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EA omits Steam from list of Battlefield 3 retailers

Mon 11 Jul 2011 10:35am GMT / 6:35am EDT / 3:35am PDT

Valve's digital platform absent from list of retail partners for AAA release

Valve's distribution platform Steam was not included on EA's list of digital retailers supporting Battlefield 3.

The list, which included other digital retail sites like Direct2Drive and GamersGate, was first reported by Joystiq, but has since been removed from the Battlefield 3 website.

The ommission follows an apparent breakdown in the relationship between the two companies since the launch of EA's Origin service, during which Valve pulled Crysis 2 from Steam due to EA's approach to post-release content.

In a recent interview with IndustryGamers, EA's David DeMartini expressed the company's desire to work with as many retail partners as possible, and claimed that EA is "working diligently" to resolve the situation with Valve.

"What we're doing is no different than what they have done historically with regards to how they've handled ongoing patches, etc. It seems to be a little bit of a juxtaposition that we find ourselves in agreement with everybody in the channel everyone seems to find our policy acceptable with a singular exception."

"I do think there are some policies and principles that everybody should adhere to that are in the best interest of the consumer, and I hope they come to that realisation as well and that they believe in choice just like we do." has contacted EA for comment, but so far the company has offered no official response on the matter.


Daniel Vardy
Studying HND IT

90 1 0.0
And so it begins...

There must be a very valid reason for Valve to tell EA to bugger off. I can only assume it would be something to do with EA delivering adverts or something within the game to bring customers to the Origin service.

eg. 'New DLC available, click here to get it.'

Posted:3 years ago


Adam Yaure
Studying MSc Games Programming

18 0 0.0
This is so annoying, I want all my games to be in one place!

Posted:3 years ago


Mihai Cozma
Indie Games Developer

124 34 0.3
If you want them all in one place, better buy them boxed. It is what I do if I really care to keep them to my collection. If they are just some indie title I will play a few times, I don't really care where it is.

Posted:3 years ago


Graham Simpson
Tea boy

219 7 0.0
I predict an even cosier Steam/CoD (read Valve/ATVI) relationship.

Posted:3 years ago


David Tse
CEO & Co-Founder Subsurface Games

6 2 0.3
I'll never buy a non steam digital game so I guess Ill have to drive to the store to get this one

Posted:3 years ago


Patrick McCarthy
Lead Automation Engineer

10 3 0.3
"...during which Valve pulled Crysis 2 from Steam due to EA's approach to post-release content..."
In other words, Steam wants to charge for add-on content(Warcraft style), that EA wants to deliver for free (Eve-Online style)???

Posted:3 years ago


Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,253 418 0.3
Is it not more that EA want to sell the DLC themselves exclusively? It seemed to kick off after the Crysis 2 retalliation pack, which I assume was never going to be sold through Steam? EA's current strategy doesn't seem to be about giving DLC free, just ask Tiger Woods 2011 players.

As for the rest of the retailers being ok with EA's terms, I would guess that if EA act like the portals need EA more than EA need them, that is the case for everyone other than Steam, who are the only portal big enough to say no. Everyone else will be hoping Steam falling out with EA will benifit their sales of EA games.

Whatever the truth of it is, as Graham pointed out, Activision are the ones who win this situation. MW3 will have Steam whilst BF3 won't, when PC is BF3's lead platform (has anyone seen any footage of it running on console yet?). Maybe EA can pull it off, but they arn't making it easy for themselves.

Posted:3 years ago


Graham Simpson
Tea boy

219 7 0.0
@ Patrick. More like EA wanted customer lists so they could directly sell content to Steam customers cutting Steam out of the equation and their publishing revenues. It's all a bit cheap since Valve has heavily invested in the Steam platform and built up the user base from scratch and then EA comes along and says "Hey guys, thanks for that investment but now we want to leverage off that investment and take all the incremental revenues ourselves". Nothing is for free. Even Activision acknowledge the investment MSFT has made to Xbox live and treat it as an acceptable cost of doing business. EA's good guy routine is wearing thin.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Graham Simpson on 11th July 2011 4:15pm

Posted:3 years ago


Hermann Rauth
Game Audio Designer

10 1 0.1
Let's not forget Valve is also a big wolf now. Maybe not a big bad wolf, but definitely a big one. So let's not point all our guns to EA on this one.

Posted:3 years ago


Ashley Tarver

41 1 0.0
Seems to me Origin is the magic word here. EA are dumping Valve to sell through their own portal. As Graham said above, Valve has heavily invested in Steam and it works as the only worthwhile social PC gaming portal. Is Origin going to capture that?

Also will Origin be selling anything else other than EA games? Other publishers? Indie titles?

Useful ... not.

Posted:3 years ago


Mark Dygert
Lead Character Animator

21 24 1.1
EA: Hey! soooo... this Steam thing didn't fall flat on its face like we thought. In fact, it took off. We should do that, we need a launch title...


Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mark Dygert on 11th July 2011 5:53pm

Posted:3 years ago

EA's terms are probably unreasonable. Indie devs and mid-sized publishers love Steam, so I'd imagine the problem lies in something EA wants. What EA probably wants, just like with Crysis 2, is to cut out Steam as the 'middle man' delivering patches, DLC, and expansion content. EA has already announced how much more DLC they plan to pack BF3 with so it's totally reasonable to assume they want the revenue all to themselves. Definitely ties back in to Origin's launch, since EA didn't have similar fallouts with Microsoft or Sony and they'll both be taking cuts on everything sold on their services (probably higher ones than Steam does, too).

Origin will probably flop, though. Remember the EA Download Manager that was so craptacular nobody ever wanted to use it? Welcome to it's rebranding!

Posted:3 years ago


Studying MSc. Information Systems

13 0 0.0
Why haven't Valve made any statement ?. I will reserve my comments until i hear from Valve -- i don't believe EA, Valve doesn't do things without a logical reason.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by PATRICK CHUDE on 11th July 2011 10:13pm

Posted:3 years ago


Graham Simpson
Tea boy

219 7 0.0
Valve are the kings of NDAs. They'd probably break their own NDA by talking. That said I like the way they have taken the moral high ground and not getting into a mud slinging fight. Seems ERTS wants to take everyone on at the moment over BF3. Console gamers will buy MW3, PC Gamers will buy BF3 and a number (like me) will sit on the fence and buy both.

Posted:3 years ago

well, personally being quite so invested in steam I've re-bought most of the games I've ever bought via it for convenience, and tend to add plenty in sales, and buy a fair few during some of the steam sales, so with well most of my gaming experience tied up with steam I'd rather miss one game then encourage EA to try stuff like that in future, I seriously doubt I'll be the only one.

I'd say most of those heavily invested in Valve will not buy it for the same reason , so I'm unlikely to buy BF3 unless it show's up on steam, and if it shows up on steam after release without the same bonuse (i.e. first expansion free) provided in pre-order versions initially i'm unlikely to buy it period, as no one likes missing out. truth be told with so many good games being developed, very few can get away with selling games exclusively and still expect equal sales, there are and have been for some times so many good games coming out a year no one can play them all, even student's can't manage it (i couldn't when I was one) let alone those who work, so convenience is a noticeable factor in game purchases, I've tried EAStore and direct2drive in the past but neither provide the same level of convenience and ease of use as steam, and by this point I'm not to interested in alternatives.

Posted:3 years ago


Daniel Vardy
Studying HND IT

90 1 0.0
Alexander has hit the nail on the head. Those people who are heavily invested with Steam will be unlikely to move to a competing platform just for 1 game.

I myself won't be using Origin since I do not want EA to have some sort of say in the digital distribution market as I personally think they will abuse that power.

Posted:3 years ago


David Doe

3 0 0.0
If it's not on Steam, it's not going on my PC.


Posted:3 years ago


Waldo Bronchart
Technical Artist

1 0 0.0
"If it's not on Steam, it's not going on my PC.

Simple." x2

Posted:3 years ago


Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,253 418 0.3

"I myself won't be using Origin since I do not want EA to have some sort of say in the digital distribution market as I personally think they will abuse that power. "

The other thing I can't get my head around is EA have launched a new portal (or rebranded an old one) and haven't made use of it to make the back catalog available. I really just want to get the Desert/Jungle/Urban Strike games, but EA have 30 years of titles they could be porting, and they have made no effort to do it.

Posted:3 years ago


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