As the console wars continue, a new contender in the digital download conflict emerges. Publisher and developer Electronic Arts has announced that it’ll be offering “platform exclusives” in the form of games only available through its own download service, Origin. The announcement coincides with new exclusivity requirements added for rival digital distribution service Steam, which have already seen Crysis 2 and other titles removed from its catalogue.
“You talk about platform exclusives like Halo or Uncharted,” explains EA's Frank Gibeau: “EA's going to have some of our own platform exclusives.” The “Only on Origin” badge has already shown up on advertising for Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2; the latter was recently removed from Steam once its presence on Origin was announced. EA has said this wasn't its decision: “It's unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service. This was not an EA decision... Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.”
Alice: Madness Returns has also disappeared from Steam, while the digital-download version of EA's upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic's Origin-exclusivity was announced last week. At the time of writing, EA still maintains a micro-store within Steam in addition to their independent Origin service.
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