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Electronic Arts is snubbing Steam once again for a high-profile release. Today they announced that the PC version of Mass Effect 3, like Battlefield 3 will not be sold through Valve's digital games store due to its restrictions.
"During initial release Mass Effect 3 will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers, but not on Steam at this time," reads a FAQ on the BioWare Social Network (via Blue). "Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers."
Regardless of where you buy the PC Mass Effect 3, you'll need to install the software for EA's digital gaming platform Origin. This applies to both physical and digital editions of the game. You won't need a constant online connection to Origin to play the single-player, though; just a one-time authorization will be enough. There is no limit on your installs.
BioWare also assured gamers that, contrary to what they've heard, Origin isn't spyware.
"Origin is not spyware, and does not use or install spyware on user’s machines. In order to allow Origin to install games and their patches for everyone to use, Origin implements a permission change that results in Windows, not Origin, reviewing the filenames in the ProgramData/Origin folder. This is an ordinary Windows function, not an information-gathering process."
ME3 will debut in North America on March 6th.