Dear Origin, You Stink

RandV80

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Also, a lot of people are talking about how Steam/Origin shouldn't be selling new copies at the same price as retail versions because there's far less overhead.

While I agree in general, I'd have to think a lot of that has to do with pre-existing publisher-retail agreements. For Gamestop/Walmart/Bestbuy/etc would be royally pissed off if Steam launched a game like Skyrim for $40 while the game on their shelves costs $60. The loss in sales would be immediate and significant, and you could bet there'd be a whole lot of lawsuits and boycotting going on.

I'm fine with my digital PC games so I can afford to say screw them, but I'd imagine the developers/publishers still need and want their games on that shelf space giving retailers enough clout to maintain even pricing.
 

Callate

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Dec 5, 2008
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This is a very well written article, and given the small bomb dropping that no version of ME3 would be available without Origin, perfectly timely.

The whole attitude that's come down with Origin has made it impossible for me to be a part of, even for the sake of Mass Effect 3. EA wants this to be the new industry standard, and to be blunt, if that comes to be the case, we're all fucked.

On a certain level, it reads like bad comedy about the worst salesman in the world.

-

Salesman: Hey, there! Would you like to buy Mass Effect 3 for the low, low price of $60?

Customer: Um, sure... That's what I'd normally pay for it, so I don't see how this is anything special, but-

Salesman: But wait, there's more! Order now, and you give us permission find out if you're running Steam, Bit Torrent, and disk imaging software! And we get to record your MAC and IP address, as well as whatever kinds of Internet Security software you're using, held securely on the kind of big-company database hackers are delving into on a nearly monthly basis!

Customer: Wow, that sounds like the kind of thing that could cause users to bring a lawsuit against-

Sales: Which brings us to the next part of our offer! When you buy Mass Effect 3 today, you also enter a contract not to sue us no matter how badly we mismanage your accounts or abuse your trust!

Customer: I'm really starting to wonder if I want to play this game...

Sales: It may not even matter! Because, if you act now, you may lose the right to play the games you laughably thought you "bought" from EA because you danced in a war zone, repaired a jeep, or simply rubbed a forum administrator the wrong way! Now, how much would you pay?

Customer: Gah!

Sales: Normally, with an offer like this, you would expect to find a small caliber fire-arm lodged in the small of your back! But if you order now, we may revise the terms and conditions at any time and hold the games you "bought" over your head if you even glance twice at the "opt out" button, assuming you can even find it!

Customer: ...Help me...!

-

EA's attitude towards this whole thing seems to amount to a producer-customer relationship of "Lick the shoe and like it, worm." Some like to sneer that we've given up as much with Steam, but it's simply not true. Valve has been at great pains to actually give their users something in return for using their service, to offer clarity and transparency in their policies, to show how the information they gather is used, and to seek permission before gathering it.

On a fundamental level, Valve seems to understand that this is a relationship that goes both ways, and customer trust is not something easily regained, so it shouldn't be abused. EA wants to start things from square one with them having all the power and none of the obligations. If you enter into that, it's really only a matter of time until they do abuse that trust-- and you subsequently find out just how damn little you can do about that abuse, and how much they can punish you for trying.
 

CapitalistPig

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Sound advice but I doubt they will follow this model. Mainly because most companies know they can't be steam and wont try to copy their greatness. And as you said who would part with there 100+ Steam library for an impulse to start over.
 

Fumofu

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Did you actually send this to EA? If not, then you should.

Anyways, great article as always. I'm not afraid to admit that the main reason that I haven't gotten into Origin is because of how much I'm attached to my Steam account (to the point of preferring to buy on Steam than a stand-alone copy of the game) but even if I wasn't Origin still is good enough for me to invest in.
 

marurder

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I find it unfathomable that a company such as this got so many things wrong. Customer feedback is important and it seems they aren't listening and have never listened. Again, the information is out there, and fairly easy to collect. Why haven't they acted upon it? From the analysis from this site, profit before customers.
 

5-0

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You know, a while ago I was having problems with my EA Account for Battlefield Bad Company 2. After relentless back and forth between customer services, they eventually gave me a 20% off code for their online store, which apparently lasts forever. That store is now Origin. I don't think I'll be using it any time soon...

I was looking for Crysis the other day and it's £5 more than on Steam. You're not gonna get my custom EA.
Brilliant article.
 

burningdragoon

Warrior without Weapons
Jul 27, 2009
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2 weeks in a row!?
<spoiler=cue celebration music><youtube=8m48WECogb0>

Anyway, solid points all around.
 

Karathos

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Don't get me wrong: I agree with the majority of what you wrote in the article - but that's a pretty fresh link about the data collection you have there. Really, Shamus - really? Origin has alot to improve on sure, but the current games I own that run on Origin have had ZERO issues since I got them. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones, who knows. Heck, I bought a DVD-copy of Bad Company 2 from a retailer, and it was -automatically- turned into an Origin copy from the CD-Key on my EA Account. So now if the disc is ever busted up or lost, I can download my game from Origin. Meanwhile I have a copy of Rainbow Six: Vegas, Fallout 2 (and numerous others) - games that are available on Steam. Can I put my CD Key in there and make them digital? No.

Origin gets things wrong, but it gets some things right.

And I've said this numerous times on the Escapist, but time and time again it seems I'm conveniently missed. A little roleplaying, if you will:

"Oh no, Origin collects information off my computer"
"I better log on Facebook and tell my friends about this horrible personal detail theft. At least those Facebook folks stay out of my information like, say... My name, adress, phone number, family, friends, workplace, hobbies, relationships, shopping habits, etc..."


Seriously now. If you're going to complain about being mined for marketing info - you're about ONE HUMANITY'S HISTORY late to the game. It's how marketing has always been done, and will always be done. The people who sell crap find out what you like, and then try to sell it to you. Game companies find out what kind of rigs the majority of players are running, and design their games in a way so people can run them. This maximizes the playerbase, and thus the profit. Steam does this aswell - Origin just originally worded it differently and it became a massive shitstorm of knee-jerk "I HATE EA" reactions.

My little Facebook-roleplaying-scenario is a great example of the attitude here on the Escapist, too. I'm not sure if it's hypocrisy or just plain ignorance, at times. In order to escape data mining, you pretty much should be so LITERALLY disconnected from the world that you shouldn't even be reading this post.

My two cents. Flame on!
 

Superior Mind

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Shamus - Go to EA, burst into the office of every person there, tie them to their chairs with duct tape and give a copy of this article to every last fucking one of them. Narrate it to them as well while they're reading it and make sure the message sinks in. If you need a hand I'm sure you'll find many here willing to smash into EA headquarters and help.

It boggles the mind to think that these guys are the top-payed managers of the game industry and they have absolutely no fucking clue about their own market.
 

Digitaldreamer7

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Sep 30, 2008
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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.

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
Pick it up on xbox and play through it before the release of the next one. I originally did that with it on PC because I wanted to experience the epicness that hopefully will be ME3 on my desktop. Ill just be getting it on xbox now instead.
 

UnderGlass

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Callate said:
On a certain level, it reads like bad comedy about the worst salesman in the world.

-

Salesman: Hey, there! Would you like to buy Mass Effect 3 for the low, low price of $60?

Customer: Um, sure... That's what I'd normally pay for it, so I don't see how this is anything special, but-

Salesman: But wait, there's more! Order now, and you give us permission find out if you're running Steam, Bit Torrent, and disk imaging software! And we get to record your MAC and IP address, as well as whatever kinds of Internet Security software you're using, held securely on the kind of big-company database hackers are delving into on a nearly monthly basis!

Customer: Wow, that sounds like the kind of thing that could cause users to bring a lawsuit against-

Sales: Which brings us to the next part of our offer! When you buy Mass Effect 3 today, you also enter a contract not to sue us no matter how badly we mismanage your accounts or abuse your trust!

Customer: I'm really starting to wonder if I want to play this game...

Sales: It may not even matter! Because, if you act now, you may lose the right to play the games you laughably thought you "bought" from EA because you danced in a war zone, repaired a jeep, or simply rubbed a forum administrator the wrong way! Now, how much would you pay?

Customer: Gah!

Sales: Normally, with an offer like this, you would expect to find a small caliber fire-arm lodged in the small of your back! But if you order now, we may revise the terms and conditions at any time and hold the games you "bought" over your head if you even glance twice at the "opt out" button, assuming you can even find it!

Customer: ...Help me...!
Ha! I don't feel the same bile as you towards EA - more a sort of head-shaking pity really - but this was very witty and so well written I had to give you a thumbs up sir!
 

3asytarg3t

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Jun 8, 2010
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EA is doing me a favor, I spend too much time playing games as it is. Any game developer that uses them as a publisher returns a portion of my life back to other pursuits, given that I'll never buy a game published by EA again.

And let's be honest with ourselves here for just a sec shall we, there really are a number of great things in life you could be doing rather than sitting in front of that screen for hours on end.
 

Xpheyel

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Sep 10, 2007
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Callate said:
Salesman: Hey, there! Would you like to buy Mass Effect 3 for the low, low price of $60?
You left out the day one DLC. :\

Not that its been announced yet, I just think it likely given that its a EA-Bioware title.
 

aaron552

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Jun 11, 2008
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Just so you know, Shamus: you can redeem a retail CD key for an Origin copy of the same game. I did it for Dragon Age (both Origins and II), Mass Effect 2 and SWtOR. Unfortunately, it's only for games released 2009 or later for some reason, so that means I can't redeem my copy of Mass Effect 1, which is frustrating because I have the Pinnacle Station DLC on Origin already...
 

Ritchian

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Jul 29, 2009
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Origin irks me for pretty much all of the reasons highlighted in the article. It's clunky, has one of the most atrocious privacy policies ever crafted, it's absurdly expensive and has a horrible selection. I've been using Steam since I bought Half-Life 2 and was forced to install it to play the game (Something painful at the time.) Since then, I've built a considerable library of games, almost all bought while on sale. EA, you are going to have to convince me if you want me to start up a second library on your service.

I think it really boils down to the choice I made when Old Republic was released. When I was looking to buy it, I first checked on Origin (Because the website was kind enough to throw a whole bunch of links to their store to buy it.) I saw the price on Origin, and then I went to check the price at the various stores in my area. It was the exact same price. So instead of buying the game from EA directly, I decided to buy the game at my local Best Buy for the exact same price, only I got a couple extra pieces of paper they laughably called a manual and a disc in addition to my activation key.

EA, you need to either become more like Steam or surrender to the Valve Juggernaut. You've done nothing to make me want to buy digitally from you. I'm not adverse to buying new games digitally when given a good reason to. These days, I'm not missing much by not having a disc. But you have to meet me half way and reward me for cutting out the middle man.
 

Bantis

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Jan 27, 2009
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Shamus Young said:
Dear Origin, You Stink

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

Read Full Article
Dead on correct on all fronts Shamus.

EA needs to entice people to use Origin not force people to use it. It needs to be attractive and unobtrusive enough that people don't spend to much time thinking about whether or not it's worth putting on their system. Third party software, no matter how good, still gives me pause (like Steam) because... well... it's third party software and it's feels like there is already to much of it trying to be installed on computers all over the place all the time. So the decision to install it comes down to need vs. hassle. Make it easy and hassle free and people are more likely to accept it. Better yet, as Shamus suggests, make it enticing and useful and people are more likely to keep it installed even when the game it came with has been uninstalled.

Even when I have had no Steam games on my computer I keep Steam installed just because when you go to the their store you never know what you may find. THAT's when I knew they had me. And for what I get out of it, I'm ok that they do. :)
 

vfn4i83

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Apr 11, 2008
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Thats for me more definitive than any other talk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_horse_%28computing%29

And you know what is funny, is that US gov does not allow Lenovo to compete at public governmental contracts but must not care about when they employees come to use EA's Origin at Pogo.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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Yeah, EA is pretty stupid for trying to force Origin on gamers. It takes a moron to try something like that, so please don't fall for it. Stop buying games that try to force Origin upon you simply because you want to play the game. As long as you buy those games, EA will continue with it's moronic Origin policy. Show them the error of their ways by hurting their profits. It's the only way.

PC gamers are gonna pirate the hell out of Mass Effect 3. Now I know that the inclusion of multiplayer is their idea. They think more people will buy their game regardless of Origin so they could play MP. No one gives a shit about Mass Effect MP. It sold well as a single player game. So that plan is going to fail. I can't wait to see the piracy numbers for ME3, because they will be fuckin' huge.
 

SovietX

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Hit the nail on the head with this article.

I bought BF3 on release. Played it for about 10 hours and havn't touched it since. Origin just made it very finicky and difficult to casually play the game. (And dont get me started on the whole 'alt tab to your web browser to change server' bullshit)

I checked out origins store when I first got BF3 and was very unimpressed. A whole bunch of shitty games that I have either played already or wouldn't want to play at all. Most of them I had on Steam already so there was really no point. The prices were higher than steam (most of the time, I noticed Shift 2 was cheaper but I have heard that game is ass) and I missed having a community feature.

Origin does infact stink. Like something that is about to die...