EA has gone and made the rumor from a few weeks back official: players will not be able to download and play Battlefield 3 over Steam. The brief, concise word came from @Battlefield, the official Twitter account for the Battlefield franchise. The team behind the account made an effort to not mince words. Here’s their post:
BF3 will not be available on Steam as the service restricts our ability to directly support players http://bit.ly/nLooUi ^NW
Following the link in the Tweet takes readers to an official forum post from EA explaining that Valve‘s taken up a more restrictive set of terms recently. The rub is that EA wants to sell and support directly with gamers, Steam prevents that because Valve insists their service be the window of support and transactions. EA games tend to have DLC sold within; for Steam, games sell DLC in the Steam store. EA refuses to comply with that model, and that’s where the main problem lies, if my understanding is correct.
Steam is owned and operated by Valve, the darling developer and publisher of the PC gaming world. If there were any company that EA would have a hard time finding support in fighting, it would absolutely be Valve. Most gamers, by extension of that fact, have been quick to fault EA while reassuring their love for Steam. Who’s to blame them? Steam has always presented one of the best marketplaces for digital distribution.
It doesn’t help, of course, that EA has been pushing their own digital marketplace so hard recently. Origin is the name of their service, and the abundance of exclusive EA content and advertising the company’s been proving have worked towards placing the service in a negative light in the face of this Valve controversy. True or not, gamers have the painfully plain assumption in front them that EA is leaving Steam in order to bolster Origin with a massive game like Battlefield 3.
Whether or not that’s true is something we’ll likely never know.
Will you still be picking up Battlefield 3?