EA's Origin Is A PC Gamer's Worst Nightmare
Posted on Saturday, June 23 @ 09:45:10 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Origin is Steam's main competitor right now, and while it's been around since 2005 it wasn't until it was rebranded for its second time that it made a strong push into the market. There are other competitors on the scene such as GameFly and Amazon, but they actually have sensible design so I'm not going to spend any time on them.
I have three major problems with Origin, the first being the exclusive nature of its design. Games like Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 aren't available through any other digital-distribution platform, and given their popularity it's frustrating. Medal of Honor: Warfighter will soon join the pack and what really irks me is that I know SimCity will require an Origin connection.
EA management went on record last August and stated that the Origin exclusives are only temporary, but I have a hard time believing that. If they don't have exclusives then I doubt anybody is going to voluntarily use the service when there are other options. Given EA's corporate backing and aggressive nature, I don't see the exclusives ever going away.
My second issue, which stems from the exclusivity, is that it segments a gaming library. 95% of my games are on Steam, where I'm able to manage them and enjoy community features from a single hub. However, last night when I went to play Battlefield 3 I had to open a second piece of software, update it, and enjoy the complete lack of features. It makes me not even want to play the games I have on Origin.
That leads me to my final point: Origin lacks nearly all the features that make Steam great. There's no community to be found, achievements to earn, or screenshot hosting. I've never seen any noteworthy deals on the Origin Store. The game library is extremely limited. There are so many things about EA's software distribution software that make me want to uninstall it, but unfortunately three of my games are stuck there, and so am I.
Each of these issues culminate into making today's PC gaming landscape way more complicated and frustrating than it should be. If Origin were actually good, there wouldn't be any exclusives and the software would speak for itself. Unfortunately, it isn't very good, and for now we're stuck with using two services if we want to enjoy all the greatest games. Well played, EA.
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