And apparently, it has nothing to do with its own competing download service, Origins.
Speaking to gamers in a blog post, EA’s SVP of global online David DeMartini wrote ‘games and how they are made have both changed.’
‘Today, we continue to extend the experience with new maps, vehicles and other content that adds hours of fun and more value for our players.
‘We also enhance the gaming experience with features like friends lists and in-game chat using the Origin application. Most importantly, we always want to be sure we provide this content and service at the highest possible level of quality.
‘To ensure this, any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players. You are connecting to our servers, and we want to establish an ongoing relationship with you, to continue to give you the best possible gaming experience. This works well for our partnership with GameStop, Amazon and other online retailers.
‘Unfortunately, if we’re not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve.
EA was coy about actually specifically naming Steam, but their words said it all anyway.
‘At present, there is only one download service that will not allow this relationship. This is not our choice, and unfortunately it is their customer base that is most impacted by this decision. We are working diligently to find a mutually agreeable solution.
‘Going forward, EA will continue offering our games to all major download sites. We will also remain committed to providing you, our players, with the best possible content, services, and gaming experience that we can.’
Although Valve is a favorite of all gamers, and EA remains that megacorporation monopoly that everyone likes to hate on, it seems that in this situation, EA might be right, and Valve might be in the wrong. Certainly, all of EA’s games are to be found on Steam, and are all scheduled for release on Steam, with the exception of the upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Considering that all of EA’s games are also found on other online retailers like Impulse and Direct2Drive, excluding Steam, which is the largest digital retailer of games, would make no sense- EA would imply be losing too much of a potential audience that way.
It seems that Valve should be willing to loosen up a little about handing control to developers and publishers, even for games distributed via Steam.