Electronic Arts’ digital distribution platform has responded to ‘issues’ from the core gamer demographic and maintain that Origin has been a huge success.
There is an industry wide consensus that the age of the physical disc is coming to an end soon and that once the kinks of the digital distribution model have been ironed out it will become the primary means of distributing content.
The trend has grown largely thanks to the smartphone industry and tablets, where there are few barriers to entry for gamers who feel more comfortable purchasing and downloading content digitally.
Also with the introduction of digital distribution platforms such as EA’s Origin and Ubisoft’s Uplay, Valve’s Steam suddenly faces competition and with Sony and Microsoft laying greater emphasis on providing greater emphasis on digital content on the PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE Arcade respectively, one can see where the industry is heading.
However, that is not to go without saying that there is friction between gamers and the publisher during the process. Valve faced a tough time when they initially launched Steam and EA seem to be going through a similar situation.
At least, that is what EA’s head of Origin, David DeMartini, believes and to some extent many would agree with his explanation. He said, “People forget that when Steam launched there was a lot of backlash from the core.” Before pointing out that change is almost always met with backlash initially, “Origin represents a change, and anything EA does something that is significant in the industry, it generates a certain amount of reaction.”
“The hardcore sometimes has issues with Origin,” conceded the Origin boss but he also pointed out that the same gamers were fond of other features available on the digital distribution platform, “but they seem to love these crowd-funded games. It was one of the few things we have done that wasn’t controversial and nobody had anything negative to say.”
Origin also has to compete with Steam which is looking to ensure its share of the market by holding a Summer Sale where Valve is offering a plethora of titles with as much as 75% of the price waived off as discounts.
EA will have a hard time taking over some of the market share currently under Steam’s control but the publisher has plenty of IPs that it can use to its advantage. Titles such as FIFA 13, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter seem certain to be Origin exclusives and will play a major part in garnering more subscribers and increasing sales.
Origin has been downloaded a total of 12 million times to date but it still lacks the depth in content which Steam currently boasts but all that could change in the future.