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EA: There's no strain on our relationship with Valve

Jens Uwe Intat says industry is "pretty good at competing and co-operating at the same time"

EA has stressed that the publisher still has a good working relationship with Steam owner Valve, despite the launch of its rival download service, Origin.

Head of EA Europe, Jens Uwe Intat said he sees the relationship between the two companies continuing well, to the extent that he expects Valve to continue to pick EA to publish and distribute its boxed product.

"Valve is run by very clever people, and I would say that's also true for Electronic Arts, we're all good business people," Intat told GamesIndustry.biz.

"So, Valve, when they're looking for distribution for their products, looking at which publisher could actually do that, then I think we're the best publisher on the planet, both in Europe and North America.

Every first party manufacturer is a partner of ours when we're distributing their product, and a competitor of ours with their own software.

Jens Uwe Intat, Head of EA Europe

"We have a long history of distributing Valve products and I think for every title they will look for who will do the best job. There's no strain on that relationship because we're competing in one space.

"We're basically competing and working with a lot of people. Every first party manufacturer is a partner of ours when we're distributing their product, and a competitor of ours with their own software. I think, as an industry, we're pretty good at competing and co-operating at the same time."

Speaking as part of a series of interviews conducted at Gamescom, published in full today, various Electronic Arts executives spoke about the launch of Origin, which they believe will become much more than a place to buy games. Newly promoted COO Peter Moore was keen to play up its social aspect.

"It will absolutely become a social network," says Moore. "I'm already using it every day to see what friends are doing, to understand what coming from EA, plus you'll see announcements over the next few weeks of third-parties coming on board and having their content becoming available. We love the fact that we can deal directly with our consumers."

"I'm not sure we're taking them on," Moore continued. "We're a great compliment to that business.

"We want to be able to support our customer directly. If there are opportunities to do that, then we'll do that. If Valve, through Steam are willing to allow us to do that, then there are no issues whatsoever. In the instances where you're not seeing a game on Steam, it's primarily because we can't deal directly with our consumer to resolve issues and do things we want to be able to do."

Tensions between EA and Valve had been assumed to be high after various EA published games vanished from Steam's storefront after the announcement of Origin. EA has always insisted that the omissions were simply down to technical issues related to patching, and Valve has remained silent on the matter.

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