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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