This morning we shared a bit of news on the illusive and eagerly-anticipated Half-Life 3 although it wasn’t very revealing as per usual. Instead, Gabe Newell – being crafty with codenames – simply stated that they’re working away on the game and that it’s better to keep silent on the topic than to make promises or tease the game when they know it’s going to require a lot more time.
That news came from a podcast where Newell, the billionare/co-founder of Valve also was asked about his thoughts on Origin, the digital video game service created by Electronic Arts in direct competition to Valve’s own Steam platform.
The interesting bits of information both originate from the first ever episode of the SevenDayCooldown podcast posted earlier this month. And what a way to start.
So, how does Gabe feel about the Origin service, the service forced upon gamers who wish to play the likes of Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3?
“I have used Origin…it seems…uhh…I mean, they have a lot of work to do, to get to where they want to be and where I as a customer want them to be.”
EA must be doing something right, right?
“[silence]….[silence]….Uhhh….[silence]….uhhhh….[silence]….uhhh….[silence]…Well, I don’t want to dodge the question. Now, I don’t think they’re really doing anything super well, yet. They have a bunch of smart people working on it, but I think they’re still playing catch-up to a lot of people who have been working in the space for a while.”
As a PC gamer who uses both services (not by choice), it’s impossible to argue. Origin is not something gamers wanted – it was forced on them by EA late last year and hasn’t succeeded to do anything better than Steam since. It’s inefficient, buggy and makes makes EA Mobile apps and games including Mass Effect 3 super slow.
And there’s nothing more frustrating than investing an hour or two into a game like Battlefield 3 just to have an EA connection error wipe out all of the stats and unlocks earned during that session, even though Origin tracked that during the game. That just happened to me over the weekend and I still feel the sting. Perhaps because it’s never happened to me with any game on Steam.
If rumors about Wii U using Origin as its featured service are true, then a lot of work they must do indeed.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.