EA explains Steam store absences

Publisher says disappearance of Crysis 2, other titles from storefront result of Valve forbidding contact with players about new patches, content.

Last month, Electronic Arts' first-person shooter Crysis 2 disappeared from Valve's online storefront Steam, sparking speculation that the publisher was pulling its titles from rival marketplaces to make them exclusive to its own such offering, Origin. Today, EA's head of global e-commerce David DeMartini released a statement about the flap, explaining exactly why some of the publisher's titles are no longer available on Steam.

Electronic Arts won't let Crysis 2 on Steam unless it can tell purchasers about post-release content.

DeMartini stressed that EA will allow its titles to appear on any downloadable storefront, but there is a catch. The executive said, "We take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content, and other services to our players," and so insist on being allowed to "establish an ongoing relationship" with customers and contact them to inform them of new patches and available content.

"Unfortunately, if we're not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve," DeMartini said. "At present, there is only one download service that will not allow this relationship. This is not our choice, and unfortunately it is their customer base that is most impacted by this decision. We are working diligently to find a mutually agreeable solution."

As of press time, Valve had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment.

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264 comments
LE5LO
LE5LO

 "We take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content, and other services to our players,"

Errr...wasn't all that already possible on Steam? 

If I'm correctly reading between the lines; it's fair enough if they want to cut Valve out of additional profits on their titles, but honesty would be appreciated, but I guess it's EA we're talking about here.

 

grim_ahren
grim_ahren

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

azizex6666
azizex6666

bravo to steam for not selling out its customer base, plus points from me.

drumma1
drumma1

I can see why EA wants to do this. They just want to be able to be in control of their product, which is perfectly fine. If Steam (or Valve) isn't letting EA have full rights to something they created, then they made the right decision.

MihaiHornet
MihaiHornet

@Shai182 The real problem is being forced to use an online gaming service (be it steam, origin, GFWL, PSN or what effing ever) to play single player games. Why must I have steam to play Deus Ex Human Revolution, huh? Thanks but no, thanks! I want games as packaged goods, like someone else before said, box or GOG is fine for me, online accounts no way. No strings attached and no sole discretion pretty please. What EA does is just as bad as valve does when putting steam in boxed games. Taking the choice from gamers.

Shai182
Shai182

as i see this EA trying to chase windmills and in the process hurt every loyal customer they meet, i currently only purchase from steam as it is a great platform to purchase games yet EA want to limit my shopping to a service that i do not want or trust and it run's in the back round without over load on the system, sadly i can't agree to it, keep your games EA i will stick with steam and if your games be there i might purchase them, that is if they will not have origin installed.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@jono_51 They are focusing more on quality now, but I can tell you they would do whatever is neccesary to take 1st position from activision. As a gamer, I like that. As a former worker of that company, I will never trust them and/or see them as nice cool guys (Well, the people at "Double Fine" are awesome).

MihaiHornet
MihaiHornet

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-21539_7-20068598-10391702.html "Over the coming years, we will transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company," Riccitiello told investors during an earnings call last month. "We're transforming EA to a games-as-a-service model." So EA decided to take on steam, big whoop. Don't tell me you didn't see that coming.

product_of_ill
product_of_ill

what a load of crap, just ea wanting to keep tabs on everyone and get as much user info as possible in order to come up with more ways to bill you for extra stuff to do with game content! who was the first company to come up with the unlockable codes included with games, alienating those who cant afford buying games all the time and have to rent them, ensuring that they get money if people want to get the full experience from a game, making sure you can only play downloaded tunes for rockband whilst connected online and on the machine you downloaded them on! dont even get me started on audiolog and battlelog! poor battlefield is going to have its multiplayer aspect sullied by EA's obsession with keeping tabs on all online gamers do! i understand the wanting to keep an ear to the ground with regards to what users are saying and want, but this borders on big brother-esque corporate spying, the facebook generation may be used to the constant updating of status' and user specific advertising but everything that goes into these online services is essentially a money making machine, how can we bill you or make money off of our next game!!! steam still rule the digital downloading platform, but like all that happened before, if anyone is a threat to EA, out come the lawyers and loopholes are looked at! be warned this is only the beginning in this digital download and data monitoring cold war!!! peace

adidas32x
adidas32x

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

From my own experience with EA support... I'd say we, the customers, are way better without it. It's definitely about their supposedly competitive platform, Origin.

lfebaggins
lfebaggins

Steam did us a favor by removing that totally bland game. All Crysis 1 and 2 have been is eyecandy, most overrated one dimensional fps ever.

tyrrin
tyrrin

If I am required to install this pile of dog ___ in order to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, I guess I wont be canceling my RIFT account after all, I will not run another bull ___ service in the back ground that crashes every 5 minutes just to play a stupid game. F! EA, you lost another customer.

Diophage
Diophage

Hard copies with a simple cd check and gog.com are the only things I go for these days. Also, I hope EA doesn't make the Origin client a requirement for their future games, sort of like Steamworks and GFWL titles. People have plenty of unwanted crap running in the background as it is.

eriktkire
eriktkire

communicate with the customer directly huh? So what's the point of all these EA portal accounts? I have an NFS profile, Battlefield, Crysis, etc... had them for years and not once have I received an email announcing a patch or whatever was about to come out, or has just come out. Am I supposed to join yet another mailing list and create yet another site specific account/profile? Steam does everything automatically.... this whole EA Origin thing is really a waste of a chunk of memory while playing games, it does absolutely nothing but store EA key codes really. EA still haven't learned from their days of being 'the' most hated brand name in the gaming industry. Maybe that's why they really want to take the crown back from Activision.

tachsniper
tachsniper

futile effort EA, your not getting me away from Steam, looks like i just wont buy your games not on it. Steam and Valve has Earned my loyality, what has EA done for me lately?

Valacan
Valacan

Doesn't Bioware already control all the DLC for their games like Dragon Age? They're on Steam. This doesn't make any sense.

jpsaply
jpsaply

Whats there to explain. EA wanted a way to make its download service called Origins to be its primary digital service provider. So what better way to go over the contract they have with other services, such as Steam, and see if there is anything they can use to back out of the deal and force people to use Origins. Being that EA is greedy, they are probably looking at Direct2Drive.com to see how they can screw them.

rashbourne
rashbourne

What a load of crap. They aren't on Steam because they don't get to serve you patches directly? I'm pretty sure that this is a lie. Actually, I'm certain of it. The only reason they would want to take these things over from Steam is because they want to do it via Origin. Which is really what they're saying. Besides, providing a vehicle for updates and the promotion of content is one of Steam's selling points for publishers! Lying scum.

L1D3N
L1D3N

I'll side with Steam. After EA's track record I don't trust them. I like some of their games but I'm not gonna lose sleep over them not being on Steam. Stand your ground Steam!

adidas32x
adidas32x

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

HappyBB
HappyBB

Valve, tell us what really happens!? I don't really buy EA's explanation!

shakensparco
shakensparco

Not a big fan of digital distribution to begin with. Personally, I like owning a hard copy of my game.

TheeDefiler
TheeDefiler

If you want more of a relationship with your customers why don't you send surveys and stuff to their emails. Just don't do it frequently, that's when it gets annoying. Seriously though put your games BACK on STEAM!!

titmo71
titmo71

my god man,get a grip!

titmo71
titmo71

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PlusFour
PlusFour

Good luck EA, I know i won't be moving from steam.

Kaihekoa
Kaihekoa

This is just marketing BS for saying they really only want to sell EA games on Steam in the form of a key that you would use to activate the game on Origin. Obviously Valve isn't going to allow that to happen so expect EA to continue pulling games from Steam until Origin fails.

tachsniper
tachsniper

sorry EA i was in one abusive relationship , i really don't want another.

SureFire
SureFire

Translation: "Valve won't let us spam its users with our marketing crap, so we're going to force you to use OUR service so you can stay very informed on the latest DLC you don't want to buy anyway!"

thrice00
thrice00

"manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve," Support and help from EA..... ..... ... Almost no sports game anymore on PC, DLC DLC DLC DLC They realese some great game but i can't see how EA establish a good realationship with it's customers. DA2..... ..

dtujd2
dtujd2

Can't you just patch any PC game through like 100 different sources? Why this issue would be a deal-breaker makes no sense to me.

stabby_mcgee
stabby_mcgee

They're EA's games so it's EA's choice. There are plenty of other games that are not sold on steam. For example, Stardock sells only through Impulse. Sure EA has ulterior motives, but so does everyone. Valve has ulterior motives for wanting everyone to distribute their games on Steam. Valve just happens to treat customers much better so people either don't care or don't suspect their hidden motives.

tyrrin
tyrrin

I have had nothing but problems with EA's pile of crap ORIGIN. Every time I tried to load it my system would hang or freeze seriously pissing my SSD's off. I uninstalled this crap and all of the games associated with the service. I will never run Origin on my system again or buy an EA game that requires it.

Topperfalkon
Topperfalkon

How exactly do Valve restrict EA's ability to form a 'relationship' with their customers? If it really is about patching issues that really is a non-issue. The Steam service is built around allowing their customers to keep their games automatically up-to-date with the latest patches and remove the infuriating hassle that I remember back in the days of BF2 and before that, where patching processes were horrifically complicated and for major patches could even take days to download! Steam deals with all this hassle in the background, which is precisely why I was more than happy to use it and buy games on it. I'm sorry, but EA's excuse rings a bit hollow for me.

Mkherkzen
Mkherkzen

Wrote a new post, because the last one reached the word limit :P @ ggregd LOL, I was writing essentially the same thing when you posted your reply. It's good we both agree on this one. It's pure greed - both EA and Valve want to put their hands on more ca$h. The only thing we differ about is whether EA will get more money from selling their games through Steam or by themselves, through Origin. I think the first option is more plausible here. When selling via Valve's platform they still get their share, which they wouldn't get if they decided to limit themselves to Origin, Amazon, GameStop and other stores. It's more about the data and additional selling opportunities (call them "there's EA spam in my mailbox!" if you like ;) ).

Mkherkzen
Mkherkzen

@ Booshon You have the healthiest approach :D @ cornerback3 Guess what, Valve is as greedy as EA is :P They all are, regardless of the masks they wear and BS about caring for their customers, which they feed us with. They fight for who's delivering what because for both of them it means gathering more info on users and being able to sell even more stuff to them. And you're establishing a relationship with EA whether you want it or not, by simply buying their games. @ ggregd Yeah, you bought them through Steam...but from EA. It's EA who makes those updates, and it's them who takes care of that and not the store you bought the game in. Steam doesn't give a sh** about whether there are any updates or not - they're just re-distributing what they get from other companies. Go on, skip EA and check whether Valve will update your games then. I agree that Steam makes a damn good job re-distributing stuff, but it doesn't give them the right to force the product's creators to push everything through their service. What both firms are fighting for here is access to info about our gaming and even more profit from selling/re-selling more products. And none of them want to give up on this. EA wants to sell games through Steam, that's for sure, but they don't want to allow Valve to gather the data/profits they themselves want. In the end, either they will agree to share that info/selling opportunities or will have to say bye bye to the money both could earn from selling EA's games.

atopp399
atopp399

They are hurting their own sales. My guess is they are trying to get others to follow.

elemenTTower
elemenTTower

@Doomling you shouldn't say that actually because by being with EA, DICE was able to incorporate the player movement system that was used in the EA sports games. And from what I've seen in BF3 videos, the character movements look extremely realistic.

ggregd
ggregd

@Mkherkzen It's not the patches they care about, it's the DLC. They can't rightly charge more for DLC on Steam, but they get less because Steam takes a cut of the sale price. If they sell through their own DLC service, they get all the $$$. Simple greed.

ggregd
ggregd

Shenannigans. I expect games I bought through Steam to update automatically through Steam. That's the experience I expect and deserve.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@cornerback3 EA can take their "relationship" with us and shove it up their corporate chocolate whizz whang

cornerback3
cornerback3

The true reason for any of EA's action always boils down to greediness, it's as simple as that. You don't want to establish "a relationship with [us]" and we don't want to establish a relationship with you.

Booshon
Booshon

@Mkherkzen you make me lol tbh i dont think any of those companies stinks/ ftw . Lets them fight who cares, ill buy from who is cheaper thats it :) I dont care for both of them.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@Mkherkzen When you submit a product to be sold by a service they choose how they sell that product they are the merchents after all. You start flinging rules around about how/where/when they sell your product then guess what? they won't be selling your product anymore.

Mkherkzen
Mkherkzen

@ techsniper The issue is that BOTH Electronic Arts AND Valve want to "oversee and dictate" in this matter. The first has the right because of being the owner of those games and the second shouldn't have any rights, but those are being given to them by Steam lovers/EA haters. And it's not EA who's mad over this, but Valve - after all, it's them who removed the games in the first place. This is a clear case of a conflict of interests. The sad thing is that people use this to throw sh** at EA, just because they don't like them having a DLC platform which is competing with their D2D service of choice.