How EA’s Origin Can Save Itself
Right now, Origin is failing kind of miserably at this. You know what you get when you pre-order Mass Effect 3 on Origin? Nothing. If you want to play ME3 on PC, you’re stuck with Origin, and EA knows it. Feeling backed into that corner makes people unhappy. Even if EA did something totally minor, like knocking $5 off the price or giving away an exclusive e-comic or, really, anything, gamers might stop looking at Origin as an EA power-grab.
A Change in Attitude
Maybe Electronic Arts isn’t just creating and pushing Origin for the express purpose of screwing over consumers and refusing to split up the pie with Steam and other distributors — but it sure looks that way to gamers. The service seems to offer them nothing and EA everything. It does little or nothing to foster a sense of community among players. It feels like a tax, a line we’re all forced to wait in if we want the privilege of playing EA titles on PC.
For that attitude to change, EA’s attitude needs to change, or at least the perception of its attitude. It needs to stop coming off like a bully, pulling its games from the Internet and coralling them in its roped-off space, without giving gamers a reason to put up with it. And that doesn’t mean that EA should abandon Origin — it’s not going to happen even if everyone calls for it. It does mean that EA needs to project a sense that those of us standing in the line-up are more than just suckers waiting with our hands out for whatever slop EA chooses to chuck our way.
Origin, right now, makes it look as if EA has no respect for its customers. It wouldn’t take much to change that perception, and in so doing, save Origin from itself.