EA tries again to justify Origin, fails more spectacularly than ever to justify Origin

It's an obvious tenet of the field that in the realm of PR, a lot of bullshit is spouted from a lot of mouths. When you have to stay so religiously on-message at all times, despite any and all cases of logical fact at odds with what your message might be, hilarity is bound to ensue. Surreal, desperate, flailing hilarity. It's a lot like some crazy kind of Whose Line Is It Anyway? style party game, only with added creeping psychosis and an increasingly tenuous grip on reality for the players with every day that passes.

The current king of this kind of fiasco is EA's Origin digital distribution service, which, much like Cheese Strings and Lily Allen, the whole world is yet to find a purpose for. EA's latest attempt at justification is both PR-driven back-pedal, and flaming great load of nonsense. You may find it entertaining.

Previously thought to be a case of EA taking it's ball (ie. it's games) home and refusing to play with the other kids (ie. Little Jimmy Steam) in order to gain exclusive control (ie. total profit) in relation to distribution of its own PC games, it now seems that won't be the case.

Which seems to indicate that the one true justification for the service now doesn't actually exist.

EA's European boss Jens Uwe has now stated that "When we were talking about it's best for the consumer that competition is a good thing, for the consumer also choice is a good thing. Competition and choice go hand in hand. So the fact we will only distribute our own games on our own platform, I don't see that"

Sooooooo... You're saying that you're actually just running Origin in order to drive market competition and make everyone get better at digitally distributing games for the good of the consumer? WHY EA, YOU'RE LIKE A MODERN DAY JESUS!

Continuing, Uwe reiterated that Origin really is not just a special version of the No Homers Club aimed at excluding everyone in the games industry who isn't EA:

"We are discussing with other publishers to distribute their games. [Other publishers' games] May very well be [sold on Origin]. But the key is really to develop an impressive consumer experience where people are happy to play and buy games"

Wow, that's very charitable of you, EA. Truly, everyone is bound to get on-side with Origin now that they realise what an altruistic force for good and industry-wide harmony it really is. Only one stumbling block I can think of...

Also, Steam does not demand that you sign over your hard-drive before you're deigned worthy of the honour of using it. Which, you know, is also a thing.

August 30, 2011

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.