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No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin

A post on the BioWare Social Network by BioWare's Chris Priestly has word that EA's Origin service will indeed be a required to play Mass Effect 3, as well as word that the RPG sequel will not be sold via Steam (thanks Voodoo Extreme). Here's word:

3) Is Origin required for the retail versions of the game?
Origin is required for the PC versions of Mass Effect 3, both physical and digital.

4) Will ME3 be available on Steam?
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. 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.

5) Is there an opt in or opt out clause for data collection?
Users will be allowed to opt-out of Mass Effect 3 data collection from inside the game.

6) Iíve seen reports that Origin is spyware. Is this true?
Origin is not spyware, and does not use or install spyware on userís 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.

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155 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 3.
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115. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 16, 2012, 00:50 Creston
 
Shit. I hope EA burns to the fucking ground.

Creston
 
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114. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 16, 2012, 00:20 DrEvil
 
No sale here then.

I haven't bought anything that requires origin yet and I'm not about to start now.

You will learn the error of your ways EA.
 
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113. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 16, 2012, 00:19 Grifter
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 23:14:
For instance, what if those games still there (such as dirt 2) had signed old version contracts and ended up delaying the release date until after the other games were removed? Even if no delays at all happened, if one company got the paperwork settled a year ahead of release and the other company was tardy and only got the paperwork signed weeks before release, that would explain it.

While possible, it seems fairly unlikely that the contracts for Crysis 2 and DA2 were signed after the contracts for Dirt 3 and DR2:OTR. DA2 and Crysis 2 were much higher-profile titles so it seems reasonable that EA and Valve would have finalized the contracts long before release in order to avoid potential launch issues or delays.

Another thought, perhaps there's exceptions if the DLC is exclusive to GfWL, which it appears to be the case for both Dirt 3 and DR2:OTR (I don't own either so I don't know for sure, I only spent a few mins googling about it). Valve may not want to tangle with MS over this. In contrast, the DLC for DA2 on PC was through bioware/EA's special store as I recall.

That's also possible, but why would Valve choose to tangle with EA instead of MS? EA is a much bigger player in the PC gaming market, whereas MS only releases games very rarely and nobody cares about them anyway because they're long-delayed ports of games that flopped on X360.

I think the reason is not because valve decided to pick a fight with EA over Microsoft. I think the reason is that most of those companies that have games on GFWL may not be doing it because they like GFWL but it maybe the nature of there contracts with GFWL. Most likely codemasters and Capcom and rocksteady as well as Epic signed for multi game deals with microsoft which included dlc. The games from these companies most likely got exceptions because there contract obligations with Microsoft predate, the current policies of valve and valve understood that. With EA on the other hand even before the fallout with valve and EA, EA games had a tendency to appear on Steam at the last minute. You could preorder EA games months in advance on other digital download outlets but,there games would always appear on Steam at the last minute. That would explain why valve removed them. EA probably signed the contracts but did not read the fine print. This is most likely why there games got taken down
 
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112. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 16, 2012, 00:03 Bhruic
 
PS - Are there any games currently on Steam that require Origin? Is it possible that Valve is blocking Origin itself? It seems plausible, though why would they continue to allow GFWL? The whole situation is very confusing and it doesn't help that Valve has been silent on the matter.

AFAIK Crysis 2 doesn't require Origin, so there'd be no reason to block it if they only wanted to block Origin games.
 
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111. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 23:35 theyarecomingforyou
 
The pickle wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 23:18:
Digital downloads suck anyways. If I'm gonna spend $60 on a game I want the DVD and manual in my hand not some digital crap.
Physical items fail and consume space. Manuals don't even exist is any meaningful way in modern games; discs get lost, scratched and break; older titles become harder to find; compatibility with future operating systems becomes problematic; patches are hard or impossible to find, etc. Never mind the fact that you have to insert them to play a game or manually search out a no-CD crack. That's a fuck-tonne more effort than simply buying games digitally.

The next version of Windows will be downloadable online, with your personal serial embedded - it will be more practical to download it than use a disc. It will be installable from USB pen-stick. Computers are already being sold without optical drives. If you want to live in the past that's fine but it's going to start getting a lot more difficult.

Physical games require more effort and are less practical than digital distribution. Sounds like an ultra-fail to me.
 
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110. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 23:21 Jerykk
 
The pickle wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 23:18:
Digital downloads suck anyways. If I'm gonna spend $60 on a game I want the DVD and manual in my hand not some digital crap.

The benefit of digital distribution is that games go on sale more quickly and more often. For example, right now GMG is selling Darkness 2 for $38, which is the cheapest you'll find it anywhere on any platform. Without digital distribution, this wouldn't happen. It can also be more convenient having all your games in one place, as it saves physical space and you don't have to worry about losing your discs.
 
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109. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 23:19 theyarecomingforyou
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 22:33:
If that's true, then why are Dirt 3 and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record still available on Steam? Both of those games have DLC that is still only available through GFWL and was released after both Crysis 2 and DA2 were pulled.

It just doesn't really make any sense.
I don't know but I noticed that Super Street Fighter IV added all the DLC on Steam that used to only be available through GFWL; however, the original Street Fighter IV is still sans-DLC on Steam. So it looks like there was a change of policy.
 
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108. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 23:18 The pickle
 
Digital downloads suck anyways. If I'm gonna spend $60 on a game I want the DVD and manual in my hand not some digital crap.  
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107. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 23:14 Jerykk
 
For instance, what if those games still there (such as dirt 2) had signed old version contracts and ended up delaying the release date until after the other games were removed? Even if no delays at all happened, if one company got the paperwork settled a year ahead of release and the other company was tardy and only got the paperwork signed weeks before release, that would explain it.

While possible, it seems fairly unlikely that the contracts for Crysis 2 and DA2 were signed after the contracts for Dirt 3 and DR2:OTR. DA2 and Crysis 2 were much higher-profile titles so it seems reasonable that EA and Valve would have finalized the contracts long before release in order to avoid potential launch issues or delays.

Another thought, perhaps there's exceptions if the DLC is exclusive to GfWL, which it appears to be the case for both Dirt 3 and DR2:OTR (I don't own either so I don't know for sure, I only spent a few mins googling about it). Valve may not want to tangle with MS over this. In contrast, the DLC for DA2 on PC was through bioware/EA's special store as I recall.

That's also possible, but why would Valve choose to tangle with EA instead of MS? EA is a much bigger player in the PC gaming market, whereas MS only releases games very rarely and nobody cares about them anyway because they're long-delayed ports of games that flopped on X360.
 
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106. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 23:10 Acleacius
 
ea is out of control, driving off a cliff. Sadly they are driving bioware's car.  
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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105. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 22:47 Dev
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 22:33:
It wasn't retroactive. So, when DLC was released for Crysis 2 and DA2 they were removed from Steam; Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins both came before the change, which related to the addition of F2P titles on Steam.

If that's true, then why are Dirt 3 and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record still available on Steam? Both of those games have DLC that is still only available through GFWL and was released after both Crysis 2 and DA2 were pulled.

It just doesn't really make any sense.
Release date doesn't mean the date contracts were signed. There could be months difference between. I'd imagine the paperwork should be in order prior to a game's actual release to avoid extra delay.

For instance, what if those games still there (such as dirt 2) had signed old version contracts and ended up delaying the release date until after the other games were removed? Even if no delays at all happened, if one company got the paperwork settled a year ahead of release and the other company was tardy and only got the paperwork signed weeks before release, that would explain it.

Another thought, perhaps there's exceptions if the DLC is exclusive to GfWL, which it appears to be the case for both Dirt 3 and DR2:OTR (I don't own either so I don't know for sure, I only spent a few mins googling about it). Valve may not want to tangle with MS over this. In contrast, the DLC for DA2 on PC was through bioware/EA's special store as I recall.
 
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104. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 22:33 Dev
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 22:20:
The whole situation is very confusing and it doesn't help that Valve has been silent on the matter.
Well it may this issue could still be subject to a legal action, and its rarely smart to mouth off in that case.
As well, what does valve gain by doing so? Valve fans will believe valve in the right even without any official word, while EA fans will believe EA right despite anything valve says, so in terms of customers, valve doesn't gain much by talking about its internal legal matters. Plus, I believe valve's contracts for games are likely under NDA (you don't see companies blithering about the exact % valve's cut is), so valve isn't likely to be thrilled to announce secret terms for contracts. Once they start publicizing legal terms under an NDA there also might be interaction with trade secret/proprietary issues.

Valve doesn't have shareholders, so they don't have to defend themselves to anyone like that (as opposed to EA which has mouthed off on the issue to some degree).

Finally, the other main category I can think of that might take be concerned with this is other companies. Larger companies presumably will just read the new contract for future games and be fine with the change and keep using steam, I doubt many of them will go origin exclusive. Smaller indie companies aren't likely to jump to EA's ship named Origin just on this one issue, considering EA's past and valve's past.

So valve really has little to gain and possibly much to lose discussing this.
 
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103. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 22:33 Jerykk
 
It wasn't retroactive. So, when DLC was released for Crysis 2 and DA2 they were removed from Steam; Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins both came before the change, which related to the addition of F2P titles on Steam.

If that's true, then why are Dirt 3 and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record still available on Steam? Both of those games have DLC that is still only available through GFWL and was released after both Crysis 2 and DA2 were pulled.

It just doesn't really make any sense.
 
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102. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 22:20 theyarecomingforyou
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 21:10:
If Valve really has a rule requiring that all DLC be available on Steam, then why haven't DAO, ME1 and ME2 been removed from Steam yet? Crysis 2 and DA2 were on Steam initially and then removed later, showing that such a rule would be retroactively enforced. They would have never been put on Steam in the first place if Valve didn't agree with the initial contract. Dirt 2 and 3 also have DLC that isn't available on Steam, yet they haven't been removed.

The whole thing just seems too inconsistent to be an actual Steam rule.
It wasn't retroactive. So, when DLC was released for Crysis 2 and DA2 they were removed from Steam; Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins both came before the change, which related to the addition of F2P titles on Steam.

It's amusing that Steam is too restrictive yet EA is happy to continue selling games on Steam anyway. It's all about money and EA believes that it can make more money on newer titles by forcing people over to Origin than it will lose in sales. They may be right, though I doubt it. If I was them I'd simply charge more on Steam and force Origin anyway.

PS - Are there any games currently on Steam that require Origin? Is it possible that Valve is blocking Origin itself? It seems plausible, though why would they continue to allow GFWL? The whole situation is very confusing and it doesn't help that Valve has been silent on the matter.
 
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101. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 22:17 Jerykk
 
bah to all that I bet EA is offering to take less than 33% just to get it instead of steam

Wha..? Steam carries all the same non-EA games that Origin does. It's only EA games that are Origin exclusive and in those cases, EA takes 100% because they cut out the middle-man entirely. It would be insane for any publisher other than EA to make their games Origin-exclusive.
 
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100. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 21:58 MatriX
 
bah to all that I bet EA is offering to take less than 33% just to get it instead of steam  
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99. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 21:55 Dev
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 21:10:
Dev wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 20:42:
[...]
So when the next game from EA came up (I believe it right around DA2), valve put a thing in the agreement that said they couldn't do that unless they also sold the DLC through steam. EA signed the change, didn't care about the contract and kept doing their crap, valve called them on it
[...]

If Valve really has a rule requiring that all DLC be available on Steam, then why haven't DAO, ME1 and ME2 been removed from Steam yet? Crysis 2 and DA2 were on Steam initially and then removed later, showing that such a rule would be retroactively enforced. They would have never been put on Steam in the first place if Valve didn't agree with the initial contract. Dirt 2 and 3 also have DLC that isn't available on Steam, yet they haven't been removed.

The whole thing just seems too inconsistent to be an actual Steam rule. Given that only the newest and higher-profile EA titles have been removed (Alice: Madness Returns is still available on Steam), it seems much more likely that EA requested that they be removed, not Valve.
My guess is that DAO, ME1 and ME2 were all under the prior contracts that didn't have that rule in it at the time. And those contracts haven't changed to add in new rules. Randomly changing contracts with only a few days notice may work for phone companies screwing customers and the like, but when one company is dealing with another large company with lots of money, doing that kinda thing isn't a good way to keep clients.
Valve probably started paying attention to the DLC abuse around that time and changed the future contracts (which became the ones for crysis 2 and DA2). EA probably signed the contracts, and ignored the changes while going about their typical behavior. The time lag between the game's release and when the games were removed were the companies arguing the issue and the lawyers writing letters back and forth, and both sides threatening to withdraw in a game of chicken until someone did.

Maybe I'm wrong and EA just used the issue as an excuse so they could do origin, but if that's the case I dunno why they didn't pull ALL their games from steam.
 
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98. Re: Valve's games are exclusive to Steam. Jan 15, 2012, 21:46 Dev
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 21:12:
Dev wrote on Jan 15, 2012, 20:50:
I'm pretty sure they DON'T CARE. If they sell say 5 million BF3 copies, and could have sold 1 million more with steam, they will say that was the price of having an exclusive on origin. More likely they will look at it and say it was more successful than BF2142 and BF:BC2 so that means what they are doing with origins is going in the right direction.
[...]
(note that I have NOT checked any of these numbers, I'm making them up for hypothetical example).
Wait. So, selling less means it's a better idea for shareholders?
But in the hypothetical example I'm mentioning, it's impossible to know exactly how much more they would have sold had they been on steam. And likely even if EA has an estimate, they won't ever mention it to shareholders, or they will downplay anything like that.

As long as they can point to BF3 being more successful than previous titles in the series (like BF:BC2 and BF2142) which I'm fairly sure that it is, thus showing growth in that IP, then that's probably good enough for both EA and the shareholders, for that particular issue anyway. Plus they can point to origin being a success if the exclusive sequels sold on it do better than past titles which were sold in other places. (regardless of why any growth actually exists, I'm sure EA will characterize it that way).

 
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97. Re: No Mass Effect 3 on Steam; Requires Origin Jan 15, 2012, 21:25 venomhed
 
In defense of Dev:

"Wait. So, selling less means it's a better idea for shareholders?"

YES, actually! Why? Here is an example in the music industry. Metallica's "black album" when it was released was their highest selling album of all time. The next album, Load, was one of their worst. Many people regarded the Black Album as the turning point where Metallica "jumped the shark" and they have never come back from that.

What does this mean? It means that many times people will impulsively buy something based on their last experience with a similar product/brand. If AC/DC released a Jazz Fusion album, but simply called it AC/DC Kick Your Ass you would think it is going to be some more great rock n roll. Since you got "burned", assuming you didn't like the last album, going forward you would either never trust them again or just stop listening to them.

So selling less, now, in order to take a longer more solid approach over time is sometimes preferable.
 
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96. Re: Valve's games are exclusive to Steam. Jan 15, 2012, 21:16 nin
 
Mass Effect 3 is just their newest trojan horse to get their direct sales and advertisement platform onto millions of PC's.



"I'm Commander Shepherd and this game requires Origin!"

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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