EA Origin discontinues sales of physical media online starting April 4th

Origin has announced that it will discontinue the sale of all its physical media titles for PC and Mac via its online store starting April 4th.

In a short and simple post on its website, Origin states:

Starting April 4th Origin will be going all digital. This means the entire Origin game store will be entirely digital downloads for PC and Mac. What does this mean for you? If you're among 99% of our users, absolutely nothing. Your shopping experience hasn't changed one single bit. But if you're that 1% who still desires a physical collection, we want to let you know that Origin won't be able to fulfill that need beginning April 4th. We’ll still be here when you transition your gaming habits to the wonders of digital downloads. Digital is fast and convenient. Origin’s focus is to give gamers the best experience, and going all-digital will make that possible.

Steam, a competing service by Valve, has also focused on an all-digital library which would make the move by Origin seem more natural. ​Currently there are about 25 physical titles on the EA Origin online store for both PC and Mac. A majority of which are Sims titles with only a handful of titles being unique intellectual properties like Titanfall and Battlefield. This is compared to the 300+ digital titles that are available for download. After April 4th, you will no longer be able to purchase physical media from the EA Origin online store. But, these titles will still be available in their physical boxed editions at local stores and other online retailers. 

Source: Polygon via Origin | Image via Origin

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Recently they gave away Dead Space for free as part of their "On The House" promo.
Will they keep releasing some games for free?

Yes - "On the House" is a permanent/ongoing promotion; a new game will be offered when the current promotion (original Dead Space) dies.

And GOG also offers sales on Origin-based games (as does GreenManGaming, GameStop, and other e-tailers) - it's why I have them ALL in my comparison list (along with Amazon and Newegg).

i personally prefer physical media that offered on SSD,
especially for games that requires data/program more than 1 Blu-Ray disc.

Now I hope they work on there launcher/updater system to suck so much

Even though I hate EA they are still better than Ubisoft any day

"Origin's focus is to give gamers the best experience".
Give gamers the best experience...
Best experience...
EA...

Ha, Oh you... That's a good one.

Honestly, we can hate on EA all day long, but despite how much I love Steam, Origin really isn't that bad. In fact, I had to resort to customer support once because I purchased an expansion instead of the game I wanted.

While their support is obviously in need of better English skills, the fact that I was able to talk to someone directly and be refunded rather quickly was impressive.

So I'll give them credit where it's due, and give them hell when they try to pawn off "freemium" games that are basically shallow and empty. (e.g. Dungeon Keeper or whatever it's called) Just because they're a big company with their head up their butt half the time doesn't mean they can't make the right move on occasion.

Can say what you want, but Origin nowadays equals Steam and EA's support is one of the best supports available. I've had issues before and contacted them through the chat, took 15 minutes of waiting :p but they helped me.

Few days ago a mate of mine had some questions/issues, he contacted support. Was helped immediately.

Oh and Origin gives a 24 hour money back garantee. Don't like the game, get your money back.

Does steam do that? Oh wait, Steam hosts a bunch of games that are not worth a single USD. Go read up on the stories about "Infestation: survivor stories" :D
And there's a few more but can't think of them.

I'm actually surprised Origin sold physical copies at all, what with Steam being all-digital. Personally I think it's about time that physical media died off altogether. The only physical games I've bought recently were ones that could be registered on Steam or Battle.net.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I'm actually surprised Origin sold physical copies at all, what with Steam being all-digital. Personally I think it's about time that physical media died off altogether. The only physical games I've bought recently were ones that could be registered on Steam or Battle.net.
I personally prefer physical seeing games are getting larger and larger. Titanfall is a good 50+ GBs and thankfully Origins lets you install from disc unlike Steam. A friend of mine was rather upset with the fact they had to download Skyrim instead of installing from disc since they bought the physical PC copy.

johnnyq3 said,
I personally prefer physical seeing games are getting larger and larger. Titanfall is a good 50+ GBs and thankfully Origins lets you install from disc unlike Steam. A friend of mine was rather upset with the fact they had to download Skyrim instead of installing from disc since they bought the physical PC copy.

Yeah I had to do that too and I bought the disc, which seems to defeat the purpose of buying the disc. This wouldn't be that bad if customers were seeing the savings but for the most part, the money they are saying by not printing manuals, making the cases, or fabricating the disks is really not being passed onto the consumer.

The flash sales that origin and steam have, do occasionally happen at b&m stores, just maybe not to the same percentage. Call me old fashioned but I still prefer physical copies for a few reasons.

I rather install from the disk a lot quicker than it would take to download the game. I don't want to have to download a game and then have to store the files on a hard drive somewhere if I ever want to reinstall the game again without having to wait for it to download. Also I'd like to think when a particular game decides to die, hopefully the developer's release a patch that enables offline play. If that happens it's easier for me personally to maintain and hold on to that physical dvd disc rather than keep up with a digital file that could be lost with a hard drive crash and never be able to be downloaded again.

Broadband connections are more than fast enough and pre-loads are common place. When I order a game digitally it's there and ready to go after a short download; when you buy a physical media game you have to either go to a physical store or order it online and wait for postage. Then there is the hassle of disc juggling, scratched discs, storage, serial codes, etc. More importantly, every time you reinstall Windows you have to reinstall all your games - with Steam I have all 450+ games available instantly to play because I keep them on a separate partition.

Physical media games are incredibly inconvenient.

PS - Steam allows you to install from disc and I've done it numerous times in the past (before I got rid of my optical drive). If it didn't there would be no need for a disc. Sure there are updates but that's something different entirely.

johnnyq3 said,
I personally prefer physical seeing games are getting larger and larger. Titanfall is a good 50+ GBs and thankfully Origins lets you install from disc unlike Steam. A friend of mine was rather upset with the fact they had to download Skyrim instead of installing from disc since they bought the physical PC copy.

If Skyrim comes with a disc then your friend failed badly. I've bought a few Steam games physically and installed them via the disc. Saying "unlike steam" is an incorrect statement.

Steam has always let you install from disc :p

First result for "steam disc" is from Steam support pages:
Exit Steam & Run "C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe" -install E:

theyarecomingforyou said,
I'm actually surprised Origin sold physical copies at all, what with Steam being all-digital. Personally I think it's about time that physical media died off altogether. The only physical games I've bought recently were ones that could be registered on Steam or Battle.net.

The only thing I am worried about with digital downloads is that if ISPs start charging on gigs used or limiting my dl amount then it may backfire on me... If that happens though, a lot of people will be angry.

Scabrat said,
The only thing I am worried about with digital downloads is that if ISPs start charging on gigs used or limiting my dl amount then it may backfire on me... If that happens though, a lot of people will be angry.

As long as there is adequate competition that isn't an issue. Most of the complaints I see come from the United States, where a woefully ineffective regulatory system has resulted in one-third of the country having only one provider to choose from - that's scandalous. In Europe there is healthy competition and numerous providers who offer no download caps and no fair usage policies.

funkydude said,

If Skyrim comes with a disc then your friend failed badly. I've bought a few Steam games physically and installed them via the disc. Saying "unlike steam" is an incorrect statement.

I believe it's only Skyrim that does this. I bought the collector's edition (another reason to go physical) and if you install it through steam, which I actually did again last week, it just downloads the whole game. I have all of the DLC, but it downloaded the whole game and DLC instead of just installing the base game from the disc.

macrosslover said,

I believe it's only Skyrim that does this. I bought the collector's edition

Incorrect. I purchased Skyrim LE and it installed from disc. Then it had to patch from the 'net (fair enough)

theyarecomingforyou said,

As long as there is adequate competition that isn't an issue. Most of the complaints I see come from the United States, where a woefully ineffective regulatory system has resulted in one-third of the country having only one provider to choose from - that's scandalous. In Europe there is healthy competition and numerous providers who offer no download caps and no fair usage policies.

Our lack of competition is largely due to regulations. If there were no corporation commissions there would be plenty of choice... Not just two choices plus crappy satellite.

It's actually funny you point to regulation for healthy competition though. Regulations are mostly about limiting competition for those capable of playing the governments involved.

johnnyq3 said,
I personally prefer physical seeing games are getting larger and larger. Titanfall is a good 50+ GBs and thankfully Origins lets you install from disc unlike Steam. A friend of mine was rather upset with the fact they had to download Skyrim instead of installing from disc since they bought the physical PC copy.

Titanfall download file is 20GB.

MrHumpty said,
Our lack of competition is largely due to regulations.

I can't believe you can say that with a straight face. When there is no competition in a market that's exactly when regulators need to step in. That may come in the form of consumer protections (i.e. mandating a certain level of service, requiring price increases to be approved, etc), fines for anticompetitive business practices or requiring that monopolies be broken up in order to increase competition. You can't expect companies with monopoly positions to behave responsibly.

The UK used to have a monopoly in the form of BT but the government stepped in and forced it to sell off and licence its infrastructure. Now the UK has the fastest broadband speeds in Europe and the market is extremely competitive. We also had a similar thing with banks, with the government forcing Lloyds TSB to split into two separate banks. Unfortunately it's hard convincing Americans that regulation is actually a good thing.

Scabrat said,

The only thing I am worried about with digital downloads is that if ISPs start charging on gigs used or limiting my dl amount then it may backfire on me... If that happens though, a lot of people will be angry.

Since I'm in the country, my only affordable choice is paying for what I use, and at a hefty rate. It's $35 for 3gb, $45 for 5gb. And high speed's only been in this area for maybe 4 years, so I haven't got into playing online games and never got into the whole YouTube thing.

amnesiality said,

Titanfall download file is 20GB.


Ah I see, I only saw the install size from the Origin installer.

And to the others talking about installing about from disc with Steam. Thank you for that information. From what others have said it seems my friend didn't know you install from disc using steam. I was going off of that information, I personally only PC games digitally.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I can't believe you can say that with a straight face. When there is no competition in a market that's exactly when regulators need to step in. That may come in the form of consumer protections (i.e. mandating a certain level of service, requiring price increases to be approved, etc), fines for anticompetitive business practices or requiring that monopolies be broken up in order to increase competition. You can't expect companies with monopoly positions to behave responsibly.

The UK used to have a monopoly in the form of BT but the government stepped in and forced it to sell off and licence its infrastructure. Now the UK has the fastest broadband speeds in Europe and the market is extremely competitive. We also had a similar thing with banks, with the government forcing Lloyds TSB to split into two separate banks. Unfortunately it's hard convincing Americans that regulation is actually a good thing.

It's seriously annoying to listen to this kind of crap. The guise of consumer protection is the most used form of regulation to stifle competition. Corporation Commissions provide government licensed, regulated and maintained monopolies over districts all over America. Those were created for consumer protection (guarantee that an entire area would be serviced, reasonably, by the awarded monopoly company). That is why we have such a consolidation of power with our cable/phone carriers (now ISPs). Those with the most monopolies had the most money and were best at gaming the system to get new monopolies.

It's just a crying shame that people believe that consumer protection is both the job of government and is effective when tried by government. Seriously, its sad people don't see it.

As far as the UK etc. You guy shave less distance to travel between the population (you are much less spread out than we are here. You aren't on your 6th or 7th generation of hardware as we are in the US.

As far as splitting up companies, I've never heard a great argument for it. Why people think a small group of people see a large market and decide what's best for it I'll never know. Let the consumer decide with their dollars and don't protect current players through regulation and absurd trademark/copyright/patent protection.

johnnyq3 said,
I personally prefer physical seeing games are getting larger and larger. Titanfall is a good 50+ GBs and thankfully Origins lets you install from disc unlike Steam. A friend of mine was rather upset with the fact they had to download Skyrim instead of installing from disc since they bought the physical PC copy.

+1
Origin though cannot install pre-Origin games (such as Mass Effect 2, which I had to download 12GB! + Cerberus Network DLC)

Xenon said,
I have heard so many bad things about origin, I have never tried it. Has it gotten better?

I use it, there are some games on origin I have, but most of my games are in steam. the only problem I have with origin is the limited games collection and prices.

Xenon said,
I have heard so many bad things about origin, I have never tried it. Has it gotten better?

i never really had any issues with it, it was basic and lacking features but it was version 1.

Xenon said,
I have heard so many bad things about origin, I have never tried it. Has it gotten better?

Its not too bad but its nothing great either. Not steam but also not gfwl =).

I use Steam way more and thats because I think it's stupid for a company to come out with a service that only extends to their own games. Steam is much more practical.

Scabrat said,

Its not too bad but its nothing great either. Not steam but also not gfwl =).

Agreed. And I think they're better than Amazon as well. I'm quite surprised that Amazon hasn't reworked its web interface, spun off to its own site, or launched its own client, truth be told. They could be huge if they wanted. Maybe not the best, but certainly huge.

Xenon said,
I have heard so many bad things about origin, I have never tried it. Has it gotten better?

Admittedly I've not used it in about a year - but I had to use it to get Battlefield 3 when that first came out. Hated Origin then, and hated it up until the point I put gaming in the back seat. Horrible client that is a pale imitation of Steam. EA purely interested in maximising profit and not letting Valve take any of it with their highly matured, robust, content delivery system.

Ad Man Gamer said,
The UI has got better. But it's still the same EA, full price, money grab it always has been.

I got BF4 premium for 50 euro's through Origin(it's listed for 120E or something), BF3 for free, BF 1942 for free and Dead Space for free....Say whut?

I get more free games and sh¡t from Origin then I'm getting from Steam where I'm a higher valued customer with over 30 games purchased versus the 2 games i purchased on Origin

Shadowzz said,

I got BF4 premium for 50 euro's through Origin(it's listed for 120E or something), BF3 for free, BF 1942 for free and Dead Space for free....Say whut?

Lets put it this way. Here is what they consider as "deals" at the moment on their deals page.

[£14.99] PopCap heroes bundle (for Plants v zombies, peggle and bejeweled 3).
[£39.99] BF4 premium membership (DLC)
[£59.99] Titanfall Digital Deluxe
[£47.99] FIFA 14 Digital Deluxe
[£34.99] Plants v Zombies Garden Warfare Digital Deluxe
[£39.99] SimCity Plus Edition

Yes. This looks like a sea of monetary cost reduction that makes me want to say. Shut up and take my money! /s

Now, just look here for comparison with steam. http://steamdb.info/sales/

You don't have to buy it through Origin. Buy a key anywhere and use it. That's how I got BF4 for half the price.

Dead Space is free regardless, got BF3 cause of other people complaints on SimCity :p and BF1942 is free.

Every now and then (more often then Steam so far) games are free, life time free. Not just a free weekend (so you buy it afterwards). There have been other games for free, but I was either to late or had no interest.

Origin and Steam both have their strengths and weaknesses, but from my experience the past year... They're quite equal. (Origin was worse a year ago but nowadays is on par when it comes to performance/resource usage/functionality, just achievements is in BETA but IDC for achievements other then using it to see what games friends play)

Worst part of Origin is how it handles BF3/4.... Getting forced into Battlelog in a browser.

Admittedly. I installed origin before I commented to see if my gripes are still present. So I'm in the position of having a bad experience when it launched, And comparing it to the snapshot of now, with no view of how it evolved.

With that said. The hole reason that origin was maid was because how BF3/BF4 and SimCity makes you launch the game. It went against the hole point of steam, and it violated steams policy. Origins conception was to allow EA to maximize profits, which, I would like to say is not a bad thing in its self. But the sinister part that lingers in EA's behavior, is that it was to allow them to play around with their insane DRM plans.

But, The one thing that was most damming, was how they switched into damage control mode, and said that steam wouldn't let them "Innervate", and that's why they couldn't put BF3 on steam. This was bull from the start. If they just said "We wish to cut out the middle man, and deliverer are games directly from now on". Then fine. that would be honest and the blow back would not of been as bad. But it was the fact that they tried to worm their way out and redirect the blame on steam; and their implementation of browser and always online DRM that the backlash has been so harsh.

I would presume so, the article only states that you can't order physical copies online.

To be fair this is a logical move somewhat, as anyone who goes online is likely to only want to download or find out more. If you wanted a physical copy it would be easier to go to a brick and mortar store.