So there’s a pretty good chance that EA is going to release games on Steam once again.
Way back in the day, Electronic Arts didn’t have their own digital distribution platform. Instead, they did what the same as everyone else and sold their games on Steam, the de-facto default digital storefront for all of PC gaming. But then, just as with many other large game publishers, they decided to create their own launcher and force people to play their games through that.
There are a few reasons why game publishers wanted people to buy their games through their own stores, but the biggest reason was that they get to keep 100% of the profits rather than have to share some of it with Valve, the company that runs Steam.
So in 2011, EA decided to only sell new PC games on their own storefront/launcher called Origin. The promise was that it would be the same as Steam but only has EA games. They’d also offer sweet deals from time to time and provide folks with Origin Access, EA’s subscription service (which released in 2016).
However, as with most new launchers that have come after the rise of Steam, nobody really liked Origin. There were accusations of spyware, security breaches, and a general lack of enthusiasm for exclusive titles forcing people to download yet another launcher onto their desktop.
We don’t have any numbers to back this up, but we’re guessing that EA has done the math and determine that forcing people to use Origin has limited their sales on the PC market. Hence their latest tweet, featuring a STEAMing cup with the EA logo.
Yes, it looks like EA is returning to Steam.
Just to drive it home, Eurogamer reported on a Twitter user named @RobbotBrish who found a test app that simulates an EA game running via Steam. It will basically do the same thing as Ubisoft does with their Uplay launcher, automatically downloading Origin and launching the game through the Steam launcher. This means there’s still going to be Origin on your system, but you can safely ignore it as you won’t need another icon and Steam will handle the heavy lifting of actually starting the game.
We don’t know when EA will return to Steam specifically, but it could mean that EA will bring upcoming titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order as well as older games like Mass Effect 3 and Apex Legends to everyone’s favorite PC store once again.