Electronic Arts, also known as EA Games recently revealed some major news in the gaming world. EA announced that the company is officially bringing its games back to Steam after a huge absence of eight years. Don’t get too excited, though, users will also have to keep programs like Origin launcher installed in order to play the games purchased on either platform.
Around 2011, EA shifted gears from Valve’s storefront over to Origin. Jedi: Fallen Order is the first game rolled out on the platform, and as a result will be the first EA game since that time to release on Steam. EA will also release some of its single-player games shortly after this, including Sims 4 and Unravel Two. Multiplayer games like Apex Legends, FIFA 20, and Battlefield V will be available next year and will play cross-platform between Origin and Steam. According to Engadget, you’ll even be able to join your friends lists on both platforms at some point in the near future.
This is the first time we’ve seen a subscription service on Steam. Normally, companies restrict them to their own storefronts — Xbox Game Pass, Uplay+, etc. EA‘s already made an effort to expand Access to PlayStation, which received the service earlier this year. Players will have access to a vault with around 80 games, assuming the library on Steam is sized similar to the ones on console and Origin, of course.
So what exactly does this mean for Origin and its faithful users? Well, for starters, it’s still got Origin Access — don’t worry, it’ll still be utilised in one way or another. Origin Access is the subscription service exclusive to the PC storefront, which offers a vault of over 200 games and access to new titles (depending on whether you have the Basic or Premier subscriptions). We’re on record praising Origin Access Premier — it’s a relative bargain as far as gaming subscriptions go.
Also, buried in the Jedi: Fallen Order Steam page, you can see the words “Download & Installation Of The Origin Client Software Required To Play.” So it’s clear that users will still be required to install Origin in order to boot up and play the affiliated games, which is how Ubisoft games work these days. That’s not exactly ideal for many people, but the switch to Steam will provide more opportunities later down the track.
EA‘s also been quietly working on its own cloud gaming service called Project Atlas, which we previously reported on. The company’s been working on this for an extended period of time — the initial announcement mentioned “an awesome upcoming dynamic world game called Anthem.” Ubisoft also managed to make Uplay a vessel for its subscription service without removing its games from Steam, so there’s some precedent for companies retrofitting their personal storefronts for other services.
In addition to the game sales, EA plans on bringing its subscription service to Steam starting next spring. The EA All Access service lets you pay $4.99 a month to get free access to select games from the company, including the Sims 4, FIFA 18, and Battlefield 1, among others.
“This is a good day for gamers,” Valve CEO Gabe Newell said in the recent announcement. Indeed, EA was previously a major publisher on the Steam store. But in 2011, the company removed some of its games, such as Crysis 2, from the platform and sold its newest PC-based titles via Origin.