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While there is a bit of palpable tension between EA and Valve when it comes to the terms of service for Valve’s digital distribution service, Steam, it appears EA is willing to bypass said tension to make a few bucks off of Valve’s games with their own service, Origin.
According to Joystiq, things are and are not what the headline makes them out to be: Yes, Valve games are currently being offered by EA on Origin in a buy-two-get-one-free deal, with games such as Left for Dead, Left 4 Dead 2 and Counter-Strike: Source (to name a few) making an appearance on the e-tailer’s site. However, the games are not available via digital distribution but are rather available as boxed retail editions. Yes, that means those giant boxes will arrive at your doorstep after you order the game(s).
This makes sense given that when it comes to digital distribution there’s still some bad blood between EA and Valve, so much so that Valve had Battlefield 3 removed from the Steam service due to that aforementioned breach of service, associated with the way EA planned to distribute downloadable content to the user, bypassing Steam.
EA isn’t the only one that Valve keeps a close eye on when it comes to DLC and digitally distributed games. Just recently it was revealed that the creator of MineCraft commented on how the game would never appear on Steam so long as the terms of service for Valve’s online store stayed as stringent as they were, given that it would limit the way developers could “directly” interact with consumers.
For those of you wondering how Valve games even appear on Origin, just take note that Electronic Arts distributed quite a few of Valve’s games at retail, including The Orange Box, Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. EA is basically just tapping their reserves and presumably giving the image that they’re still team players.