Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The future of Origin

I came across an interview with head of Origin, David Demartini on Games Industry about what the future holds for EAs digital distribution service, it's an interesting read. They want Origin to be 'the hub' for gamers and goes on to talk about cross platform though it does sound like they want to be something like Raptr which allows you to see acheivements, game collections, what you've been playing etc and rank you against friends. We seen cross platform gaming done, quite successfully may I add, with Valve and Portal 2 between PC and PS3. Hopefully this is a sign of things, I have been wanting this to happen since GFWL started (which I am still hoping will happen but I'm not holding my breath), cross platform gaming could and should have happened back then but alas Microsoft never followed through with what could have brought Xbox and PC gamers closer together, but I'm not going to get in to that rant now. EA are definitely big enough to fund this sort project, so maybe in the not to distant future we will see EA dabbling in cross platform games. I'm sure if one company sets the ground work for something like this others will follow suite. It needs to be done.

He also discusses Steam, talking about Valves raping of wallets... I mean sales and discounts and how Origin won't be going down this road. Saying how it cheapens your intellectual property. While I can see where he's coming from on the matter, I disagree with the fact it cheapens your ip, the fact of the matter is due to the fact that you are buying from a digital distributor the games shouldn't be the same price as they are if you are buying a hard copy. You have no case, instruction books or discs to make therefore no manufactor costs only those of for the upkeep of servers. I don't see how you can justify £40 for a downloadable copy of a game when it you pay the exact same amount for everything that comes with a hard copy. Then there is also the fact that we are in a recession and everyone can't afford to buy every single title that comes out at 40 quid a pop. Which is why I am yet to buy a single new AAA title this year. Purely because I can't afford to, along with the fact that if I wait a couple months it will be half the price, which points to his earlier comment about cheapening ips, but this is how businesses work. You set a price, if it doesn't sell well enough, you cut the price to increase sales, which is exactly what Valve do with Steam. Not every sale they do is ridiculously discounted they generally range from 10% and upwards, if we take the lowest discount thats only 3-4 quid off a new game. Then there is the fact these sales can rejuvinise games vastly increasing their popularity and even extending the life span of games.

Anyway I have rambled on enough for now, I am interested to see what Origin do in the future, I've never really used it so can't comment on how good or bad I think it is, however they are the new kids on the block and have to prove themselves and it would seem they are attempting to do that as it has had multiple updates during it's first year and looks like they are going to continue to do so.