After the removal of Battlefield 3 from the Steam powered digital distribution service, a lot of people were curious what the relationship was like between EA and Valve, given that Battlefield 3 wasn’t the first (and probably won’t be the last) EA game to get removed from Valve’s online service.
Well, EA’s Europe front-man, Jen Uwe Intat, doesn’t want to go head-to-head with Valve and according to him, the two companies are still on pretty good terms despite looking quite the opposite from a business standpoint.
In an interview with Game Industry, Intat stated that…
"Valve is run by very clever people, and I would say that's also true for Electronic Arts, we're all good business people,"… "We have a long history of distributing Valve products and I think for every title they will look for who will do the best job. There's no strain on that relationship because we're competing in one space. We're basically competing and working with a lot of people. Every first party manufacturer is a partner of ours when we're distributing their product, and a competitor of ours with their own software. I think, as an industry, we're pretty good at competing and co-operating at the same time."According to Industry Gamers, EA’s COO, Peter Moore, further clarified Electronic Arts’ stance in terms of competing with Valve on the digital distribution front, saying…
“I'm not sure we're taking them on," ... "We're a great complement to that business.” "We want to be able to support our customer directly. If there are opportunities to do that, then we'll do that. If Valve, through Steam are willing to allow us to do that, then there are no issues whatsoever. In the instances where you're not seeing a game on Steam, it's primarily because we can't deal directly with our consumer to resolve issues and do things we want to be able to do."Well there you have it: Anytime EA breaks Steam’s terms of service it’s not because they’re trying to one-up Valve it’s simply because they want to deal directly with the consumer. I still don’t entirely understand that maneuver if the consumer is a top priority.
However, MineCraft creator, Markus “Notch” Perssons mentioned that the exact kind of limitations that resulted in EA’s games being removed from Steam is why MineCraft isn’t on any digital distribution service. So it’s not just EA running into this brick wall when it comes to dealing with providing content to consumers.