Electronic Arts’ digital distribution platform Origin has its work cut out for it before it can deliver a satisfying customer experience, estimates Steam’s Gabe Newell.
Steam is the leading digital distribution platform for PC. Electronic Arts recently launched Origin, its proprietary rival to Valve’s service. Since then, many of EA’s titles have disappeared from Steam.
Speaking in an interview with Seven Day Cooldown, Newell said of Origin, “They have a lot of work to do to get to where they need to be and where I as a customer would want them to be.”
When asked if he thought Origin was doing well, Newell initially deferred, before remarking, “I don't want to dodge the question - I don't think they're doing anything super-well yet.
“They have a bunch of smart people working on it but I think they're still playing catch up to a lot of people who have been working in the space for a while. I think they're recognising what the challenges are with building and scaling out this kind of system.
“That's not to say they won't build stuff in the future that is useful to software developers or to gamers but they haven't done that yet.”
On the subject of whether EA’s Origin-exclusive titles would return to Steam, Newell said, “We'd love to have their games on Steam. We think their customers would be happy if their games were on Steam. We tell them that on a regular basis.
“I think EA wants to take their shot at building their own alternative to Steam, and if they're successful at that and their customers like that then that's great.
Newell added that he wishes EA to recognise creating value for their customers is not a “zero sum game”.
“As we learn about this stuff we're all going to be making things better for other gamers.”