ORIGIN

eaorigin_logoOrigin is a game DRM and store client for Windows. It was developed to replaced the older EA Game Loader DRM. Lots of game publishers have developed their own client rather than give Steam a piece of the action.

Like Steam, Origin guarantees download availability forever after purchase. There is no limit to the times a game may be downloaded how we have criticised them for the lack of a backup. Steam remains the only one with an intrinsic backup capability. Few have unlimited bandwidth. Its possible to backup the Origin Games folder. Some games are not installed in Origin games so they will need to be downloaded.

The Origin store allows users to browse and purchase games for full price from Electronic Arts’ catalogs. Instead of receiving a box, disc, or even CD key, purchased software is immediately attached to the user’s Origin account and is to be downloaded with the corresponding Origin client.

Users may also add certain EA games to their Origin account by using CD keys from retail copies, and digital copies obtained from other digital distribution services. However, the addition of retail keys to Origin is restricted to games from 2009 onwards and older keys will not work even if the game is available on Origin, unless user contacts customer support.

We successfully moved several games to Origin. This eliminated the undesirable disk checks. EA promoted the new Origin client with the wildly popular classic Battlefield 1942. We moved Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield 2 into Origin as well as many other titles. Before the Origin client, EA was already using internet activation for games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 etc.

CONTROVERSY

Shortly after the launch of Origin, Crysis 2 was pulled from Steam and appeared on EA’s website with an “only on Origin” claim, though it remained available on other distribution services. Likely the real story is that Electronic Arts wanted to stop giving Valve more cash than necessary.

Accusations of illegal surveillance of users machines beyond CPU, GPU and RAM. EA eventually modified their EULA to include stating that they would not “use spyware or install spyware on users’ machines,” though users must still consent to allowing EA to collect information about their computers. It’s illegal in many jurisdictions. In Canada section 184 of the Criminal Code makes surveillance illegal.

ORIGIN MANDATORY

Several recent games, no matter where they are purchased now require Origin. This is not unlike games from Ubisoft who does the same thing on Steam.