Joystiq has reported on a list from EA, which now redirects to an error page, that indicated the roster of digital platforms that would be selling Battlefield 3 this fall when it launches. Valve’s massive Steam marketplace was supposedly missing from that list. And, if that’s the case, then it’s only the most recent stop on the route of error for EA and Valve.
Steam recently dropped Crysis 2 from its virtual shelves. According to EA, the reasoning for that exclusion was that Crytek violated the download agreements setup by Steam and Valve. As such, the title was pulled. And it was that motion that lead to EA putting out a clarification on their policies with third party download services. The important, relevant bits:
Any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services for the individuals and communities that play our games. These players are connecting to our servers, so we want to provide them with the very best service. This works well for our partnership with Gamestop, Amazon and other online retailers.
However, when a download service forbids publishers from contacting players with patches, new levels, items and other services – it disrupts our ability to provide the ongoing support players expect from us. At present, this is the case with only one download service. While EA offers its entire portfolio to this site, they have elected to not post many of our games. We hope to find a mutually agreeable solution to this issue soon.
Origin is EA’s owned and operated download platform. The company set it up as a marketplace for its own content, but has said that they’d welcome goods from outside publishers and developers as well. Whether or not all of this friction between EA and Steam stems from the creation of Origin remains to be seen.
EA, however, has said that they like seeing their games on as many platforms as possible. That makes sense … larger outreach means a larger available consumer base.
If Battlefield 3 is definitely not being sold on Steam, we’ll be sure to let you know.