Rumour: Electronic Arts may be bringing its games back to Steam

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UPDATE: Electronic Arts has all but confirmed it’s coming back to Steam following numerous bits of evidence which were uncovered last week. 

EA has made its games available exclusively through the Origin store since the client launched back in 2011 and now, eight years later, it looks as if the publishing giant is coming crawling back to PC gaming’s biggest storefront.

Pretty much the biggest confirmation yet came via a tweet over the weekend. The tweet itself simply said “…” but it’s the accompanying footage we’re interested in. In shows an EA-branded mug with piping hot coffee/tea/Bovril (take your pick). That’s all by the by though, because what we’re really interesting in is the, ahem, steam gently wafting in the air from the mug.

It’s a bit odd to have all these teases just because Electronic Arts is now back to the status quo but in the age of dozens of game clients and the imperious money-hatting of Epic Games, it’s now a rudimentary win for a developer or publisher to just bring its games to Steam.

The big question now is, which games? Is EA going to go whole hog and bring its newest titles to Steam? Or are we just going to see some older games pop up on the Steam once they’ve had their big launch on Origin? One thing’s for sure, Steam won’t be saving Anthem’s fate any time soon.

Original Story: 23-Oct-2019 – Rumour: Electronic Arts may be bringing its games back to Steam

Suspicious things are afoot at Electronic Arts HQ. Some credible evidence has emerged that EA may be coming back to Steam in some fashion, having moved exclusively to its own Origin game client since June 2011.

First of all, SteamDB tracked a test application which runs an Origin game as a Steam application, in a similar method to how Ubisoft’s Uplay currently integrates with Steam.

The second piece of evidence is that someone played The Saboteur on Steam this year, a game which never actually launched on Steam (The Saboteur was a Direct2Drive title).

And thirdly, Dragon Age 2 was moved to a new Steam package eight days ago. Dragon Age 2 was on Steam but was since removed, and it’s certainly unusual for an unsupported game to be moved to a new package on Steam.

The one final bit of evidence, although this is most tenuous of the bunch, is when Valve showed off the Steam library redesign earlier this year, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was shown in a Steam library. This is perfectly achievable through manually adding games to Steam so we wouldn’t put much stock in it.

To my eyes, none of this makes sense, particularly when concerning EA’s newer, big budget releases. EA has already through the growing pains of a new storefront and it’s just kind of accepted Origin is what you have to use to play EA published games on PC. If not enough people are using Origin it’s because EA’s games aren’t good enough, not because of the platform itself. Heading back to Steam wouldn’t suddenly result in a million more people buying Anthem.

A further nail in the coffin of these plans is EA’s own Origin Access and Origin Access Premier services. These are still fledgling offerings and subscriptions are clearly viewed as a prime future revenue source for EA on PC. Such a service becomes mighty complicated when Steam versions are rolled into the equation.

Who knows though, maybe it could happen. The more likely prospect, however, is that EA may see fit to dump more of its back catalogue onto Steam. We’re talking the likes of Crysis 3, The Saboteur, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. The games which are now past their prime and aren’t particularly well-placed as system sellers for the Origin storefront nor an Origin Access Premier subscription.

What do you think then, can you see EA heading back to Steam?