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EA To Provide Free Distribution To Kickstarter Games

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the doing-it-right dept.

Businesses 120

New submitter The God of Code writes "EA has announced that they will be waiving all Origin distribution fees for crowd-funded games — like those from Kickstarter — for the first 90 days. 'The public support for crowd-funding creative game ideas coming from small developers today is nothing short of phenomenal,' Origin VP David DeMartini commented. 'It's also incredibly healthy for the gaming industry. Gamers around the world deserve a chance to play every great new game, and by waiving distribution fees on Origin we can help make that a reality for successfully crowd-funded developers.' The recently funded Wasteland 2 developer Brian Fargo applauds EA's move, saying, 'Having Origin waive their distribution fees for 90 days for fan funded games is a major economic bonus for small developers. We look forward to bringing Wasteland 2 to the Origin audience.'"

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Origin (5, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046209)

Just your friendly neighborhood reminder that Origin tracks your hardware, installed applications, software usage habits [giantbomb.com] and more with no way to opt-out, unlike Steam. This is the new games industry.

Re:Origin (1, Interesting)

MalayPalay (2642729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046271)

It would be nice if more distribution platforms would start supporting OS X. Steam is already there, but needs some more support from developers to bring their games to OS X too. Many have, but the percentage could be larger too.

I'm actually surprised that Desura haven't done so, being indie platform and underperforming and all. There would be some serious market. Especially because many of their games actually have OS X versions too. Currently I need to download and update several games manually because - while they are available on Desura - the actual platform client doesn't work on OS X.

Re:Origin (0, Troll)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046433)

What, your three posts on this story are your first ever? And you're not an astroturfer? Ha.

Dear All: Beware thread hijack attempts.

Re:Origin (3, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047195)

This would be the most inane astroturfer ever. "It would be nice if more distribution platforms would start supporting OS X."

Re:Origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047341)

Did you read the other two posts? They're more traditional astroturfing (of the shit-our-reputation-sucks,-let's-pretend-we've-turned-a-new-leaf variety), and this is putting down competitors, which could be profitable astroturfing, if EA actually intends to launch Origin for OS X. Could also be chaff, to fool people like you into overlooking the astroturfing.

Re:Origin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046607)

What is with Slashdot today? The guy has good, reasonable posts and yet all his posts are modded down to oblivion in this story. Seriously?

Re:Origin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046663)

All you have to do is yell "Shill!" and Slashdot's herd of moderators will fall over themselves trying to follow orders fast enough.

Re:Origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048753)

I modded him as Offtopic above because his post has no connection to the one it replies to.

Re:Origin (5, Informative)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046347)

EA offering to lend you a hand is a little like making a deal with the Devil.

TRAP! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047099)

Definatly an Akbar moment, an indie enough to taint their product by working with this company probably deserves the massive burn they will get.

Re:TRAP! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047321)

Agreed. Kingdom of Amalur is a great example of a game that could have been great, but was tainted by EA and ruined the company. Kickstarter is good for exactly the same reasons EA isn't.

Re:Origin (1)

UltimaBuddy (2566017) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047525)

... and by 'metaphorically', I mean get your coat."

Re:Origin (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047731)

EA isn't offering to lend a hand. They're trying to woo popular indie projects to them, because they see that almost every single one advertisers in their campaigns that they *are* going with Steam.

This is EA saying "WE ARE RELEVANT, TOO!".

Re:Origin (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050255)

I have no issue with that. Games being available via multiple distribution gives people lots of choice.

If EA were mandating exclusivity then it would be a massive concern, but going with Origin and Steam and Direct2Drive and ThePirateBay and other popular digital distribution channels should assure the highest possible sales and make it easy for everybody that wants to play the game to do so.

Re:Origin (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048047)

At least the devil would have enough integrity not to try to spin it as a charitable venture.

Re:Origin (3, Interesting)

RobbieCrash (834439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046497)

I know that I'm the bad guy here, but:
http://www.gamerlaw.co.uk/2011/08/ea-origins-eula-is-non-story.html [gamerlaw.co.uk]

Or, if you'd rather I link to the same site you're using:
http://www.giantbomb.com/electronic-arts/65-1/a-look-at-the-eaorigin-privacy-issue/35-511847/ [giantbomb.com]

Origin does nothing that Steam doesn't do, it's just a bit more convoluted to figure that out since you have to actually look at the privacy policy that the EULA references.

Re:Origin (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047853)

Except Steam's EULA limits itself to Steam related programs and Origin's EULA is allowed to collect data about any/all programs/etc on your computer.

Re:Origin (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048111)

The gamer/law article calling it a non-story doesn't make it so.

The terms EA expect you to agree to exceed what any one else is expecting you to agree to.

The reference to the "privacy policy" is irrlevant. It doesn't matter what the privacy policy says. They've declared they can take stock of everything installed on your computer, what is running, and when you run things. Period.

It doesn't really matter what they promise to do with that information. They don't need it as a condition of providing me service, they have no business collecting it in the first place, and not providing an opt-in or even an opt-out is bullshit.

As an addendum, a "privacy policy" is pretty weaksauce in terms of a legally binding document granting you protection. Its a policy -- since when does a company policy count as a legally binding contract with you?

Re:Origin (3, Interesting)

RobbieCrash (834439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048639)

The terms do exceed what some other EULAs ask for, it's our call to decide if the service is worth what's required.

The privacy policy does matter, as the 'legally binding document' dictates that the privacy policy trumps the EULA.

They don't need it as a condition of providing you service, that's true; but they don't need a client to provide you a video game, they don't need to allow you to download the game instead of going out and purchasing it from a store, they don't need to provide you patches, updates, additional content either. But they do those things, and they require you to give them information back. If you're not cool with that, don't use the service, that's opting-out. Get your games from Steam, or buy a console.

I back raising a fuss about things when they're worth raising a fuss over. But a company saying "we want to know what hardware people have, and what installation/uninstallation problems they have and what background processes may be running that will b0rk our shit, and you need to tell us that in order to use our service" isn't worth raising a fuss over. If they were selling that information, as originally was the case, this would definitely be worth raising hell over. But they're not, so this ceased to be something that I think is worth really caring about.

That said, I would like to see an opt-out, but since there isn't one, I run it under a different user account and lock it out of anywhere I don't think it needs to be.

Re:Origin (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049139)

The privacy policy does matter, as the 'legally binding document' dictates that the privacy policy trumps the EULA.

Then why put it in the eula? Seriously. Given the community is fairly upset about it, why not just remove it?

If you're not cool with that, don't use the service, that's opting-out. Get your games from Steam, or buy a console.

I don't buy "Origin" games. However, I think its perfectly legitimate for me to tell them as loudly as I like why I don't buy them, and to advocate others not buy them as well.

But a company saying "we want to know what hardware people have, and what installation/uninstallation problems they have and what background processes may be running that will b0rk our shit, and you need to tell us that in order to use our service" isn't worth raising a fuss over.

It is to me. There are all kinds of abusive things they can do with the information that fall short of selling it. And more to the point, I don't really care what they do with it; I don't think its any of their damned business.

Microsoft asks for permission to send an error report, and I can turn that off without any issue. If Microsoft made it a condition of using their operating system that they got to collect this information, there would be huge lawsuits. And lets be honest here... microsoft has at least as much, if not more of a legitimate need for this data. But they have decency to ask for it, and respect the wishes of users who say "no".

EA doesn't.

I run it under a different user account and lock it out of anywhere I don't think it needs to be.

Then perhaps you should be posting the links to sandboxing origin's client rather than links claiming Origin is a "non-story", because I don't have any software on my PC that I've felt compelled to sandbox to that degree just to retain some that level of control over my own privacy from the vendor.

Re:Origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049757)

^^THIS

Re:Origin (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049225)

It's run by a company that cares more about money then their customers. The fact that the policies are similar is missing the point. If you haven't seen the multiple screenshots of people contacting EA and getting horrible support from origin staff in india then check it out. No one wants that.

Re:Origin (1)

DanielSmedegaardBuus (1563999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046879)

This is why I am a pirate.

Re:Origin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047421)

Sorry, but that doesn't excuse Steam. There is *no* legitimate reason for having to constantly run a separate, resource hoarding application simply to play games. Any and all copy protection or update mechanisms need to be in the game itself.

Just because EA took a shit in your cornflakes doesn't mean it's ok for Valve to "only" take a piss in your orange juice.

Re:Origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047879)

Steam does not require DRM. It has optional DRM. It is up to the game designers to use the Steam DRM and/or their own DRM.

Re:Origin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048591)

Then why the fuck do I need to run Steam to run most games bought from it? Steam should merely be a buying platform and nothing more (like GOG). Steam itself is DRM.

Re:Origin (0)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049235)

Because it provides community features, achievements and save syncing across computers. It has nothing to do with DRM.

> Steam should merely be a buying platform and nothing more

No it shouldn't because steam does a lot more then just that, it's obvious from your quote that you've never used the system.

Re:Origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049893)

Simple solution: make those features optional. If you wish to tie the games to Steam, then you're free to do so. Those that don't want the features can just detach the games from Steam and not use them.

it's obvious from your quote that you've never used the system.

No such thing is obvious because I have used it; I simply found the features useless to me. I don't like any sort of DRM (whether or not you think it's DRM is irrelevant to me: I still like to be in control of my games).

Re:Origin (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050243)

Those features are optional, they are just optional for the developer. If they opt in then you can't opt out as a customer unless they build their game to facilitate that. You need to contact the developers of your favourite games and ask them to allow you the option. I remember Paradox's Victoria 2 came totally drm free with steam, so that you could just run the game without the steam shortcut and it would run without opening steam. I think they moved away from this with later releases. The point is steam doesn't force anyone to use DRM nor does it force them to run steam as the game is running, it is just something most developers choose to do.

Re:Origin (3, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048915)

Steam offers you some carrot with the stick, it's up to you to decide if that's worth it. On the one hand you have to run Steam, which if you've got a PC from 2001 might possibly be considered resource hungry to play your games. On the other hand you can install and play that game on as many systems as you like(one system at a time). If you lose your disks you can download the game again for no cost aside from bandwidth, etc.

Steam is selling you a license for your game with all the requisite downsides to that equation(no resale value, restrictions on use), but they're also giving you the benefits of that equation as well(play anywhere you have a net connection any time you like). Most "In Game DRM" on the other hand, is just about as resource hungry as Steam and provides you with all the downsides the license model and all the downsides of the box sale model in one fell swoop.

Not advocating DRM here, simply saying that Steam is up front about what kind of system it is, gives you some benefits in exchange for you what you give up and is generally reasonable compromise when compared to systems where you have to be on the internet at all times to play but simultaneously have things like limited activations and no replacement of media.

Re:Origin (2)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047783)

Is there no way to avoid this software to play the newer games in Windows? :( I want to get BF3, but now maybe I don't.

Re:Origin (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050259)

Depends on the game. BF3 requires Origin, which is why I didn't buy it. SWTOR is available via Origin but doesn't mandate it, which is why I did buy SWTOR.

Re:Origin (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050921)

Interesting and there is no way to avoid Origin with BF3 to play online. Lame! Good thing I don't play computer games anymore these days.

Ugh. It smellses monies, it does. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046261)

GOD DAMNIT, Brian.

You'd think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046273)

Fargo would know better than to get into bed with EA.

Re:You'd think (-1, Flamebait)

MalayPalay (2642729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046325)

Fargo would know better than to get into bed with EA.

Actually, I think you're just talking about the 2003-2005 era EA when they just put out new Sims expansions and their yearly sports games.

In recent years I've seen a complete change in EA's business practices. For me it started around when they released Mirrors Edge and started putting out experimental games again, and of course taking risks with those. Since then there have been great games released by EA, and companies like Activision and Ubisoft have been the ones abusing customers.

On top of that, it seems like EA actually takes their customer service seriously. So much that they rather give out "free" games when you complain to their support personal. It's widely known in gaming circles that you can get all kinds of freebies from EA's support by lying to them, which is kind of sad in my opinion. People are clearly abusing that good support service. Nevertheless, EA actually seems to try to do good for it's customers.

Re:You'd think (3, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046361)

Go away astroturfer scum

Re:You'd think (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046365)

Have they dropped their obnoxious DRM yet?

Re:You'd think (-1)

MalayPalay (2642729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046437)

Have they dropped their obnoxious DRM yet?

Yes.

The new offender in this is Ubisoft, which requires always online connection even for completely single player games (Assassins Creed, Silent Hunter etc).

To an extend Activision Blizzard too, which built their latest game (Diablo 3) around online DRM.

Re:You'd think (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046699)

Care to explain why I couldn't play ME3 when my net connection was down?

Re:You'd think (0)

RobbieCrash (834439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047203)

I have two explanations for you:

1. You're fabricating the scenario.
2. You were trying to play multiplayer.

Re:You'd think (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047811)

Not at all, if you have any of the DLC install at all (including the DLC that came with the game) you can't load any save that was saved with that DLC active.
Short version: you can't play

Re:You'd think (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048121)

Dragon Age:Origins was exactly the same. Except it was impossible to tell why your DLC was showing as unauthorized!
So, after a reinstall it's a server down problem. YAY!

Re:You'd think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046463)

The only games that have Origin's DRM are ME3 and BF3. All other games installed with the service can run without Origin running in the background.

Re:You'd think (3, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049251)

> On top of that, it seems like EA actually takes their customer service seriously.

Bullshit, Origins support is known as the worse. Just google image search "EA Origin support" to see some of the nightmare support people have been getting.

Re:You'd think (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046373)

So long as it's not sold exclusively through Origin, I don't see a problem.

Re:You'd think (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046567)

Pretty certain it's not:

Can I get my digital copy on Steam, if I want?
Absolutely. The digital copies will be made available through Steam and other DRM free digital distribution methods.

PLEDGE $55 OR MORE ... premiere access to an early playable beta on steam.

Source [kickstarter.com]

Re:You'd think (3, Funny)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046621)

Yep. So what they're saying is that if you want to be raped by Origin - maybe you fancy that kind of kinky thing? - you can have that. And the rest of us will have their Steam or GoG digital copies, and/or physical boxes (in fact, a donation of $50 or more gets you both a box and a digital copy).

Re:You'd think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40050133)

Raped, really? Origin actually comes to your house and penetrates your physical body without consent?

There's no need to trivialize a traumatic crime to make your point.

Re:You'd think (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40050743)

Yeah - I paid on the basis of the no-DRM release they promised on Kickstarter. As long as that happens, I'm happy. (Especially happy that they passed the threshold at which they said they'd do a Linux port.)

Translation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046285)

"Oh shit! There are about to be a metric shit-ton of big budget games by people who have been in the industry for years and know what works and what doesn't and we won't be seeing a shiny dime from them. Over the same period we have been pissing off our customers with our crazier and crazier RDM schemes, we need to stay relevent!"

Re:Translation (4, Funny)

The Asmodeus (18881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046417)

Crowd funded = big budget? I think you maybe posted in the wrong thread..

Re:Translation (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046501)

Whoosh.

Re:Translation (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046573)

Wasteland raised over $3 million. It's not epic, but it's damn good for crowd funding.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046829)

And how much would they have gotten from publishers to make the game if they had been approved?

Re:Translation (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047593)

Re:Translation (1)

travbrad (622986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049137)

"if they had been approved?"

That's a big if. A lot of games wouldn't be approved at all, or would have to make major creative/artistic concessions.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046909)

Wasteland 2: $2,933,252
Double Fine Adventure: $3,336,371
Shadowrun Returns: $1,836,447

No, I think you don't know anything about the budgets of some of these crowdfunded games.

(sorry of the typo up there, but that should have read 'DRM')

Re:Translation (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048259)

It's a significant achievement for all of them, but if you think that's big budget you're kidding yourself. The average multiplatform game budget would apparently hover between 18 and 28 million dollars, while single-platform budgets would be around 10M:
http://www.develop-online.net/news/33625/Study-Average-dev-cost-as-high-as-28m [develop-online.net]

What's the point? (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046289)

What's the point of Origin? Why not just set up a shopping cart on your website and offer direct downloads?

Re:What's the point? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046323)

Hosting those downloads costs something, Origin handles that for you and thus if you are getting it free for 90 days that means more money for the devs.

Re:What's the point? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046733)

rent a virtual server with a tiny fraction of your kickstarter funds

seed a torrent

post on slashdot

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049125)

Magnet links cost few hundred bytes per download. Assuming you have 10^6 customers and each download costs the whooping 50kb, that's less than 50GB total traffic made. I do more than that on my home connection per month.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049301)

Hosting those downloads costs something

yea like less than 10 bucks a month for unlimited bandwidth ... your paying for advertising on something no one uses, and the privilege of being advertised on something some people use

pay the 10 bucks, do a little leg work, kill the middle man, the only thing keeping the "official" industry alive, its not 1984, you dont have to produce physical copies, and mail them anymore

Re:What's the point? (2)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046337)

Because they now have an installed application on your computer which they can use to enforce DRM and track information.

Re:What's the point? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046345)

Back end.

You don't 'just set up a button'. You need servers and support to be sure it's available for download.

'Just a button'.
Sheesh

Re:What's the point? (2)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046627)

These indie games are not like Steam, most would be good with a cloud server, maybe setup a couple for the initial launch and peak demand, then scale down after a couple weeks.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046675)

Unless these games get popular, which they're all hoping to.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047733)

Minecraft still uses AWS.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050275)

Which is the model people have used for rapidly scalable hosting needs for years. AWS (and equivalents) just makes it incredibly easy and cheap.

The added advantage is that the cost scales (at worse) linearly with usage, which means that although the total price may be a scarily large number, that'll only be the case if usage is too - which if usage is sales driven, means you can probably afford it.

It's a great model, and I'm delighted that Amazon and other companies are thriving in a competitive market to enable it.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047065)

You would need a small handful of servers, and a couple people who could do some admin work (developers aren't often the best admin's, but it isn't rocket science to show the basics to someone with a clue), and if you offer it as a torrent, once it is seeded, the base servers can fall offline for maintenance / outages, and not have it impact the accessibility of the installer / latest patch, and your bandwidth costs are much more accessible. For things like a forum or authentication, the cloud is easily the best solution, especially for a funded Kickstarter project. By the time it starts to get expensive you are making enough money to increase staff, get beefier in-house hardware, etc, as your needs and capabilities allow.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049109)

We already have the technology for that - bittorrent. Ask yourself, why would EA waste so much money reinventing the wheel, if file distribution was Origin's only purpose?

Gaming distribution platforms were never about technology. They are about control.

Re:What's the point? (-1, Flamebait)

MalayPalay (2642729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046389)

What's the point of Origin? Why not just set up a shopping cart on your website and offer direct downloads?

Same as with Steam. You get patches, you get the community, you get in-game browser, cloud savegames, and other features and achievements etc. You can also easily see what your friends are playing and join them. You may not care about them all, but these things are really great, especially if you play with friends.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40048629)

And if you don't want them, you're fucked. Fucking DRM. Just sell the damn games and let me use them without the Steam/Origin DRM. Anyone who wants those "features" can use them.

Your move, Valve. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046333)

God damn it you better do it. Am I hell paying anything to EA ever again.

EA CAUSE Piracy of games. They are exactly the shitty company we don't want to ever deal with.

There are plenty of ways you can distribute your games, possible future Kickstarters.
Amazon servers are actually really damn cheap, surprisingly.
No doubt others think they are really expensive as well.
So go check up websites, you will be in for a surprise when you realize the prices of them aren't really insane.
Just don't go with EA or risk being hated.

In the cases where it is impossible to get the game elsewhere, people will either pirate it or be forced to go get a virtual image with origin, block it from reading any drives and suffer having to run games in it, if they can even do that.
The chances of anyone actually seriously going Origin-only for your game is slim. Very specifically because the majority of these people who fund want to get AWAY from shitty companies like EA who have shafted developers and destroyed game series after game series, not to mention destroyed companies.

The very fact Brian even said such a thing almost makes my head want to implode. He mocked that sort of company IN THE VERY VIDEO FOR HIS KICKSTARTER.

Friends don't let friends interact with EA. Stay away from them. Please.
Hell, if you really need to, P2P it. Just stay away from EA or you will make enemies with the very people funding you.

Re:Your move, Valve. (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046451)

What the hell are you talking about man? It's not as though it has anything to do with Publishing. Putting your game on Origin isn't like getting in bed with EA in the traditional sense. I also think this is a good move by EA to promote people putting games on their service. Considering after 90 games most games wind down in purchases, Origin is practically giving bandwidth to the developers for nothing while letting them reap all the rewards of their launch.

Re:Your move, Valve. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046507)

Payment side isn't so easy.

If you're not a business, the only way to take payments is Paypal, pretty much (no merchant account required). Though you have al lthe headaches of a merchant account.

If you're a business, you can do Google Checkout/Amazon Payments.

Then there's the handling of the download - either have to do a login system so people can redownload (hello lulzsec - just because you can write a game doesn't mean you can write a secure web app - I'd say it probably disqualifies you).

Server's the cheapest part of the whole thing. It's the payments and website downloads that are the hardest parts.

It's partly why the Apple App Store is very popular - Apple handles all the tricky stuff, you provide the binaries. (Of course, you pay 30% for that privilege).

Re:Your move, Valve. (3, Interesting)

discord5 (798235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047187)

If you're not a business

Then you start one, because it's foolish to keep developing games outside of a business. If you can't afford to start a business you're way over your head in dealing with EA.

you can do Google Checkout/Amazon Payments.

If you're a business you won't have any trouble dealing with a credit card processor. They'll take a cut, but so does everyone else. It's a matter of making the right choice and spending some time with a spreadsheet.

Then there's the handling of the download - either have to do a login system so people can redownload

You do realize that the guy who wrote minecraft (and he's far from a genius, bless him) actually did all this... Right? Minecraft had sold well over several tens of thousands of copies before he even started pondering about moving his stuff to "the cloud". It was all a single webserver handling it with a credit card processor. Not some sort of magic. Anyone considering making a game larger in size than minecraft has already begun considering the distribution options before slavishly beginning development.

It's the payments and website downloads that are the hardest parts.

If you make a game and you as a company find this "the hardest part", I fear for your business. You don't go to Steam or Origin because you can't handle the traffic or can't delegate payment, you go there because they have a freaking huge userbase and the companies typically have all the credit card numbers of their users neatly stored in a database for impulse purchases. Then after the impulse purchases you wait for the stragglers to buy the game when it's offered in a discount. Go on steam during the weekend, and look at the sales chart and the discounts offered. That's why you use these distribution networks: a large userbase. Despite all that though, there's still plenty of indie devs who succeed in selling their stuff and distributing it without Steam or Origin (or Impulse and its measly marketshare) for that matter.

It's partly why the Apple App Store is very popular

The apple store is an entirely different beast. iPhones and iPads are pretty much walled off from using "typical" software installations. It's the Apple way or no way at all. It's not a matter of choice. And again, you don't start iOS development because there's a neat little platform to distribute stuff over, but because you think your product will have a large userbase and can benefit from the impulse purchases.

These platforms are not going to lower your cost, no matter how pretty they picture it. They have the same costs as you do: (virtual) server infrastructure, maintenance, and credit card processors. They may get a bit of a better rate, but not by much, and don't forget they're out to make a profit too (just like you are) so they are going to be in your pockets for that. So in the end the bill will probably be the same, if not higher because of overhead costs. Oh and there WILL be overhead costs. Don't forget they'll probably make you use their APIs as well, for a seamless integration (friends lists, chat, etc etc). Sure these costs aren't going to be the bulk your costs, but don't forget about that.

You've got to ask yourself when someone offers you this: where is the catch? And it's pretty obvious what the catch is, right? After 90 days those games don't stop existing. Once you're deploying patch 1.12 out on the origin servers they're going to say "Wellp, that's gonna cost you. Remember that contract? Did you read the fine print?". Plan on doing some DLC? Are you sure it's not an Origin exclusive? Bandwidth used by people reinstalling the game after those 90 days? What about your price? Do you get to decide when they offer the inevitable discounts?

I would be very cautious when approached by EA (or anyone for that matter) with such an offer, because you can be sure there's no such thing as a free lunch, and you can be damned sure that EA of all companies isn't doing this out of the kindness of their heart either. They're out to maximize THEIR profits, not yours.

PENIS shaped like a PARAKEET! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046381)

it chirps, too. I like when it drinks water because then there is ANUS EXPOSED! The anus resembles the Mona Lisa weeping with a vagina mouth.

It's a TRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046385)

I think everyone knows already too.

bend over, first "hit" is free (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046387)

Bend over and take my ughhhh snugg ugggghhhh drm ladden load of malware tracking. that's it baby right there. stop complaining about the pain. In 90 days I'll give you something to complain about. Right now it's free. Stop crying. You know you want it.

EA getting desperate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046523)

Looks like they'll try anything to get a leg up on steam.

Right now, Origin is just a downloader/launcher for BF3 and ME3.

Origin, shit you not, will snoop your steam directory and add EA titles you purchased on steam to your list on origin, just to make it look more relevant.

Re:EA getting desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047189)

I'm pretty sure they just want to lift their "leg up" and take a whiz on Steam. Probably because Steam is on fire, and it's how they put out any game company that is cooking with gas. Bioware is f-ing drenched in it right now. It's like a scat parlor trick that EA does.

Re:EA getting desperate (2)

whoop (194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048311)

Origin didn't pull Steam games and import them for me. But I did later type the serial numbers in to add them to my account. That way I can play one game on Steam on one computer and (...shifty-eyes...) another game on that other computer from Origin. Pay no attention to my wife sitting in that chair. I'm playing them both. She's just watching. Really...

Re:EA getting desperate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049419)

Holy shit, a 3-digit UID. The Great Old Ones walk among us (and casually violate copyright licenses)!

Wasteland 2 is DRM-free (2)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046575)

If you follow the links, you eventually get an opportunity to pre-order a digital copy of Wasteland 2 for $20, DRM-free. That makes me think he's just using this Origin news for free press. I hope that's what he's doing. The idea that he's taking advantage of EA makes my heart warm and extra thumpy.

Of course (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40046801)

And also he's not unhappy about it I'm sure. To get big sales, the game needs to be on the most DD services possible. Steam being the big one, of course, but all the others are worthwhile. Id they don't charge for the downloads for awhile (that's how DD makes money, they take a cut of the sales, though less than retail) then all the better. More money for inXile.

Also a developer isn't going to go out of their way to piss off the publishers. inXile may well want to make another publisher funded game. Kickstarter is neat and I love it, but it isn't going to replace publishers. You can't raise AAA title type of money ($10-30 million) and just not everything is going to find funding on KS, fans have to be interested in large enough numbers and that won't always happen.

So I'm sure inXile is happy for the press, happy that they'll get a break on fees, and happy to play nice with a publisher. 100% win for them.

Kickstarter means PC or Android (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050375)

just not everything is going to find funding on KS

Especially games in genres that traditionally don't do well on PC or on touch-screen devices.

It's a trap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40046595)

It's a trap.

Privacy Issues (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047125)

As an older gamer that protects his privacy, Origin is my version of the anti-christ. There is a general consensus that people do not trust Origin and a lot of games requiring Origin wont be purchased by these customers. It is for this reason SW:TOR didn't require Origin, they desperately required this game to succeed and making it Origin only would effectively reduce their client base.

Origin offering 90 days free trial for upstarts is EA's way of trying to create a user base.

Stainless Games picked Steam for Carmageddon (1)

JImbob0i0 (1202835) | more than 2 years ago | (#40047517)

Well Stainless Games will be using Steam for Carmageddon: Reincarnation ... I'd prefer completely DRM free... but if they're going to use a DRM based distribution network Steam right now is the best there is - especially since they'll be using SteamPlay (for PC&Mac from one sale), SteamWorks (for multiplayer) and Steam Achievements....

Just hit $270k of the $400k goal.... so if you loved the old Carmageddon games (well 1 and 2 anyway) check out their kickstarter page [kickstarter.com] .....

The reward tiers are pretty generous too ;)

All the ranting about drm and privacy aside (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047639)

Origin simply isn't all that good a piece of software. It crashes frequently, the interface is bizarre, payment for things like ME3's DLC was in funny-money "points", and it has basic usability problems with things like paypal (it has a nonresizeable window that isn't big enough to show the button to actually pay). Origin is clearly designed around EA's requirements first and the user a very distant second if that.

Brian sold his soul eventually. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40047861)

Fuck you EA and fuck you Brian Fargo, I want my 150$ back which supposed was to keep you away from "Big publishers" that did not see the potential of the genre.
DRM free my ass....

Re:Brian sold his soul eventually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049147)

What the fuck does this have to do with the publisher? They are giving him something for free. He doesn't have to give them anything for it. It sounds like we WON. (Yes, big pledger here.)

Fuck EA (1)

nixish (1390127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40048335)

After they botched up Command & Conquer, my feelings for EA has gone down to the level of contempt. Fuck them.

Wasteland 2 (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049293)

2 mil for a shot on shitto promo featuring a tumbleweed, small child, and fuck all nothing as far as a game is concerned

fools be parted

Smart very smart. (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40049521)

EA knows that crowd sourced games will dig into their profits. EA already tried to buy everything up, but they cant buy the crowd sourced games makers.
EA will just offer a "helping hand" with just a few legal strings attached... Maybe they will even use the same contracts the record producers give the artists....

The Origin Audience?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40049671)

Who the fuck uses Origin? It's a pile of shit and the only reason I know people have it is for EA games that are EA Origin only, which for the record, I've never bought because of that fact.

The first hit (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050491)

It's always free.

But it still requires "origin" so screw you (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40050725)

Go away Origin.

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