Electronic Arts Moves Games to Steam in New Partnership


Curtis Lin

Video Games. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Colter Hendrickson


It is fairly well-known amongst gamers, and even non-gamers, that game titles are frequently released exclusively for one launcher, platform or even console. However, following the influx of expiring contracts between developers and video game company Epic Games, cross-platform inclusivity has become a hot debate amongst consumers. But in the light of these recent negative cross-platform issues, Electronic Arts’ decision to move their games to digital distribution service Steam comes off as a huge, yet positive surprise. 

EA Partners with Steam

Back around October, EA announced a new partnership with Valve, the corporation behind Steam. They announced plans to bring Origin (EA’s game launcher) games to Steam through integrated access, the first of which would be “Star Wars’ Jedi: Fallen Order” on Nov. 15. Since then and as of the last month, EA has released many more titles with this dual access, including the three main “Dragon Age” titles, both “Mirror’s Edge” games, numerous “Battlefield” games and all four of the “Mass Effect” titles.

These new game releases and the associated integration does not come without its issues, however. “Mass Effect 3,” for instance, one of the most significant (and controversial) releases of the Mass Effect franchise, has had terrible performance issues that point to Origin’s in-game overlay.

Whether the move was motivated by money is hard to say. EA’s previous loyalty to their own distribution platform, Origin, makes this change come as a surprise to PC gamers, but a pleasant one. The only justification that has come out of EA’s side of things is that they’d like to expand access to their games, and it’s not hard to question why.

EA’s partnership with Steam doesn’t end there, either. EA Access — a subscription service that gives access to a large slew of games, early access to titles and member discounts — is planned to integrate with Steam at some point in the future.

EA Access, however, has previously been a consoles-only service limited to the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony Playstation 4. Origin Access, named after their PC distribution platform, is the PC counterpart of EA Access which released in 2018, almost four years after EA Access went public. It is unclear what EA plans to do with Origin Access after EA Access comes to Steam, and they have yet to inform current Origin Access subscribers what will become of their favorite service. Removing Origin Access would leave EA customers on PC without a subscription service, but the most obvious solution would seem to be an integration of EA Access into Origin to replace Origin Access.


But even with its bumps, EA’s move to partner with Steam is a big change that may shape how the game market sees access inclusivity. Having two huge rival companies partner together to share access across their distribution platforms is a big statement toward making games accessible no matter how you play. It’s also a big move for developers alike and changes the playing field for how they can distribute their games.

You can plan to see more Origin titles coming to Steam in the following months, as well as EA Access and presumably a bunch of other goodies. 


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