Digital distribution seems to be the game purchasing method of the future. As of now, if players want to be able to get new titles without having to worry about stores selling out, they can simply download their title of choice via either Valve‘s Steam service or EA‘s Origin. This is still a relatively new concept, however, so there isn’t a definitive “right” way to do it. As such, there is some disagreement as to how to properly use digital distribution.
One of the major points in Steam’s favor is good deals and discount sales – a good example being the recent Because We May deal. EA, however, doesn’t hold the same viewpoint as most gamers.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, EA’s Senior Vice-President of Global Ecommerce and head of Origin, David DeMartini, said that Steam’s constant sales and price-cutting have cheapened the intellectual properties, and that Origin would be doing something different.
DeMartini didn’t specify what exactly Origin would be doing different – indicating that they plan to reveal that bit of information at a later date. He continued by talking about a recent announcement they made regarding crowd-funded titles, through properties such as Kickstarter. Any crowd-funded titles that would be distributed through Origin would be waived of any service fees for the first 90 days, which DeMartini said was the “first thing Origin did that no one could complain about.”
He concluded by saying he felt this would be a good way to please the hardcore gamers as well as the independent developers – and would, in turn, encourage more developers to utilize their ideas. He does seem right in that regard, and it does fit with their apparent desire to appease their fanbase, since they did ask them for ideas.
If nothing else, DeMartini and EA aren’t shy about saying what they think of their competition. Then again, Gabe Newell hasn’t been silent on his thoughts on Origin either, so this isn’t that much of a surprise. Still, DeMartini didn’t give much to back up his statements, so whether or not they can be taken seriously is up for debate.
What are your thoughts on DeMartini’s statement? Is he right that Origin’s waving of service fees will be good for indie developers?