I was hesitant when Steam launched. Let me get this straight: I will need a dedicated internet connection to play or access my games, I get no physical media, and if Steam goes away or cuts off my access — best of luck? What’s the upside here?

As it turns out, Steam has been an excellent corporate partner in my life. It has been reliable and has continued to improve over the years. It provides sales, updates, cloud storage, and matchmaking. The biggest downside is that its sales model encourages impulse purchases of marginal quality games. The only time I was not liking Steam was when I damaged a RAM slot on my computer, so everything loaded slowly; Steam pops up advertisements (“Updates”!) when you close a game, so Steam was refusing to close and let me have my computer back until it threw ads at me. Now I prefer digital distribution to physical media, because I lose CDs more often than Valve goes out of business. To the extent that you can say it about a corporation, I trust Valve.

I was hesitant when Blizzard moved everything to BattleNet, for all the same reasons. I might trust Blizzard, but Activision-Blizzard? I refused to buy SC2 until I found a rather good sale, and I do not own D3. I’m still not convinced that golden goose will go un-slain.

Does anyone trust EA? At all? About anything?

: Zubon

17 thoughts on “Origin”

  1. You can disable the popup ads.

    Steam > Settings > Interface tab. At the bottom, uncheck “Notify me (with Steam instant messages) about additions or changes to my games, new releases, and upcoming releases.”

  2. To answer your question, no, I would never trust EA/Origin.

    …buuuuuuuut, I had to. For Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3. Which is unfortunate, because I had Mass Effect 1 & 2 on Steam already.

    1. I, too, gave in to Origin in order to get ME3, and was horribly disappointed. Neither of them is getting onto my next box, and I won’t play any more of EA’s games.

  3. They bloody well shouldn’t. I wouldn’t. Like you, Steam was pushing it for me, even if I am a big devotee now.

  4. I was hesitant of Steam at first, but it’s so far given me no major problems (other than achievements not counting and working properly). EA on the other hand has a history of screwing over it’s customers and I’ve been burned by them many of times so far. I will not, nor will I ever, install and use Origin. I will never purchase a game through them. I either buy it from the store if it’s a Collector’s Edition, buy it from the company, such as Guild Wars 2, or buy it on Steam. There are no other options. If EA wants me to buy their games, put them on Steam.

  5. I was also very leery of Steam initially but Valve has proven themselves to be a reliable and non-assholish corporate partner. The whole thing with the EA EULA and all of that data collection that they run just left me with a bad feeling. Same reason that Ubisoft is effectively dead to me (even though I was ][ close to buying the Ubi bundle on Steam until I saw the disclaimer that it would still require installing the Ubisoft DRM, seriously, fuck that)

    It’s kind of sad, when I was a kid and EA was ECA with the qube, sphere, pyramid logo, their products were an instant buy for me. Nowadays, the only EA products I buy are from companies that they bought. They have made and continue to make just simply fucking horrible decisions about their franchises and how to treat their customers.

    They could have used their powers for good.

    I get the feeling that Valve is (see the recent release of Steam Greenlight for instance).

  6. Also, with steam, you DO NOT have to have an always on internet connection to play. You only need to be connected when you first install the game, and obviously for patches: You can simply enable Offline Mode.

    This is why Steam is miles beyond Blizzard’s deal. Diablo 3 doesn’t just require you to be online when you install it (steam), or for a quick check when you start the game. Diabo 3, essentially a single player game, won’t even start up if their servers hiccup. It kicks you out of the game if your internet connection drops.

    Steam, comparably, is much less onerous AND offers tremendous additional value. It has unobtrusive social features if you’re into that. It keeps your games up to date, and offers (assuming you’ve got a good internet connection) install speeds comparable to physical media. You do need an internet connection, but only occassionally and even then, only briefly. Once you’ve installed a game once, you can back it up to physical media so you never need download it again if that’s your thing.

    For me, it’s amazing. I don’t have a single game DVD/CD anymore – I’ve lost them all over the years, or damaged them, or what have you.

    I can – and do – still install and play Steam games on a whim, even ones quite a few years old. Better yet, I don’t need to keep a useless DVD player in my PC anymore! Hurray for no more crappy optical media.

    The added value Steam offers far outweighs the (very minor) DRM impact in my opinion.

    1. “Also, with steam, you DO NOT have to have an always on internet connection to play” – I think he was writing about the beginning.
      Totally agree with rest :P

  7. I think it’s worth noting that Valve is a private Corporation, not a public one. On top of that, they’re noteworthy for having never accepted any external investments.

    These are IMHO non-coincidental facts when related to the phrase “excellent corporate partner”.

    What makes EA so difficult for me to trust? They’re inconsistent in their support. They’ve cancelled services that were sustainable, but not top-tier sellers. They’re always chasing the biggest prize of the quarter. Ready to turn on a dime for shareholder whims. So it’s Origin as a download-service today, but what will it be tomorrow?

  8. Short answer: no
    Long answer: nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    As a side note: didn’t I see recently that a European commission has concluded that we should be able to sell on our digitally owned products such as games on Steam? I can’t see it happening soon, but would be interesting – though prices would go up.

  9. Yep – I trust EA. Everytime it delivers disappointment to my friends, who believes “maybe this time, maybe… the firs one was such a good game, maybe…”.
    Yep – it’s fun ;).

  10. If you ever have problems with applications acting all uppity, the easiest way to shut them up is to open the task manager (right click on the start bar, or ctrl-alt-del) and close the program from the processes panel. That shuts it down completely, no arguments unless it is a protected process.

    As for EA-Origin or Battlenet?

    Nope don’t trust EA as far as I can throw a cow.

    The problem I have with Battlenet as an always online service, is that my experience with SC2 suggests that it isn’t. Fortunately disconnects dont mess with SC2 except for missing acheivements, but with Diablo 3?

    That’s one of the reasons I haven’t bought it.

    As for Battlenet, I bought SC2 and that was fine. However BNet was dodgy and I often missed out on acheivements because it went offline.

    If that happened with D3?

    Well that’s one of the reasons I haven’t bought it.

  11. every time i think about buying a game online, i remember that SIERRA his no more and that mycrosoft someday did open a online music shop that they have closed since, screwing over all of their 4 user.

    The only game i buy online are MMO since i will be screw anyway if the compagny closed and DRM free like on GOG.com.

    I don’t buy SP game that ask a internet connection also. Was pretty hard for SC2 and Diablo 3, but Blizz will close down someday and i still play Diablo 1.

  12. Origin? Haha, nope.

    Track record has been spotty, unlike Steam, which slowly built trust and loyalty with me through continuous uptime, ludicrous sales and overall convenience functions that I didn’t know I wanted until experiencing them (digital downloads, Steam Cloud saving, community and achievements, etc.)

    I’ll live without Mass Effect 3 until (or if) it finds its way onto another non-Origin platform. I haven’t got Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3 either, maybe the first if/when they finally finish all three parts of the story, but not before. Had enough of waiting on authors to finish their trilogies for 10+ years (thanks Melanie Rawn!)

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