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Steam sales "cheapen intellectual property" says EA Origin boss

Steam sales "cheapen intellectual property" says EA Origin boss

Wed 06 Jun 2012 1:04pm GMT / 9:04am EDT / 6:04am PDT
OnlinePublishingE3 2012

David DeMartini, head of EA's Origin, talks about a rocky first year and how EA wants Origin to be the hub for gamers

David DeMartini is Senior Vice President of Global Ecommerce for Electronic Arts, and that means that EA's much-maligned Origin digital distribution service is his baby. The service has had some difficult patches in its first year, and GamesIndustry International sat down with DeMartini at E3 to find out if things are getting better.

Q: What's the state of Origin now?

David DeMartini: Origin is in a constant state of improvement, at our official one year birthday. When you see it at the month-to-month level sometimes it's hard for our customers to see what we're doing, to see the bigger picture unfold. When you look at the year in totality, we did a tremendous amount of foundational work. We made sure we had a highly reliable commerce capability, buttoned down our merchandising, added features like friends and chat and in-game overlay, cloud saves, being able to purchase things in-game reliably. All of these are foundational pieces.

At the same time, as Gabe [Newell, of Valve] quickly pointed out, "Yeah, but what's so great about any of those features?" You might say they're all well done; in many cases they're what somebody else did, and they're kind of the minimum price of admission of having a high-quality service like we're trying to have. Now what we're emerging into is differentiating ourselves in this second year of existence into the kinds of things that EA differentiates itself on. The service should be a reflection of that.

We were kind of building the aircraft carrier while at the same time lining up planes to land. We were at 1 million downloads, and we're now at almost 13 million downloads. We've got over 50 publishing partners from the industry, and we generated over $150 million in revenue, which was almost a 400 percent increase over last year's total. From a numbers standpoint, we landed all those planes. But again, EA is a very challenging place. When we go up on the boards, and we go to the forums, and to Reddit, we keep track of what our customers are saying - they want more, and they expect more. I expect more, and everybody on my team expects more. We want to have a 90+ Metacritic service just like every game team that works on a game at EA wants to have a 90+ Metacritic game. No one ever sets out to release a 75!

Q: It's hard to work on the quality while also expanding the number of services, and the number of users, and the number of games...

David DeMartini: Yeah, but as the comedian says, "Nobody cares!" Nobody cares that it's hard, because it is really hard. We don't make any excuses and EA doesn't believe in having any excuses. We've got to continue to make the service better, dramatically better, and stickier, on a quarter by quarter basis throughout this entire fiscal year and that's what we intend to do. That's what we've lined up, and now it's really a matter of execution against our plans, to give people the kind of differentiated service that will make Origin unique in the industry. That's not a value judgment on "It'll make it better than Steam, it'll make it better than Impulse." It will be its own thing and it will be really good, and the customers get to choose.

"We've got to continue to make the service better, dramatically better, and stickier, on a quarter by quarter basis throughout this entire fiscal year"

David DeMartini

Q: It's hard to get people to come back if they have been dissatisfied, though.

David DeMartini: Yes, you have to be smart about how you re-engage. Maybe it's twice as hard to re-acquire them the next time.

Q: How is your program going to provide free distribution for indies?

David DeMartini: We've had a ton of phone calls, because anybody who's looking to be crowd-funded has called and said "This seems to good to be true!" And we say it's too good to be true, but it is true. If you have a successfully crowd-funded venture, the first 90 days of sales on Origin is free of any fee for Electronic Arts. This was the first thing Origin did that no one could complain about. The hardcore loves crowd-funding, and that hardcore has been a little tough on Origin the last twelve months, so we figured this is something we could do that is going to please the hardcore; it's going to please the independent development community, and it just seemed like a great idea all the way around.

1

Q: One of the problems with Steam for independent developers has been the uncertainty of whether or not Steam would distribute your title once it's done, because you have to go through an approval process.

David DeMartini: By removing that, a lot of the uncertainty goes away. That doesn't mean they're all going to be million sellers, but I'm hoping that by the time we release our first one we could have 15 to 20 million who are regularly launching the Origin application. That gives a small title an opportunity to be exposed to a huge audience. If you've got an idea, and you're able to take it soup to nuts and put it out there, the ultimate judge now becomes not the twelve hurdles I need to jump through; the ultimate judge becomes the consumer, the game player. I think that's what every game developer wants - they just want to be judged by the target audience they're trying to satisfy.

Q: At least if they've gone through that crowd-funding filter they have convinced thousands of people that it's a good thing.

David DeMartini: If it's finished, if it's credible, if it's testable, we're going to post it.

Q: Strategically, what's important for you over the next year? Any specifics?

"If it's finished, if it's credible, if it's testable, we're going to post it."

David DeMartini

David DeMartini: The basic price of admission over the next twelve months is to continue to make everything better. Smaller memory footprint, easier to install, easier experience, all that kind of stuff. But nobody cares about that kind of stuff; they expect that you're going to be doing that. What we're going to lean into is the same kind of things EA is leaning into. You want to game, and you're going to brag and challenge amongst your circle of friends. So we're going to be leaning into seeing your achievements, posting your achievements to your friends, to be able to challenge your friends to take on achievements that you might have already achieved, even creating a meta-layer of achievements saying "I've achieved this in these four EA games, can you do that?"

Most importantly, cross-platform. You probably don't just game on a PC or just on an Xbox; we're playing on PS3, we're on Xbox, we're on PC, we're on social, we're on mobile, and we want to be the centerpiece, the hub, where all those achievements on all of those platforms come together. Because that's how you challenge amongst your friends. You may challenge them in Scrabble on an iPad, and you may challenge them on the number of head shots in Battlefield or what you've been able to do with Batman. That's where we're going to go. Origin will be a closer reflection of the diversity that EA has with its platform configurations.

Origin has the opportunity, being platform-agnostic, to be that centerpiece, to be that hub. We can surface all of the information about EA games you play to your friends, if you want, because we can keep track of that. And if you buy Batman through Origin, we can surface that information too, if you authorize it.

Q: One of the things that Steam does is this random deep-discounting of software, and it works well for them. Do you see that as something you want to do?

David DeMartini: We won't be doing that. Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value - we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.

Q: Isn't that in some sense an old-school way of looking at it based on cost of goods? When your cost of goods is basically your transaction costs and your server costs. Even when they discount a game by 75 percent, they're still making money on it. It's not the margin that's important, but the total amount of revenue that's coming in. If by discounting it that much on a weekend they then kill the sales going forward, or they kill the sales in retail stores for the packaged versions, that could be a concern. But Gabe has said that as far as they can tell when they've done that it hasn't affected sales in other channels.

David DeMartini: Actually, Gabe will usually say it improves sales in other channels because if the game is good there are some water-cooler moments and it has a spring-up effect. Without revealing too much, what I'll say is one way to deal with aging inventory is you do deep discounts like that. There are other ways, which I can't really talk about, of dealing with product as it ages over a period of time, where you present a value to the customer and you engage them in your service on a going-forward basis. We don't believe in the drop-it-down, spring-it-up, 75 percent off approach, but we've got something else that we do believe in that we'll be rolling out.

But I absolutely understand your point, and I'm not not-hearing what you're saying. We don't have the old-school approach that you're describing; we're all about building as big a universe as we can, and there are multiple ways to build the universe. One way is to discount the price, the other is to form a longer-term relationship with them and draw them in that way.

Q: I do think the downside of what Steam does might be damage to the brand.

David DeMartini: Also what Steam does might be teaching the customer that "I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off." It's an approach, and I'm not going to say it's not working for Valve. It certainly works for Valve; I don't know if it works as well for the publishing partners who take on the majority of that haircut.

43 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
Popular Comment
One of the things that Steam does is this random deep-discounting of software, and it works well for them
And, once again, for those who don't pay attention...

Steam doesn't discount prices. Publishers discount prices on Steam. There's a tremendous difference there, if only PR-wise, because one thing is Valve's action, the other is not.

And it's been fairly well proven that, generally speaking, publishers gain a tremendous amount from Steam sales, otherwise they wouldn't continue the practice of giving the nod to deep-discounts.

(By the way, it's not only digital distro companies who deep-discount. What does the practice of Amazon selling The Darkness 2 for 75% off 2 months into its life-span do for the industry? Or is he just complaining about deep-discounting when it's their main competitor that's doing it?)
We don't believe in the drop-it-down, spring-it-up, 75 percent off approach, but we've got something else that we do believe in that we'll be rolling out.
This is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. EA, as publisher, has given the nod to 75% off discounts on Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect 1 and 2, and Battlefield:BC 2 within the last year, all on Steam. They might be against deep-discounting products on their own Origin service, but then what does that make of the argument that "I just think it cheapens your intellectual property"?

(Their IP must have been soooooooo cheapened just over a year ago, when there was an EA Week on Steam: http://steamunpowered.eu/ea-week-in-steam-2-9-may )

Final edit:

If he/they obviously think it's bad for IP, then we won't see any EA games deep-discounted during the coming Steam Summer Sale. Right?

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 6th June 2012 4:18pm

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Alan Wilson
Vice President

28 29 1.0
He's also clearly never looked very closely at their own sales numbers on Steam... how many sold at launch vs. how many sold in the sales. Just cheap attempts to snipe at Steam, frankly, on his part.

So - Origin will never do sales - and they will allow every Indie title that ever existed onto the platform? Oh dear...

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Thomas Dolby
Project Manager / Lead Programmer

328 277 0.8
Yeah there's a lot of hypocrisy here. Especially "and the customers get to choose", just like how the customers got to choose with Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3? I wonder how many Origin users came from those alone, purely because they had no other choice, I'm willing to bet a lot of money it's over half of their user base. Steam is just as guilty of this as well though, I would invite both companies to publish on each others platforms and then we'll talk about the freedom to choose.

Steam doesn't give me the right to choose, but I don't mind because I really like the service. With one click purchasing and if you have a decent broadband connection it's pretty damn near perfect. Origin still has horribly overpriced games, and a lacklustre experience. It's getting better, but it's still got a while to go.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
Mmmm. It's this kind of thing that turns consumers away from EA, and Origin specifically. No sales? Epic idea, in these times of economic hardship. And it may sound awesome to say "Oh, we'll let every indie game through", but once someone starts complaining that it doesn't allow full-screen play, or windowed play, or changing of keys, or anything else that Steam catches in its screening process, they'll have to set-up a screening process themselves.

@ Thomas

Yeah, Valve are slowly moving towards publishing their own games on different stores, but obviously the perfect solution would be for EA to publish on Steam, and Valve on Origin. Even if the DRM is the same (that is, you still have to install Steam/Origin depending upon the game you buy) it would at least give more choice to the consumer in where to buy.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 6th June 2012 4:47pm

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Rogier Voet
Editor / Content Manager

67 26 0.4
Steam is not perfect but it is easy, seductive and has a huge amount of games The high ground of EA with no huge discounts just proves they are still terrified of retail or etail reactions to their digital platform

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Gareth Lewis
Programmerist

12 6 0.5
Steam sales "cheapen intellectual property" says EA Origin boss - what utter tosh.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

943 156 0.2
I'll read the rest of this when I'm done with Arkham Asylum which I bought for a bargain over Christmas.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Abraham Tatester
Producer

70 52 0.7
Steam sales are also why I see no reason to install Origin. Thank you for validating that decision, Mr. DeMartini!

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Ryan Wiancko
Creative Producer

5 6 1.2
Popular Comment
I can't believe you put a cheap attention grabbing quote like this as the title of an article where the boss of the leading competitor trash talks Steam. This is horrible sensationalistic 'journalism' and by the sounds of the other comments you're loosing a ton of respect and credibility for it, as well as at least one subscriber to your mailing list

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ryan Wiancko on 6th June 2012 5:19pm

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

550 267 0.5
The secret to screening out indie garbage isn't to wait until the game is finished and then reject it. That puts ALL the risk on the developer. All of it.

The secret is to just do a pre-sale agreement. And then man-up. Distribute it.

A pre-sale, by the way, isn't pre-sold to the gamer/audience. It's pre-sold to the distributor. Basically it's a purchase order, with the understanding that if the final game is within a reasonable quality-level, it WILL get released.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

155 422 2.7
I'm sure there are some who will dismiss the above comments (and this one) as "Typical valve fanboyism" but my response to that is this:

In the time I've spent using Steam, my every interaction with the service, from buying to customer support, has made me feel valued, cared about and most of all, thanked and rewarded for my custom.

Valve fanboys (and girls, thank you very much!) exist because Steam treats us like friends or family, showered with gifts and hilarious contests on special occasions. They have given me things to buy my loyalty and they were quite successful :D

Valve: "Use Steam and you can have these things!"
EA: "Use Origin or you can't have these things!"

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

550 267 0.5
But... Steam still puts all the risk for prototyping on the shoulders of the developers.

Not that I think Origin will be so much better. With Origin, from what I understand, you'll need to pay them to distribute. That's just as bad.

There needs to be a third option. Actually, there needs to be the original option. That which film distributors and book publishers have been doing for decades: advance sales. Pre-sales.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tim Carter on 6th June 2012 5:42pm

Posted:2 years ago

#12
It's talk like this that makes me happy to use Steam, and happy to have never used Origin. Consumers should come before the "brand".

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
@ Tim

Yes, but then this is surely a temporal situation. That is, developers appear to only shop their game around distributors when it's finished. Your idea is a good one, but requires developers arranging contracts before development of the game. And what happens with games which take longer than thought? Legend of Grimrock was in development for years; presumably this would be in the contract too, but, again, this requires arranging a lot before you even get to start programming.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

550 267 0.5
But, you're ignoring the issue of what it's like to use the platform as a developer. Forget being a consumer for a second, and look at the developer perspective.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

436 146 0.3
Of those 13 million installs, how many have resulted on sales on the system and how many were required as DRM and profile etc for a physical game?

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
@ Tim

Well, honestly, I don't have enough experience to reasonably see this from the dev perspective. :( How about you (quickly mind, since it's off-topic. :) ) explain? To me, your idea isn't perfect because it relies on the developer first arranging a contract from a distributor/publisher, which, when you're a small team, is surely secondary to knuckling down and producing at least something on your project.

That said, perhaps it shouldn't be secondary. The contract should come first, with every developer. But then, this is going to require a sea-change in how developers and distributors approach each-other, and the game they're working on.

@ Andrew

I'm still wondering how many people have Origin set to "Start With Windows". That'll account for a lot of the "X Number of people use Origin every day!" spiel. (I don't have that on, btw, though I do have Steam set to start with Windows)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 6th June 2012 5:53pm

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Joe McNeilly
Writer/Director/Producer

2 4 2.0
Your IP is worth precisely what people are willing to pay for it. End of story.

Posted:2 years ago

#18
Sales exist in all industries, for good reasons, complaining about there existence publicly shows unmitigated greed and considerable stupidity, especially by singling out a single competitor in doing so, which shows to everyone you fear or are concerned enough about their existence to have to try to tear them down, origin will never be remotely be on par with steam as a service for customers no matter how many ea titles they anti-competitively make exclusive to it until it offers sales as well that are every bit as good as the ones on steam, not to mention other changes, its an inferior product atm, forced adverts that you cant turn off when you launch for games you've paid for, no sales, only gained any market share by forcing people to use it as oppose to encouraging people to want to.

EA have done everything the wrong way with origin I think, yes they may have got users into it but they did it by forcing users in as oppose to attracting them in and people as a general rule resent being forced into things, given half a chance they'll stuff you and choose anything else out of principal.

On a side note these "deep discounts" steam offers are infact deceptive as steam's price is usually 15-30% more expensive then boxed alternatives from the likes of amazon, so providing such deeply discounted sales merely provides a much lower sale from the price it should be, given digital costs less then boxed not more, it should be cheaper, deeply discounted sales are not nearly as discounted as they try to appear, indeed ordinary steam sales often have little effect except to make games on par with their boxed counterparts.

Origin's pricing is similar to steam, they just wont offer as many sales, so all the sales they do offer will only equalize boxed and digital copies prices briefly without "deeply discounted" sales they will rarely offer anything cheaper then boxed.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Alexander McConnell on 6th June 2012 6:42pm

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Ian Jarvis
artist

14 2 0.1
I have origin for BF3 and have no intention of buying any other games on it ever.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
Aiming to be "Nordstrom" rather than "Target" is such a stupid way to go as a digital games retailer, unlike clothing if you can get a game for cheaper somewhere with better content, support, social functions that are in place and work for making your online experience as social or solitary as you choose, where do you think the customer's going to shop?

Basically, video games =/= designer clothes, to attempt to market them as such makes you a muppet.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Max Priddy on 6th June 2012 7:41pm

Posted:2 years ago

#21

Bruce Kennedy BAhons
Creative Director

13 0 0.0
Nothing much to add but: "Eek!" : Looks like it might be time for EA/Origin to hire some better spin-doctors!

Posted:2 years ago

#22

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
As a rejoinder to both the writer of the article (who appears to think Steam sales are bad), and DeMartini, everyone should have a look at this.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090219/1124433835.shtml
The most stunning example: last weekend, the company ran an experiment with the game Left 4 Dead. It heavily discounted the price, and sales shot up 3,000%. And this wasn't just a case of building off a small base. The sales over the weekend were more than when the game launched.
Edit:

And L4D had good pre-release word-of-mouth, so it's not like it was just a little indie game that no-one had heard of at release.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 6th June 2012 10:40pm

Posted:2 years ago

#23

Ashley Barley
Community Manager

8 5 0.6
Popular Comment
Without revealing too much, what I'll say is one way to deal with aging inventory is you do deep discounts like that. There are other ways, which I can't really talk about, of dealing with product as it ages over a period of time
Like closing down servers so you cant play them any more?

Posted:2 years ago

#24

Matthew Eakins
Technical Lead

47 7 0.1
One of the problems with Steam for independent developers has been the uncertainty of whether or not Steam would distribute your title once it's done, because you have to go through an approval process.
Wait? What!?!? That's not a problem, that is what keeps the crap out off of Steam. If Origin is going to become another Apple App Store without any sort of sanity checks then it's going to be an even bigger fail boat. Nobody wins when you need to wade through a steaming pile of manure to find the gems. Consumers can only find crap, quality producers get lost in the pile.

Posted:2 years ago

#25

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

588 341 0.6
This idea that a copy of a game should have a certain minimum financial value and should not be sold for less shows a lack of understanding of differential pricing. What he's basically saying is that if someone's willing to pay $15 but not $60 for a game he feels is worth $60, he would prefer to forego the $15 in revenue (much of which will be profit, given the low marginal cost the digital good and associated services that must be provided over the good's lifetime) in order that he feels better about what he's selling (i.e., it's not devalued in his eyes).

That makes no business sense at all.

In any business with high fixed and low marginal costs, whether it be video games, movies or air travel, differential pricing is one of the most powerful tools you have to increase profits. To try to avoid using it just means that your competitors who do use it are going to eat your lunch.

Posted:2 years ago

#26

Sean Kauppinen
Founder & CEO

45 47 1.0
How many of us have games we have never played (and probably won't ever play) that we bought on Steam because they were on sale? I have full collections from different publishers that I would never have bought otherwise, and probably won't ever play because they are old and I don't have time. It will happen again this holiday season.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sean Kauppinen on 7th June 2012 2:40am

Posted:2 years ago

#27

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

588 341 0.6
Yeah, I've got plenty of games for which I've paid $2.50 that cost me about $10/hour to play.

Another thing to consider is that, as an individual publisher selling on a service like Steam, the discount you give can often be written off as an advertising cost. I bought Qube from Steam last night. It's a game I'd never even heard of, and I probably never would have heard of it if it hadn't been a daily deal. (And of course, I had to buy it now so I could get it at half price. I'm not even sure if I'll really get $7.50 worth of enjoyment from it, but it's certainly not worth the risk at $15.)

Posted:2 years ago

#28

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
@ Sean

Yeah, I have a tendency to buy games on Steam that I know I won't get to for weeks or months. However, a couple of things to note here:

1) I don't think this cheapens IP, or devalues the product. The publisher still makes a sale, the consumer will eventually play the game, even if it's just for a short time. As Curt notes, it acts as advertising - I haven't played all that much of Thief 3, but I played enough of it to know that I wanted Thief 1 and 2 as soon as they appeared on Steam, and I know I'll pre-order Thief 4 as soon as that comes up. That's sales of 3 games (one of which is a pre-order), simply because I bought Deadly Shadows during a deep-discount.

2) To me, deep-discounting makes explicit something which is usually implicit in buying products (not just games, but DVDs and graphic novels). "Oh, yeah, it's worth buying at *saleprice*, but no more." Need for Speed Undercover, for instance, is a really really bad game. Inferior to Most Wanted in every way. But if it hits 3.50 during the Summer Sale, I'll buy it. Because, to me, it's not worth any more. In cases like this, the price doesn't cheapen the IP, the quality of the game does.

The consumer, a lot of the time, assigns a product a monetary value based on known or expected quality. Deep-discounting feeds this mentality, by actually giving the consumer the game they want at the price they're willing to pay. Something which tiered pricing on a large scale, as seen on Steam, does too.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 7th June 2012 10:11am

Posted:2 years ago

#29

Jeremie Sinic

43 18 0.4
I think the only one that loses credibility is Origin here. I still trust people can see this. I don't see this as a promotional article for Origin. Rather the opposite actually.

Posted:2 years ago

#30

Jeremie Sinic

43 18 0.4
@Gamesindustry:
It would be nice if the "Reply" button worked as advertised (by putting the reply under the comment we reply to) instead of putting the comment at the bottom of the thread. Thanks in advance :)

Posted:2 years ago

#31

Paul Shirley
Programmers

173 147 0.8
More than a decade ago the industry taught customers that todays new release would get a 75% price cut if they just waited to buy. The last few years, with the rise of GOTY and Gold editions taught them they'd also get a much better copy by waiting. Its too late for EA to complain now, even though we're seeing doubled 75% cuts in Steam sales.

Steam didn't teach customers to wait for a bargain, EA and their rivals did that. In all that time it doesn't seem to have affected the launch time extortion in the slightest. I remember when we justified higher launch prices because that's when we made the money, everything else is gravy. Seems EA wants to keep on bleeding customers forever.

Posted:2 years ago

#32

Paul Gheran
Scrum Master

123 27 0.2
And TOR doesn't even launch from Origin. If they don't believe in their own platform, why would we?

The lesson is; Origin is crap (as taught to us by EA).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Gheran on 7th June 2012 3:40pm

Posted:2 years ago

#33

Gordon Van Dyke
Senior Producer

3 1 0.3
It's quite a strange stab indeed. Didn't they discount Battlefield 3 to $29.99 a month after release?

Posted:2 years ago

#34

Alan Wilson
Vice President

28 29 1.0
Valve: "Use Steam and you can have these things!"
EA: "Use Origin or you can't have these things!"
That sums the difference up perfectly - I may have to steal that as a quote :)

Posted:2 years ago

#35

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,226 385 0.3
Also, what IP was devalued more, Dragon Age by its sequel that was considered rushed, or Portal due the the amount of Steam sales it has featured in. Excessive borking of games with cynical DLC like last years Tiger Woods, where you couldn't win a season without buying courses that you needed to get points on again could devalue IP far more than selling a game at a price that people are prepared to pay after the initial buzz dies.

Posted:2 years ago

#36

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

550 267 0.5
@Matthew Eakins:

"Wait? What!?!? That's not a problem, that is what keeps the crap out off of Steam. If Origin is going to become another Apple App Store without any sort of sanity checks then it's going to be an even bigger fail boat. Nobody wins when you need to wade through a steaming pile of manure to find the gems. Consumers can only find crap, quality producers get lost in the pile. "

Yes. It's also something that makes legitimate developers afraid to take risks. Because they foot a huge bill to make a prototype - or even a finished game! - and then they find out ONLY AFTER THEY MADE IT that Steam won't distribute it.

Posted:2 years ago

#37
Specifically RE deep discount:
Has DeMar heard of Humble Indie Bundle? They're not even just discounting, they're near giving away stuff for free and I'd say most Indies would kill for a chance to be in a bundle because guess what, sometimes "cheapening" it smartly makes a lot of money (and goodwill).

Posted:2 years ago

#38

Murray Lorden
Game Designer & Developer

199 72 0.4
EA don't need to have a SALE to cheapen nothin'.

"-)

Posted:2 years ago

#39

Alex Byrom
Studying Multiplayer Online games design

33 0 0.0
Did anyone see the "EA indie bundle" on steam. That made me laugh, EA have there own service they have all the power, they like to seem all weak and defenceless when if they wanted to they could completely change the game industry for the better, but as long as the money is rolling in why change?

Posted:2 years ago

#40

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,480 1,252 0.8
And yet, every news item and interview that involves Origin has an implicit or explicit "Oh, please give us more time. We'll get better. We'll improve. Give us a chance."

Posted:2 years ago

#41

Jamie Knight
International Editor in Chief

48 20 0.4
why can't you talk about them? I mean this is videogame sales 101 really, its not exactly finding the funding for a third world coup?

pre sales are a great idea.

deep discounts for older games are the only way to go or your older stock titles will never shift

try involving a used market yourself instead of trying to go completely 1st time purchase and alienating half your customers ( whilst instead attracting their second phase sales )

bundles

timed discounts

oops, now that I have told you a couple I may have to kill you...? :p

Posted:2 years ago

#42
Guess who just got his briefing about 'Steam Box' - and is very unhappy!

Posted:2 years ago

#43

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