Hey, Pc gamers. it’s been a whole years since yet another publisher has forced yet another digital distribution service down your throats. The guilty party this time is EA’s much maligned Origin service. Gamers seem to hate it, but EA’s really happy with Origin.
"We’ve got 12 million downloads of the application,” EA’s David DeMartini said to Gamespot. “We have 50 partners: independent game developers and publishers who are publishing on the platform. We’ve generated over $150 million in revenue, which represents huge growth on a percentage basis versus the previous year. In every numerical dimension it was a huge success."
To those who believe EA should have learnt from Steam and had a more fully realised service at launch, DeMartini disagrees
"That said, the Origin feature-set last year was very foundational. When you start one of these services, you can’t leap to the glitzy features. You have to get the meat and potatoes down first.”
He also acknowledged the many criticism gamers have levied over the service.
"I think people have been critical of our efforts. And usually, we really appreciate their criticism. When you start a service, if nobody says anything about you, they don’t care about you, and you’re irrelevant. I would not say that’s the case with Origin. There are many people with opinions about Origin: where we should go, about features we’ve deployed."
The year-old Origin isn’t quite as full featured as some of its more established competitors, but DeMartini believes it’ll get there.
"Being self-critical of Origin, I would say it’s not sticky enough. And we want to put features in place where we fully take advantage of your friends lists and gameplay activities amongst all of your friends so you can compare achievements. We want you to be able to challenge your friends, and to challenge your friends to play other EA games to try and achieve things that might even be across EA games. A lot of people are loyal to us and we need to reward them with that stickiness, so we’re looking in that direction."
Personally? I don;t know too many people who’re keen on Origin. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 – both of which forced the use of Origin – are the primary reasons the service is doing so “well.”
Last Updated: June 18, 2012