Dear Origin, You Stink

Shamus Young

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Jul 7, 2008
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Dear Origin, You Stink

Shamus believes EA is the underdog here, with Steam the clear favorite.

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Mar 24, 2010
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You know what the sad thing is? Even if this piece somehow got to the deciderers at EA's HQ I'd bet their reaction would be to start doing some mental gymnastics to justify their 'strategies'. A great case of corporate cognitive disonance if I've ever seen one.

Loved ME and ME2 to bits (although I'd really, really prefere more of ME's Larry Niven-esque feel rather than well, whatever solid, action-packed, pew-pew-in-space author may be applicable we got with ME2) and it's a shame I'll have to give ME3 a pass*

*There are some things on which I'm not willing to compromise. Everything I've heard about Origin makes it a big no-no.
 

SoulMan007

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Sep 21, 2009
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To counter one thing you said here... "If you were actually thinking of your customers (and if you were smart like Valve) then you would give free copies of Mass Effect 1 & 2 on Origin to people who already have copies through Steam."

I've actually put my steam keys (and D2D cd keys) for quite a few EA titles and instantly got access to them on my origin account free of charge (in Origin its under redeem cd key or something like that in the gear menu). I can only think of one title where I wasn't able to do this and it was my D2D copy of the Red Alert 3 expansion thingy, which is old at this point anyhow.

Otherwise, yeah, Origin is fairly stinky, and I agree with all your other points.
 

RedEyesBlackGamer

The Killjoy Detective returns!
Jan 23, 2011
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Great article, but I doubt EA will change anything. It seems like all of their projects to top big dogs fall short. Battlefield 3, Origin, and SWOTOR (A little early on this one, but it doesn't look like a massive hit with 4+ years of staying power). They just need to get used to playing second fiddle.
 

ResonanceSD

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I don't think ea are capable of thinking like underdogs. Not whilst they can still act like some heavily censored words and people still buy their games. They can do what they like and still get money. Note the tor fraud scandal, dragon age 2, permabanning people for doing nothing wrong from origin forums AND all their games, etc, etc.


And gamers line up and still pay them.


I'm not buying ME3 even if it comes to steam, or dragon age 3, or any other EA products.
 

Cowabungaa

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Feb 10, 2008
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I wonder; why is this posted now, in late January, while the whole Origin spiel went on almost three months ago.

It's sort of, y'know, not really relevant. We all complained about it long before, the EULA was changed (really, an article from August 2011?) making it only a bit more harsh than Steam, feature-wise it's a bit pointless but other than that it doesn't do much at all and hardly affects your actual gaming experience.

Really, Origin rage has come and gone and this article tells us nothing we don't know already. Not quite sure what's the point of it, but that's me.
RedEyesBlackGamer said:
It seems like all of their projects to top big dogs fall short. Battlefield 3, Origin, and SWOTOR
Except that Battlefield 3 and SW:TOR has been recieved very well, so I'm not sure what constitutes as a fail here. Of course you're right though about SW:TOR's staying power, that's something it has yet to prove.
 

castlewise

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Jul 18, 2010
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I have ME and ME2 on steam, but am not planning on getting ME3.

(To be fair I wasn't able to actually finish either ME or ME2, so maybe its not origin...)

(...then again, I don't have a burning desire to play SWTOR either...)
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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To be honest I think EA just need to quietly give up and go back to Steam. They've already failed as far as I'm concerned, between battlelog and Origin I sent my (pre-oredered) copy of B3 back unopened.

If it was on Steam and used Steam's server browser, I'd have kept it, if it appears with those options, I'd buy it again.

As it is, who ever thought that having no less than three layers of separate DRM that all require log-ins to operate a multiplayer shooter that boils down to a cut down version of something that was released eight years ago needs to be taken outside and beaten.
 

mrverbal

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May 23, 2008
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It's a hard hard decision we all have to make. Mass effect one was a fantastic game. Mass effect two was possibly my favorite game since I played as an odd blue man with tattoos and weird memory loss syndrome.

But it's possinle I may never play mass effect three. Origin is, as far as I can tell and by all accounts of those who have used it, utterly horrible. Their "privacy" policy (which is essentially how much they loathe the idea that I have a right to any) is an abomination. Their pricing is absurd.

I want Mass Effect 3 *really* badly. I've been talking with friends about it regularly since the moment I finshed ME2 the first time - having finished it half a dozen times since.

And your press is - somehow - getting *worse* on this whole issue. Banning people for life for using a term like 'e-peen' - which while not in the best possible taste is hardly likely to offend, well, anyone - is absurd and makes users feel like they are in the fourth grade. Locking them out of there games is completely off the walls. Banning people for having their user ID mentioned in a post where someone else uses a naughty word is - whats a word for more absurd than just regular absurd?

I mean, if I'm walking down the street and I shout at a cop "Shamus Young is a " then maybe I might be able to get arrested for it. But for Shamus to get arrested for it is...well I would need that missing word again.

And the games pricing...!!!

The reason a game from game stop costs sixty bucks is as follows:

You pay some guys to make the game, and test it (well...sometimes) and market it, and that costs 15 bucks. You pay someone to cut the disks and print the manuals and put together the boxes, and they take five bucks. Then you pay someone to transport it from A to B and that costs 5 bucks. Then gamestop pay you 40 bucks for it, and sells it for sixty. SO all said and done, you make 15 bucks.

Online, you can sell it for the same 40 bucks you sell it to gamestop for, and still make 10 dollars of profit for, essentially, free. And as noted in the article, it means I can't loan it to a friend or sell it back to gamestop for 10 bucks so they can re-sell it for fifty bucks, a transaction on which you make zero bucks.

What is your mental problem on this front?

Dear EA,

Stop spying on us. Stop banning us for absurd things. Stop locking me out of my games - which I've paid for, and which, by the by, is probably illegal in several countries - for nothing. Stop charging full price for games when you have no middle men to pay just so you can make more profit*.

Signed,

everyone in the world.



*Particularly as profit isn't linear. Higher price does not mean higher profits.
 

Rad Party God

Party like it's 2010!
Feb 23, 2010
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Great article and this is my main reason to entirely boycott every new release of EA and subsequentially, my personal boycott of Mass Effect 3... until they decide against using Origin as a mandatory stuff to get to play the thing, until then, they won't be getting a single cent from me ever again.
 

UnderGlass

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Jan 12, 2012
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Interesting article. Always good to see anything written by you Shamus.

In response to this I decided to open Origin to see what was new. As usual (since I don't run it very often) I was obliged to re-install, because that's just the way Origin's updater rolls. This immediately annoyed me of course. Running an installer and resetting my preferences each time I start a program tends to provoke this irrational ire.

I've got no personal beef with EA and would be perfectly happy to use Origin if it brought something - anything - to the table. You're right, EA's not evil, they're just criminally complacent and entitled. What a waste.

You're also spot-on about Valve. Video game dev my arse. Where they've truly proven they shine is as masters of marketing (an area EA is notoriously weak in). As each year's sales arrive I watch in unabashed admiration at the artful and increasingly sophisticated way they capture and direct my attention exactly where they want it. Vouchers, prizes, daily challenges the gradual trickle of unbelievable deals. Intellectually I am so very impressed even as money I don't have is teased from my pocket almost by it's own will.

When EA learns to make Origin less of a burden to it's users and more of an end in and of itself then they will have a chance of competing with Valve in the digital distribution space.
 

fenrizz

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Feb 7, 2009
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And that article is basically why I love Steam so much.

I've bought oh so many games simply because the were on 50% or 75% off.

Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition
Civilization III: Complete
Civilization V (because I enjoyed Civ III so much, and it wsa 75% off)
Sim City 4 Deluxe
Metro 2033 (which has made me consider getting Metro: Last Light at launch)

I even bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Skyrim (which was on sale at X-mas) on Steam because it was considerably cheaper and more convenient.

So all in all, good deal for the developers and many good deals for me.
It would take a lot more than that pathetic service Origin offers to make me switch.

EDIT:
Also good article Shamus.
You don't write nearly enough of them:)
 

elvis-66

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Apr 2, 2010
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SW:TOR and BF3 HAVE been well received but due to the feelings towards origin they havent done as well as they could, case in point a gaming geek with disposable income (me) has made a point of ignoring both titles purely because of origin and so have a considerable number of my friends.

The reason why this has been posted now is possibly so the Steam christmas sale could be included in the article as a point of evidence? You know? The article above comparing steam and origin?

Regarding the article it says everything I think about origin. I have no desire to use the system due to my invested time in steam coupled with my distrust of EA. This is along with my game to dollarpound value felling. Why does a game that is just a download cost more than a physical copy? Why does a game with no middle man taking a cut cost more than a direct sale from the publisher?

Origin is a system with no reason to exist apart from the greed of its creator, It speaks volumes that I am foaming at the mouth for mass effect 3 but I am hoping instead to find some way to convert my mass effect pc save to the xbox
 
Apr 24, 2008
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Agree wholeheartedly.

I'll add my recurring technical issue to the mix. Origin doesn't remember my password. Every time I want to log in, I have to go the "forgot your password?" route...and that only works because it auto-signs in as soon as the password is changed. I can log out again immediately and my password has become useless.

This causes me to not log in very often.
 

Username Redacted

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Dec 29, 2010
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Mass Effect 3 is going to be the last EA published title that I ever buy. I am unfortunately, as it's where my saves are, going to be buying it for the PC ergo I will have to deal with Origin. That said I am thankful that I have some pretty tech savvy friends as once Origin is installed onto my machine I'm going to turn it into a eunuch.
 

grigjd3

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Mar 4, 2011
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One should really understand that Origin is not an online games service that happens to function as DRM. It is a DRM and info-gathering service that happens to sell you some games online. Honestly, EA has done about everything possible to stop me from buying Mass Effect 3. I really want to play the game, but they seem intent on convincing me not to.
 

Baller195

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Mar 18, 2011
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As a PC gamer, I agree with EVERY single point you made..

The only reason I can think of for Origin's existence is to purposely kill the PC gaming market and direct them to consoles... EA is barely making profit, PC gamers are no-way-near satisfied with it and the only trafic it is getting is forced through DRM... Even EA games like Crysis are cheaper on Steam!

EA should just listen to their senses and run back to Steam with their tails inbetween their legs if they want profit...

Sigh... Mass Effect is my favourite franchise, last game I buy from EA is going to be Mass Effect 3.
 

fenrizz

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Feb 7, 2009
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Baller195 said:
Even EA games like Crysis are cheaper on Steam!
How can something so obviously moronic even happen?
Your own goddamn games are cheaper at the competition for crying out loud!

It's almost as if they don't want customers.
 

Zipa

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Dec 19, 2010
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elvis-66 said:
SW:TOR and BF3 HAVE been well received but due to the feelings towards origin they havent done as well as they could, case in point a gaming geek with disposable income (me) has made a point of ignoring both titles purely because of origin and so have a considerable number of my friends.

Another reason why this has been posted now is possibly so the Steam christmas sale could be included in the article as a point of evidence? You know? The article above comparing steam and origin?

Regarding the article it says everything I think about origin. I have no desire to use the system due to my invested time in steam coupled with my distrust of EA. This is along with my game to dollarpound value felling. Why does a game that is just a download cost more than a physical copy? Why does a game with no middle man taking a cut cost more than a direct sale from the publisher?

Origin is a system with no reason to exist apart from the greed of its creator.
You realize that TOR doesn't need origin if you buy it retail right?

And The article is spot on, Origin is a burden and a annoyance to gamers because it treats everyone like they are a potential thief (3 DRM methods just to play bf3 , wtf ) . That and their seemingly stupid policy of making PC gamers put up with all this agro when they want their money is just not a smart move.

Valve as others have said are masters at marketing , plus they are not complete assholes about DRM and actually have good sales.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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Cowabungaa said:
Except that Battlefield 3
BF3's multiplayer has only been well received by players too young to have owned BF2. I don't think I've read a single positive review of BF3's single player campaign, about the best I've seen of it has been 'average'.

It's had solid sales, but it's safe to say BF3 failed to meet any of EA's grand objectives to make it the launch pad for Origin, a critical darling and the product to knock Call of Duty off number 1 spot, or at least put up a good fight.

Call of duty doubled BF3's sales inside 72 hours, the reviews were largely average and aside from Origin exclusives, is anyone buying from it?