Electronic Arts' online distributing platform Origin has been on the receiving end of some ill-mannered criticism since its launch last year. Previously labeled simply, but aptly, the EA Store, it offers PC gamers an alternative to other online distributors, amongst the most popular being Valve's Steam.
EA's Peter Moore recently told Kotaku that they've faced a lot of criticism entering the market. Most PC users argued that they didn't need or want another online service like Steam. Moore added that, given time, Origin will take off as a quality service much like the way Steam did.
"If you go back and dust off the transcripts of when Steam first came out, it had the same reaction," said Moore. "People didn't like it. You were obligated." It's the exact same feeling people had about Origin and the service it offers. No one likes having it run in the background or having to connect to EA's servers for a single playing game like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, or even the upcoming and highly anticipated Mass Effect 3.
Moore continued saying that "[Valve] provided, over the years"”to Gabe and the team's credit"”value to the gamer. Those first 12 months were very rocky."
Origin came to be because EA "felt the PC business was having a little bit of a renaissance," and with Star Wars: The Old Republic, Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 coming soon, "this was the time to build out a true platform."
"I think it's healthy for the industry to have more opportunities to go, if you will, to shop around, to find different things that you like, different content. The more stores there are for me in the mall, the more entertaining it is. Sometimes my wife will drag me to a little boutique mall that's got like eight stores. I like the gamut. I like choice."
On the topic of EA's questionable terms of service, Moore noted that EA got off to a really bad start "for all the wrong reasons which were mostly inaccurate."
"We were clearly focused on by some folks who said, 'We don't like this. How can we start picking things apart," he said, highlighting the strong reactions to its EULA and accusations of spyware as some of the obstacles they faced. That cynicism has died down a bit since according to Moore, but he is clear that Origin needs to go over and beyond in terms of providing a quality service that isn't just about selling you games.
"It's one of those things where I would ask give us 18 months to two years. And if we sit here two years from now, start looking at it then," he said. "I think the ability to have your own direct platform with the consumer is going to be very important in the digital world going forward."