Mass Effect 3 for PC will require Origin activation, not launching on Steam

In a move that can be filed under “Saw that coming from a galaxy away”, EA has declared any and all versions of Mass Effect 3 for PC will require Origin to activate, and BioWare's next will not be debuting on Steam. At least, not for now.

BioWare's Chris Priestly posted details of Mass Effect 3's launch on the studio's forums, confirming players will need to sign on with EA's digital download service for a one-time, single authorization required to kickstart the physical and digital PC versions of the upcoming action RPG. In addition, he discussed EA's decision to launch on “other 3rd party digital retailers”, but not on Valve's Steam service due to perceived restrictions, explaining: “Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.”

Predictably, the announcement that even those who purchase Mass Effect 3 from stores will need to activate their copies through Origin is not going over well with the community. Since it was posted just a few days ago, Priestly's thread has since ballooned to over 200 pages, with many questioning EA's true intent. Perhaps in anticipation of this reaction, Priestly insisted Origin is simply a helpful downloading client, and not a nefarious spyware installer, saying, “Origin implements a permission change that results in Windows, not Origin, reviewing the filenames in the ProgramData/Origin folder. This is an ordinary Windows function, not an information-gathering process.”

Mass Effect 3 arrives for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on March 6 in North America, and March 9 in the UK. Does this announcement change your PC strategy?


  • madmax21st - January 17, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    Oh look. First day pirate time.
  • e1337prodigy - January 17, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    I would have thought that was obvious since origin is EA and Bioware is EA. Makes no difference either way for me.
  • sirdarkat - January 17, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    Frankly after Dragon Age 2 I don't really trust Bioware anymore. I wasn't planning to buy Mass Effect 3 unless it was marked down on Steam and since I won't be seeing it on Steam; guess I won't be buying it at all. No skin off my nose; frankly the last game was lack luster to me anyways. As for EA pushing for Origin they can push it all they want amazingly enough they aren't the only game publisher/developer in the world and I don't have to give them any money.
  • Jedipimp0712 - January 17, 2012 6:43 a.m.

  • FOZ - January 16, 2012 8:34 p.m.

    After ME2, I'm not into the series enough to pay $60 for it. So I'll wait for a sale, but now that this is on Origin, could take much longer than it would take for me to buy the game on Steam.
  • Jacko415 - January 16, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    UMMMM... Will our steam savegames be transferable to the to Mass Effect 3 on Origin? That will be the most retarded thing Ea could do since thats essential for the complete experience of the game!
  • FOZ - January 16, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    You manually transfer the saves in the Mass Effect launcher, remember?
  • winner2 - January 16, 2012 7:11 p.m.

    Glad I'm a console kinda guy, i'll just get it for 360 and be happy playing it. But seriously, I can't agree with everyone calling EA "childish". It's fucking EA. E fucking A. Everyone seems to understand how big of a name it is, how huge it's place is in the industry, and they still call it "childish"? Grow up. Whatever they do, they've got legitimate business reasons for it. Something as big as EA does not bring emotion to the business table.
  • TheVoid - January 16, 2012 8:39 p.m.

    HA! Hate to break it to you kid, but massive businesses bring emotion to the business table ALL THE TIME. And yes, sometimes that emotion can seem childish in nature. Look at Bethesda firing on Mojang for use of the word "Scrolls". Sure, it was dressed sharply under the guise of "copyright infringement" but at the end of the day it was nothing more than a babyish "I was here first" attitude, likely spurred by a room full of empty suits whose lust for a bullying victory won the day over a more practical "gee, doing this might put us in a bad light within the gaming community - after all, it's just a word, and a damn common one in fantasy video games at that" mentality. As for EA (yes, E fucking A) it was simply a matter of "wow, those guys over at Valve seem to be making a LOT of money with Steam. A LOT OF MONEY SELLING OUR GAMES! We've got to take them back! We can't let Steam get a cut of our profits! We'll just make our OWN Steam! Yeah, just like Valve! And just like Valve, no one will be able to buy our games without having to use our Steam! Hell-o incoming revenue stream!" How very grown up and professional of them. But again, the source of the problem is likely a group of inviduals who completely and utterly failed to see that Valve (who admittedly did force Steam upon users that purchased HL2) won their fans over with a lot of good will, respect, and appreciation. It never once in Steam's history felt like Valve was just trying to take our money. Origin, on the other hand... ...mainly because EA (in a very childish manner) apparently thinks that the secret to Steam's success has been to simply take their ball and go home. And EA gets to do that for no other reason than because they are EA. E fucking A. E fucking A gets to do whatever it wants, so long as it is profitable. Never mind stuff like good will and respect and promoting a real sense of commmunity. Who needs that? Meanwhile, Valve put together a strong business case for why EA games should remain on Steam, even if Origin were to continue to exist. The main crux of that business case: EA will make that much MORE money if they stay on Steam. EA's response? "No thank you. We have taken our ball and gone home and that is that. We here at EA don't like to share our profit, nor our games. It might have been a mutually beneficial partnership what with your 20 million strong userbase and all but we are willing to bet that by simply saying "you can't get your EA games on Steam anymore! Now you have to use our service instead!" will be all that is required to get all of those gamesr onboard with Origin. Because if they don't then they won't be able to play our games, and what gamer on Earth can go without playing an EA game for long?" Oh yeah, that's some text book professionalism, right there. Fragment the user base. Wrestle customers out of the comfort zone. Make it about "you have no choice" rather than "trust us - you are going to like this". Listen kid, emotion never leaves the boardroom. It's always there, and can often drive respectable, successful business. But it can just as easy lead to egos being blown way out of proportion and business decisions that don't always have the best interests of all parties involved front-and-center.
  • winner2 - January 17, 2012 3:41 a.m.

    Your argument is illogical. I'm sorry you feel this way.
  • sirdarkat - January 17, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    illogical? Sir I don't think that words means what you think it means.
  • TheVoid - January 17, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    OK, I'll bite Mr. Spock - Illogical how? And park your pity while you are at it. Something tells me my business experience runs laps around yours so instead of feeling sorry for the way I feel - which just happens to be THE WAY IT IS - maybe consider the possibility that you might just be wrong in this case...
  • winner2 - January 17, 2012 6 p.m.

    I find people learn and retain far more efficiently when they analyze the problem themselves rather than be handed the answers. Therefore, may I suggest re-reading your previous argument, and if you can't find it no matter how hard you try, then I'm assuming I cannot possibly engage in a rational debate with you.
  • yesimmad - January 17, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    Perhaps you can actually point out where his argument is flawed rather than playing internet psychologist and making stupid ad hominem attacks that cover up that fact that you're nothing but a biodrone who abosolutly loves when EA takes a nice steamy shit right on your autistic face. I made this account just so i could tell you how much of a retard you are, yes, i'm that mad
  • FuperFaiyanFeth - January 17, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    lol u mad bro, but u rite. Winner2, the 2 in your name indicates your age doesn't it? Oh wait, or is it your IQ?
  • TheVoid - January 18, 2012 3:01 p.m.

    Thanks for the support fellas. Clearly Winner2 is too wrapped up in his own perceived superiority to be able to effectively communicate whatever the hell it is that he thinks. His original point was pretty wobbly but everything that followed was flat-out broken. Meanwhile I tried to be open to further discussion on the point but as of Winner2's condescending (let alone off the point completely) response(s) I'm calling it a day on this one, door shut and case closed. At least I can rest assured knowing that I outlined my rationale the best I could while Winner2 just sat there and spouted some psychobabble that reinforced his opinion by zero percent. Although I kind of have to give him credit for his attempt to turn it back on me, expecting me to go back an re-read everything I typed and deconstruct my own point until I've found the error in my ways. Yeah, OK! What a revolutionary way to respond to a challenge! Clearly Winner2 would run LAPS around us in a debate. How mighty his brain must be! Oh please exhalted one, do bestow us a hint of your mighty intellect by sharing with us why I am so incredibly off course in my arguement. Clearly I am too dumb to see it for myself! I dare say Winner2 has managed to get a chuckle out of me at every turn. It has been, at the very least, entertaining.
  • GhostNappa2k10 - January 31, 2012 4:10 p.m.

  • R-ape - January 16, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    This is what we get for selling out Shepherd in ME2 for those in-game store discounts inside the Citadel.
  • LSZ - January 16, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    I already have the N7 version preordered but that sucks that I'll need to use Origin to play it. Like someone else here posted, I legit versions of ME and ME 2 on Steam. But really, I'm willing to overlook this simply because Mass Effect is such an incredibly good series. If they think they'll actually make money off me on Origin though, not a chance. The moment I finish the game, that stuff is getting uninstalled. Steam is enough for me.
  • kezins - January 16, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    I don't care for Origin, so they'll be losing a sale from me.

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