Bhruic wrote on Aug 12, 2011, 11:17:
Frankly, I've never really been sure why other publishers would go the Steamworks route in the first place. I guess once you have enough of your games on their, it might be worth it, but otherwise, you are just exposing your customers to all the competition. And basically having your game be an advertisement for Steam.
The main reason is time and money.
Let me provide a metaphore using the family home construction industry. In that industry houses are built using lumber and hardware. The home builder would never make any money if they had to design and manufacturer every screw, nail, 2x4, 2x6, 4x4, sheet rock, MDF panels, etc. A small single bedroom house by itself...without any consideration for the land that it's on...would cost about a million dollars and take perhaps a decade to build. It's a rediculous notion for a home builder to do that.
Heck...an even simpler comparison is an operating system. An operating system interfaces with various computer hardware. A developer doesn't "have" to use an existing operating system. They could distribute their software on bootable DVDs that includes their own operating system. Heck...they could even offer that operating system to other developers to use. The reason developers don't do that is because it's very expensive and time consuming to design and develop their own operating system...which includes developing drivers specific to their operating system...for all the hardware out there and would need to keep pumping out new drivers for new hardware that comes available.
And, for EA to spend the time and money...perhaps 1 year and 2 million USD for Origin...it is evidence that they didn't build Origin for just BF3 or just their games. They have not tried to hide the fact, and actually publicly announced in press releases, that they want to become the #1 online vendor of all games...this means putting Steam out of business...which could mean all the games we ever bought on Steam would be useless. It is in our own interst to support Steam.
EA is just the next company that has tried to sell their gaming client. This is not something new...ever since the first multiplayer game, for example Doom, developers have been trying to establish a gaming client. Most of them failed because they charged gamers a lot of money. Others failed because the client didn't have enough features, or didn't get updated to work with new games, and a better system was offered.
This quest for a gaming client mostly stopped when Steam became available. But, that didn't keep companies from trying to replace it with their own...especially after Steam grew in popularity and Steam's unique and risky business model proved profitable. Origin won't fail...just like many of the other attempts to surplant Steam have not failed; however, they only succeed in the games that they have convinced to use them and then no longer get any new games. Then EA will probably come up with something else to replace Origin...who knows what the future has in store for EA, but I highly doubt that it's going to be able to replace Steam.
All that will happen is gamers will be upset that a desireable game won't be on Steam. Gamers who really like the games that EA publishes will of course have to run Origin...unless/until EA's attempt at using Origin to make money doesn't succeed and they have to close down their servers. They will also run GFWL on games that require it. And, of course they will run Steam for the games that are available on Steam.