Steam vs Origin

Giant versus giant. Who will win? No one knows. But I have few thoughts to share.

I won’t go into details what is Steam or Origin. You can read about it on Wikipedia (Steam and Origin). Simply, both pieces of software allows you to buy games via Internet, download them and play instantly straight after that. However, there was a bit of controversy once Origin was launched. EA develops and sells computer games plus it owns quite a few little/smaller game studios. Steam was created by VALVE Corporation. They created few games (Half-Life, Left 4 Dead etc). But also they distribute A LOT of games from various publishers such as EA, Activision, Rockstar Games, PopCap and so on. Plus plenty of independent developers. Total number of games you can buy on Steam is more than 1200. On Origin is around 100 (if you count all the Sims Expansion Packs as separate games).

Anyway, why would it bother me? Simply, I like games. I play few of them and I am big fan of Battlefield 3 (level 35) 🙂 But because I like to play BF3, I have to use Origin. But why? EA said that it was problem with Steam Terms and Contidions and thats why BF3 is Origin Exclusive game. Weird. There are quite a few EA games on Steam and they have no problem at all. Even weirder was fact that few months ago you could buy Crysis 2 on Steam, but now you can’t. EA pulled it out from Steam.

And thats why its annoying and really irritating. Remember when everyone was using MySpace and Facebook? It was difficult to track who is on which network etc. Thats why everyone switched to “better” or “less buggy” social network? Or whatever the reason it was. Now we have one big player and everyone is using it. At least for now 🙂 Why we can’t do it with Steam and Origin? Simply forget about Origin and not to use it? Because its not that easy. Here is why:

  •  EA restricted few major and really big titles to Origin only. You can’t play it without Origin. Even if you buy DVD, it installs with Origin and you are forced to use it
  • To make Origin attractive, EA will keep adding titles to its library and restricting big ones again to bring more players (Battlefield 3, possibly mass Effect 3, new Star Wars game etc)
  • And because we paid money for games to play them, they are tied up to our accounts for life. Or as long as EA will exist 🙂 Would you abandon £70something spend on few games?
  • The only way not to use Origin is not to play their games and thats something many people won’t do. They will simply install Origin for the sake of it just to play their favourite title (BF3 for example)

Here is a screenshot of my Origin catalog:

And Steam catalog:

See the difference? On Steam I own about 70 different games. From shooters, to puzzle solvers, to racing games. On Origin I have 6. I would have even less, but I bought Bulletstorm and Need For Speed as it was on sale. Another big advantage Steam has over Origin is that it has a lot of sales over the year. During Christmas it has about 2 weeks of sales, where you can buy many games up to 90% cheaper. Or even whole publisher’s catalogs which include all the games made by a publisher 🙂 Origin had a sale of 1-2 games per day during 12 days of Christmas sale.

Steam has forums and whole social element built into the platform. You can easily play with friends, chat, create groups etc Origin is aiming at providing this features, but its still in developing mode. Overall, I think EA will keep pushing its Origin little baby, while everyone will simply continue using both platforms. However, Steam will always be superior as it offers much more games. Unless EA will get some other publishers to release games on their platform.