EA Will Begin Selling Their Games on Steam Once Again
The situation with EA and the PC digital storefront Steam has been a rocky one for a long time now. The last time the publisher put out a game of their own on Valve's Steam was 2011. Since those days, EA took more of an interest in cultivating their own release platforms and subscription services. This led to the creation of EA Origins, a PC game launcher built specifically for EA titles on their own online store. The debut of Origins was met with a mixture of praise and criticism, the latter of which stemmed mostly from Steam's userbase, who found themselves missing out on EA games because of it all. It's this sort of platform-release-exclusivity that has become a hot button issue as of late, seeing a resurgence in discussion with the introduction of the Epic Games Store. Thankfully, proceedings can now chill out a bit. EA teased a big Steam-related announcement last week on their official Twitter, and yesterday, they took to the platform again to reveal the good news: EA will begin selling on Steam again.
This isn't some far off thing either. EA plans on jumping right in with the release of one of their most anticipated AAA titles this year: Jedi Fallen Order. It's the next big game from developer Respawn Entertainment, the ones behind the Titanfall FPS series. Head to Steam now searching it, and you'll come to find it already has its very own Steam store page; you can pre-order it there now too. In addition to the good news, EA also revealed they'll be bringing their EA Access subscription service to Steam in spring 2020. For those unaware, EA Access is EA's way to allow players access to a variety of their most popular games, all for one low monthly price. The best part about this news is that due to the service heading to Steam, this means all of its associated games will be too; whether you're an Access subscriber or not, all of them will become playable and purchasable on Steam.
EA is currently working on bringing said titles to the platform; games like Apex Legends, Battlefield 5, FIFA 20, and The Sims 4 are all in the porting works. While Origins is still a viable option for those who enjoy it, now more people than ever will get access to EA's catalog. "We want to make the experience for players who want to player their games on Steam or Origin as frictionless as possible, so we're working towards connecting our accounts together as well as enabling players to play together across both Steam and Origin," said Mike Blank, EA's senior vice-president, in an interview with GamesIndustry. While this means you won't be able to transfer your purchased games between Steam and Origin, cross-play functionality will at least be integrated, meaning it will be easier than ever to connect with more friends online. A stark contrast to how things have been for the past few years!
To sum this all up, it sounds like the re-introduction for EA to Steam will be a gradual one as they slowly-but-surely roll out their titles onto the platform. Upcoming titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order making the jump also means that EA intends to maintain Steam releases for their newest games going forward. There's no specific date on when EA Access will be available on Steam outside of that aforementioned Spring 2020 window, but hopefully we'll have more on that soon. "This is the start of an exciting partnership with Valve that will see us innovating for PC players around the world," stated EA's CEO Andrew Wilson in a recent press release. "Throughout our subscription, great games and more, we're excited to bring players in the Steam and Origin communities together with access to the best games, whenever and wherever they want to play." A long time coming, this news, and a great change for the PC crowd.