EA Origin: saint or taint?
Origin by Electronic Arts (EA): one can see the debate between the two groups of those who accept Origin, and those who are stoutly loyal to the Steam service. While this debate continues, one has to eventually realize that Origin existing is actually a good thing. Certainly EA as a publisher is not the most consumer-friendly publisher out there, but then again all publishers have gone red-eyed insane every so often.
Origin existing on the PC is good not only because it forces Valve via Steam to innovate, but also to improve their service which has very poor quality control at this point in time. Steam also should never have a monopoly because if competition were to die (say Origin, GoG and so on disappear) Steam could simply stop giving out sales, and force PC gamers to pay anywhere from twenty dollars for an old game, up towards to sixty or eighty at full retail price with very little reason to lower the price other than it is getting old.
When it comes to video games, competition is good for the industry. Now killing off a publisher in order to eliminate the competition is very bad for the industry as the urge to innovate or to improve an existing platform, title and so on is erased entirely. Good games come along because at the end of the day – like any other artist out there – they want to make money. Should a story be good, people will buy the game. Should the mechanics, combat, dialogue and so on be excellent and fit the majority of gamers’ tastes, their game will sell.
Coming back to my point, Origin needs to exist on the PC because it provides a counter-balance to Steam and its’ current dominance of the market share. Origin does have some good programs in place, namely On the House – where they give away a full game free – and Game time – where a full game is put on trial for a certain period of time for gamers to install, play, tinker with, and see if they want to purchase it afterwards. Now opposite to that what does Steam have? Nothing other than sales and no refund policy – something Origin has as well which surprised commentators like Totalbiscuit who noted that EA is not always the consumer-friendly publisher it is right now on the PC.
Imagine a world where PC games are this open to the market per se, where gamers could try out full games and see if they like it. Imagine a digital platform where gamers could refund a game if it does not work, removing the risk PC gamers must take on currently if they want to play their favourite titles on their current systems and so on. Imagine the possibilities of a market not afraid of its’ customers, and where they combat piracy not by attempting to stamp it out like a totalitarian dictator, but by providing a better service than the pirates – something TB has also hammered on for years.
Origin existing on the PC platform is good, because in the end it gives us – the consumers – an alternative, and hope for a market that is favourable to us the customers. This has been the writer, and I shall see you next time.