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Origin

Hallowed are the children of the Ori.

When I booted up my computer this morning I was greeted by the EA Download Manager wanting to update.  I clicked update and then found something called “Origin” wanting to install itself on my hard drive.  My first reaction was one of a horrified double take.  Any Stargate fans out there?   When I realized it wasn’t THAT origin but rather EA’s new download manager / social networking ‘thing’, I clicked next and confidently proclaimed, “Hallowed are the Ori.”

EA has announced that Star Wars the Old Republic will only be available for digital download through this medium.  This news has awoken the beast within many and caused the usual falling out given the love-hate relationship nerds have with EA and just about every publisher on the planet.  “No Steam, no Sale!” stuff.  The usual angst.  What I fail to understand is why people care.  If you’re really that dead set on hating “another piece of software on your computer” then install SWTOR and uninstall Origin.  I haven’t read anywhere that SWTOR requires Origin to work.  You can buy a boxed copy and never even know that Origin exists.  If you love STEAM so much, as I do, then associate the game with Steam and have complete access to the STEAM community and overlay.  It’s entirely up to the publisher how they wish to distribute their product and for digital sales they’re using their own channels.   If I don’t get a box copy I might just download with Origin, close Origin, and associate SWTOR with STEAM and never think twice about it.

Assuming the worst (which I think is premature), so what if Origin runs? Activision is getting their own platform. Valve has STEAM. I see no reason to complain about these programs unless they hinder the performance of your computer. Would it be nice if STEAM/Valve ran the world? Yeah, maybe. However, there are features lacking from STEAM and ways to improve STEAM that maybe a little competition might incite. EA is going to feel pressure from Activision here soon and Valve is already clearly putting on the pressure.  I don’t expect them to pull any stunts with limited installs.

People are really treating this like there are greater powerful beings at work here trying to convert them to some new and twisted doctrine.  Ironically, the Stargate motif that I started with fits this quite well.  Can’t we all just sit back and have a good laugh that, despite trying to use SWTOR’s reach, EA is going to fail at mimicking STEAM?  And the use of Origin for a name after this many reboots of their failed download manager is comical, not something to get angsty about.

I can imagine EA Priors visiting conventions saying:

“It is the will of the Ori, that we should spread Origin to all those blessed by their creation.”
“And those who are prideful and refuse to bow down shall be laid low and made unto dust.”
(Find more Origin quotes at GateWorld.)

Just give up and embrace Origin.  Wow, that sounds so creepy when you know about Stargate.

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Luckton - June 3, 2011

If Origin allows me to download a game I purchase AS MANY TIMES AS I DAMN WELL PLEASE, instead of trying see me ‘download insurance’, all is forgiven. Until then…

*gets his P90 out*

Sir, would you kindly put the staff down and shut the frack up?

Rog - June 3, 2011

I very much doubt you’ll be able to uninstall Origin if you want to play SWTOR. Expect it to be required for patches and possibly login as well.

Ritticello has made it pretty clear that they’re using the game as leverage to launch the service.

Keen
Keen - June 3, 2011

Why would it be required for patches or login when the game will come with its own patcher like every other MMO?

Elspath - June 3, 2011

EA has made comments that games have to run with the EA downloader at all times. Its most likely that you wont get a choice to turn off the downloader…

Plus… There might be a chance slightly that even the boxed version (if there is going to be one?) will install the EA downloader and use it as a launch device. Meaning Steam will not work…

At least thats what i am fearing. Only facts i know for sure is that EA games bought Online through the downloader requires the downloader to run to play the game.

Shadrah - June 3, 2011

Think about that thought for a second, Keen. EA, giving us something that is required to use. EA… GIVING us something. Why would they put out their own version of steam if people could just use steam anyways? They’re cutting in on Steam’s action. That’s about all it amounts to.

Keen
Keen - June 3, 2011

Anyone know if MMO’s bought with the EA Download Manager require it to run?

If you buy it with Origin, mission accomplished the middle-man is out and EA gets all the money. I fail to see why, at that point, Origin is required to run in the background.

STEAM does not update DCUO. DCUO has its own launcher. I bought DCUO on STEAM but other than the overlay, which I have attached by choice, there is no further involvement of STEAM nor the requirement that it run in the background. There’s no reason EA can’t do the same with Origin. I’m not defending them btw. I already have it on my machine and don’t care much either way, I just fail to see how they would make a mistake that great.

Luckton - June 3, 2011

In the Origin FAQ, they specifically state that any games bought via Origin will require Origin to be installed and running to play.

Pray that the boxed store copy does not enforce the installation of Origin when the disc goes in the drive…

Keen
Keen - June 3, 2011

That would be the epitome of failure on EA’s part. However, even if all of these worst case scenarios are true, oh well. It’s not going to stop any momentum SWTOR has and we’ve all seen enough of these rodeos to know that the people saying it’s the last straw are going to play anyway if the game it good.

Origin won’t be the reason people pass SWTOR up.

Rog - June 3, 2011

@Keen: No, I doubt people would pass up SWTOR.

What this does is tie SWTOR’s success with EA’s likelyhood to move all of their PC games exclusively to downloading from EA.

I really don’t mind honest competition to Steam, but all of the publishers are looking to leverage their biggest games this way. It’ll be like Games for Windows LIVE exclusives everywhere.

We may unfortunately get back to the same old scenario that trapped the PC a few years ago: Where buying PC games legitimately becomes such a PITA that even the gamers who’d prefer not to pirate games will once again admit that it’s more convenient than jumping through these silly hoops.

Inconvenience is the bane of PC gaming. That’s why this is a big issue.

Elspath - June 3, 2011

its obvious EA wants to bring steam down. There in direct competition. Many company’s might pout there games on steam but they would MUCH rather have there own systems. Steam was just one of the first and best to come along and people loved it..

Steam dosent update MMOs bought by steam. But then you dont require Steam to RUN those MMOs either… Thats the nice thing. steam gives you choice…

EA never gives you a choice, Follow EA law or you die! simple ;P

Luckton - June 3, 2011

And here’s your final coffin nail:

By default, people can find you via your real name(!) on the system regardless of their own setting, and the EULA clearly states that your habits, system usage and platform details will be shared with advertisers for marketing purposes.

Hmm…let’s go see what we can find out about Keen, eh?

Silverangel - June 3, 2011

Well..the fact is that there *are* powerful beings at EA working to insinuate themselves as much as possible onto my computer for their profit. I just had to run Steam to validate *and* play Mafia 2 that I bought in a box at Best Buy, and I can see this being the same, only it isn’t a neutral third party. I think alarmists might be a little bit justified this time.

I personally don’t like the invasiveness of Steam, but it does seem preferable to extra installations of DRM software.

Dink - June 3, 2011

Origin will scan your hard drive reporting what software you are running, will monitor what applications you have running in memory to prevent hacking. It’s required to run SWTOR.

The box set DVD only has the Origin installer on it.

You can only reinstall some EA games after 6 months after paying $5.

Alas, is it still okay with Keen?

Keen
Keen - June 3, 2011

@Dink: You realize how many games and software packages there are that do the exact same thing, right? WoW’s Warden will scan your entire computer. Punkbuster runs processes on you even when you play nothing. VAC from Valve scans you. This isn’t anything new at all.

Again, assuming the worst (which I think is premature), so what if Origin runs? Activision is getting their own platform. Valve has STEAM. I see no reason to complain about these programs unless they hinder the performance of your computer. Would it be nice if STEAM/Valve ran the world? Yeah, maybe. However, there are features lacking from STEAM and ways to improve STEAM that maybe a little competition might incite.

The limitations of installs has never appeared for me. I have a Lord of the Rings RTS game on my EADLM along with a handful of other games, old ones too, that I can install an infinite amount of times. I think that’s fear mongering at this point to think EA would do that with SWTOR. Is EA capable? Oh yeah, they are, but I think they’re going to feel pressure from Activision here soon and Valve is already clearly putting on the pressure.

Elspath - June 3, 2011

competition is nice and all but you do relise that competition in this area also means you have to have 5 different installers on your computer just to run different “brand” games. Because why would they pout there game on there competitors Downloader? I only want 1 downloader. not 5.

gankatron - June 3, 2011

Use a fake name…

Also disconnecting your internet cable would likely cause the game to run in offline mode like Steam…

epic.Ben - June 3, 2011

Rog said it best. Splintering the PC gaming community across so many digital distribution platforms is just bad. Between Steam, Stardock/Impulse, etc., we have plenty of options for downloading games. The last thing anyone needs is yet another digital downloader / IM tool sitting in the taskbar.

Ultimately, EA’s effort will fail. Whatever increase they get in their margins by cutting out the middleman (Steam)… I’d think they’d lose if they make EA games exclusive on Origin. which will result in fewer overall purchases.

Shit — look at the Steam page on Wiki. I didn’t realize this, but it gives publishers 70% margins, compared to 30% at retail stores.

Do you have any idea how good that is for a company? If EA can’t make enough money with that, screw ’em. I’d seriously not consider playing SW:TOR just because of this.

ScytheNoire - June 3, 2011

EA is just copying Blizzard. I’m not sure why people are freaking out, but Blizzard only allows you to get the digital copies through their Battle.Net system and controls all distribution. Why can’t EA do the same? People just hating on EA. Starting complaining the Blizzard does the same, or shut up.

Keen
Keen - June 3, 2011

That’s just it. 70% margins or 100%? Blizzard gets all theirs through digital distribution. Activision is on the same route soon. EA can do it too. The issue here is indeed having 3 running at once for each major publisher. That I can see being the start of something out of control. I don’t have a solution for that.

Russell Gusto - June 3, 2011

i have come to the conclusion that many players are simply looking for ANYTHING to bash SWTOR. I know I’ve been a tad guilty of it…it’s an odd thing.

Rawblin - June 3, 2011

There is only one thing I’ve ever been able to say about Steam that is negative.

Valve still, to this day, has not implemented an option to throttle Steam’s bandwidth usage. It is a simple fix, totally logical, and would make tons and tons of people happy. But they just *have not done it*.

It boggles my mind. Other than that, I love the damn thing 🙁

Jay P. - June 3, 2011

Damn I thought that DAOC Origins was finally being released.

Keen
Keen - June 3, 2011

@Jay P: Hell has not frozen over yet.

Valkrysa - June 4, 2011

There is a difference between Blizzard having you download your games through their site, and EA making you install/maintain and run a completely new client.
<—– Does not like this.

tricon - June 4, 2011

Well for me the problem is the “exclusive download” part.
So now I need to pay EA a premium price for SW:TOR (e.g. battlefield 3 is 59.99€/87.72$) for the download or get a boxed version.

If I look at e.g. Rift you have options. Riftgame sells the digital deluxe version for 59.99€.
However you can find them elswhere at Steam or d2d and … I bought the d2d(US) version for 39€ with a 20% off coupon.

So I guess back to amazon&co for SW:TOR. 😛

God I hope we have a opt out option if the add more social nonsens to origin.

silvertemplar - June 5, 2011

Turbine has this , SOE have their Station Manager , so this is not exactly news, but i can say all of these little “download managers” that sits in your system tray is always a pain in the arse.

I’ve had more issues with SOE/Turbine’s updating processes via these apps than any other MMO . The bigger issue comes in when these games are sold via STEAM, but you need this external app to update [because steam is not updating the app despite it living in your steam account/folders] .

Trust me MMOs and Steam is another royal mess most of the time. Wait until these start to clash.

This reminds me of the whole Batman:Arkham nonsense with the “Games for Windows” , holy crap , to this day i could not run a game that requires Games for Windows properly. Fortunately there’s ways around it, but man, it’s messy.

Pedro - June 5, 2011

Would love to read a post from you about Rift now that it has passed the 3 month mark and is chugging along quite nicely.

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