EA Origin wants crowd-funded games

Publisher to provide free distribution services for 90 days for any successfully crowd-funded PC title; Wasteland 2 first confirmed game.

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Electronic Arts' Origin digital distribution platform boasts a vast game catalog of AAA titles like Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3, but now the publisher is courting smaller developers. EA announced today that it will provide free distribution services for any successfully crowd-funded PC title for 90 days after launch.

EA is hoping to attract indie developers to Origin with the promise of 90 days of free distribution services.
EA is hoping to attract indie developers to Origin with the promise of 90 days of free distribution services.

The first crowd-funded project confirmed for Origin is Inxile Entertainment's Wasteland 2. That game quickly surpassed its Kickstarter funding target earlier this year, climbing to over $2.93 million. Company CEO Brian Fargo said the 90 days of free distribution services represents a "major economic bonus" for the studio.

Gabriel Knight designer Jane Jensen also pledged her support for EA's new crowd-funded promotion. She said, "It's great to see a big publisher like EA opening up distribution opportunities for these games." Jensen's crowd-funded Pinkerton Road studio recently exceeded its $300,000 target.

EA confirmed to GameSpot this afternoon that Jensen's inclusion in the announcement was only to demonstrate her support for the program and is not confirmation that her first title--Moebius--will be released as part of it.

EA specifically called out the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform as one that developers can utilize, though others are available. Those interested in hosting their title through Origin can complete a submission form at the Origin publishing portal.

On top of announcing it would waive distribution fees for crowd-funded titles for 90 days, EA revealed today that Origin now boasts 12 million members, up from an 11 million user count announced earlier this month.

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