Phil vs. Phil: Is It Crazy to Skip Crysis 3 Because of Origin?
Phil vs. Phil is an occasional series that pits two writers who share a love of arguing and a first name against each other, as they take opposite sides on a topic and have at it.
The world of PC games is full of all sorts of digital retailers, but there is one that stands above the rest: Steam. In the current climate, it’s likely that anyone who plays PC games has a Steam account, at least in the Western world, and a lot of folks like to keep their digital game collections consolidated there.
But sometimes Steam is not an option, thanks to a few major publishers’ desire to have their games stay in their own gaming corrals, such as on battle.net (Blizzard), uPlay (Ubisoft) and Origin (Electronic Arts). These platforms are here to stay, and if we want to play games put out by those select few publishers, we’ll need to use them.
Not everyone is down with that. While browsing EA’s Answer HQ last week, we found a thread in the Crysis 3 forum thread called “Holding off till it’s on Steam.” The author of the thread wrote the following message:
“I love Crysis but am not a big fan of Origin so I’m hoping to buy on Steam, otherwise I’ll have to go without. I’m not the only one that feels this way. I’ve got a lot invested in my Steam account and enjoy a big friend base that don’t have Origin accounts.”
This is a person who admits to loving Crysis but still refuses to play Crysis 3 because it is not currently available on Steam. One Phil finds this line of thought extreme and ridiculous; the other Phil is sympathetic to the Steam fanatics and Origin haters.
It’s time for a new round of Phil vs. Phil.
Phil Owen: Some small part of me can relate to the desire to have all my games in one place, but as I learned when I was growing up as a PC and console gamer, if I want to play the games I want to play, I have to go where they are, be that on a major console or whatever PC client they happen to reside in. The games are what matter, not the client.
Phil Hornshaw: Games can be expensive. Platforms can be expensive. Consoles can be expensive. And especially when I was young and before I worked in games, my budget for buying new stuff like that was pretty limited. So for a lot of players, I think saying something like, “The games are what’s important, go where the games are,” discounts the reality of what their gaming life is like. Impediments to buying a game can be deal-breakers, and for lots of players, Origin is that. If I can only buy one game this month or this season or whatever, and one game forces me to Origin while another doesn’t, I might pick that one game that’s easier for me to get at.
Owen: That’s fine, but I’m responding specifically to a person who already wants to buy the product in question. This person is posting on a Crysis forum, proclaiming that he/she “loves” Crysis, but that it has to be on Steam in order for him/her to play it.
This is a person who is already sold on the game and would absolutely purchase it if it were on Steam. There is no doubt of that. But because it is on Origin, a client that can run on the same PC as Steam and which costs no extra money to use and is in general no more finicky, Crysis 3 is a no-go. Again, we are not talking about someone who has just been considering buying the game — they would definitely buy it somewhere else.