EA talks 'conflicts' between Steam and Origin

Publisher describes 'areas of conflict between us on a going forward basis'

David DeMartini, head of EA's Origin digital download platform, has spoken of 'conflict' between it and Valve's Steam service.


While DeMartini makes it absolutely clear that Origin's launch has "never been about" competing with Steam, and that EA remains open to any platform selling its games, he speaks of recent business decisions by Steam that have raised "areas of conflict between us on a going forward basis".

"Crysis was taken down because the DLC was not available through Steam; it was available through [Direct2Drive]," said DeMartini, clarifying the circumstances behind the sudden and unexpected removal of Crysis 2 from Valve's digital download service last month. The publisher said at the time that it was Steam's decision to remove the game, not its own.

"That would, I guess, be a situation where two partners didn't see eye to eye, and by their choice, they were going to take that product down because they were insisting that the DLC be available through Steam," he told Gamasutra.

"We believe in absolute freedom of choice to allow customers to buy through whatever retail outlet... as long as they're buying an EA game, we're delighted," said DeMartini.

"We feel like if you buy the product with Origin, where we're going on a long-term basis is we'll integrate some of the Origin feature set into many of our highest-profile IP... but by all means if your preferred retailer is Best Buy or Direct2Drive or Impulse or Steam or Amazon... we're going to make our product available to you."

While he emphasises his repect for Steam, DeMartini goes on to talk of conflicts between the services of late.

"I've worked with [Valve] for five years. They're really smart, they've done a great job with Steam, and I just find it interesting that some of the ways they've built their business are specifically some of the areas of conflict between us on a going forward basis," he said, adding, "I have mad respect for them as game makers and people ... and there are times in any relationship that you find yourself in conflict."

He goes on: "Occasionally, you just both feel very strongly about a position that you believe in, and that doesn't mean you've lost any respect for each other -- it's fundamentally you don't agree on how a certain thing should be handled.

"In this particular case, we feel incredibly strongly about our responsibility on a going-forward basis as it relates to our own IP."

[ SOURCE: Gamasutra ]