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Origin will be “re-established as a service” according to EA


Origin, EA’s rival to Steam, is to undertake a serious reworking according to EA Sports EVP Andrew Wilson. The client software will be “re-established as a service” as opposed to its current mode of operation as a driver of transactions.

Wilson explained to GamesIndustry International at E3 that when he first helped develop the system that would become Origin, he wanted to create a client that would help enhance EAs games for the player, not just on PC but over a multitude of platforms. Yet since Origin’s launch in 2011, the service has changed direction, being more about sales than making games better to play.

“Over the years … there’ve been some permutations of that vision that have manifested as part of Origin. It is by no means perfect, but we’ve done some pretty cool things. As you say, the plumbing is there. What can we do now to really think about Origin in the next generation?” asked Wilson.

“Part of the reason why I think it came back in to me was my history with Origin, and the ability to take a step back – really coming back to our roots as a service for gamers, versus anything else that it may have been perceived to have been over the last few years by virtue of its various permutations or changes in direction.

“The transaction component of that service has taken a disproportionate amount of the communication and mindshare of what we really try and provide.”

With 40 million users, it is not hard to see why Origin has been focusing on gaining transactions. It’s a tool EA can easily use to extend its reach in terms of advertising and generating sales. Yet it’s nice to see that Wilson recognises this is a poor direction and that Origin needs to return to its original design brief. Afterall, it’s not Steam’s store front that makes it such a well-respected tool, but its community pages, patching system and Workshop. EA would do well to learn from its peers on this occasion.

Thanks, VG247