Electronic Arts takes a swing at Valve’s online digital distribution platform, Steam, and claims that Origin is working towards being better than their competitor.
It is no secret that digital distribution of video games has grown in the past few years especially since the introduction of Valve’s Steam platform. Both Sony and Microsoft took notice of this and launched the PlayStation Store and Xbox LIVE Marketplace respectively with both platforms catering to the demand for making content available digitally for their customers.
However, it is not just consoles that are trying to emulate what Steam started off as EA launched their own digital distribution platform, Origin last year. The service has since grown considerably in terms of its user base and David DeMartini, the Senior Vice President of Global E-commerce for EA, believes that EA are innovating and trying to do what Steam does so well but better.
He said, “There are better mousetraps that ultimately get built out of this innovation and the only way you get to the innovation is to have other people try and do a better version of what someone has previously done. And that’s what we’re attempting to do on Origin.”
He compared the two services to how MySpace, which was immensely popular, lost out on its popularity when Facebook was introduced and believes that history may repeat itself, albeit on a different battlefield.
“If MySpace had stayed the one answer in social networking and no one switched to Facebook, then we’d all be stuck on MySpace right now and we wouldn’t have had the Facebook phenomenon.”
A bold claim from the EA executive, however the believes that the studio can back it up when push comes to shove but also conceded that EA needed time to get to the levels that they wanted to be operating at.
He was rather honest when he said, “I didn’t expect to be able to out-feature Steam within the first 12 months.” Having said that, DeMartini went on to point out that it didn’t mean they were not going to give it a go and expects Origin to actually build upon the foundation they have set up and overtake Steam as the place to go to for digital content.
Origin is not alone in their quest as Ubisoft also launched their own online digital distribution service and it seems that each platform’s survival rests on who can provide the best content at the most competitive prices possible.
This may result in publishers pulling content from their rivals listing, such as EA has been doing in recent months but the market is still fairly new and anything can happen. All that is for certain is that Steam no longer have a monopoly on the digital distribution market but whether or not they can maintain their dominance remains to be seen.