Gabe Newell: I Don't Think Origin Is Doing Anything Super-Well
Author: William Usher
published: 2012-04-20 18:35:06
Uh oh, I hope you keep those flameproof shields, suits and jockstraps nearby, EA fanboys are about to fume. In a podcast interview Valve's head honcho, Gabe Newell, the man that helped make Steam the most popular online digital distribution service, responds to a question about using EA's Origin platform and he doesn't have kind words.
The podcast comes from Seven Day Cooldown, a community site for Reddit by Reddit, and when asked about Origin just past the 25 minute mark, Newell had this to say...
I have used Origin...it seems...uhh...I mean, they have a lot of work to do, to get to where they want to be and where I as a customer want them to be.
When asked if there's anything Origin is doing well, this was Newell's response...
[silence]....[silence]....Uhhh....[silence]....uhhhh....[silence]....uhhh....[silence]...Well, I don't want to dodge the question. Now, I don't think they're really doing anything super well, yet. They have a bunch of smart people working on it, but I think they're still playing catch-up to a lot of people who have been working in the space for a while.
In other words, "Origin ain't got Jack-spit on Steam." It's true, it's true. Just recently EA finally sent out word, publicly, about the terms of service policy update for user accounts, enabling gamers to actually play games they bought in offline mode while being banned. Before, you could be banned for swearing on the forums and lose access to all your games. Period.
Also, the thing that baffles me about Origin more than anything else is the lack of games. A lot of EA's past library of games are just non-existent or missing. You would also think they would sport classic, fan-favorite titles like Road Rash or 007, but a lot of the excellent cache of EA titles are just absent.
The reason for the sparse catalog of software has been attributed to Origin's nascence into the business, and EA's COO, Peter Moore, says that Origin needs two years to catch up and lose some of the vitriol. However, Origin is just an updated version of the past platforms employed by Electronic Arts in the digital distribution space, so what happened to all the games from the EA Store and the EA Link before that?
Anyways, EA sort of strong-armed the use of Origin onto gamer's PCs making titles like Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic come with mandatory Origin installs. They also didn't win any favors regarding other policies such as the EULA claim of two years of inactivity resulting in a potential loss of entitlements, or the fact that Origin scans your PC whenever it wants. There are some odd design choices in Origin that makes it feel more like a tool used to boost profits as opposed to a service designed to make gaming more convenient for gamers.
Still, after EA's win of "Worst Company in America" I imagine they'll be working super hard to make Origin more user and developer friendly in future updates. You can check out the entire interview with Gabe Newell over at Seven Day Cooldown.
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