing for some time.


Other developers and publisher can get DLC working with Steam. The fact is, EA's way of patching games and providing DLC has problems. My GF plays Sims3 and the download content for that almost never works from EA. The community has had to develop tools to actually FIX problems with the game's content and DLC.

I'd run into simular problems with EA games in the past and just put it down to DRM. As such I've tried to avoid EA games for a long time, and only play them on console.