Phil vs. Phil: Is It Crazy to Skip Crysis 3 Because of Origin?

Hornshaw: Okay, but I think it’s fundamentally false to consider Steam and Origin on equal footing. Steam has a singular benefit of being a heavily populated, heavily used platform, and Crysis 3 has a big multiplayer component. Players are invested in Steam — they have lots of games, friends, achievements; an online persona. The trouble with switching to Origin is that Origin is like starting over your gaming life from zero. You have no friends, no achievements, no relationships.

And I really think there’s a PR battle here that EA needs to wage and win in order for Origin to be successful beyond anything other than the basest “you must use this or you can’t play” level. Not only does EA want gamers to switch to Origin only for EA games (and maybe a handful of other third-party titles), they want to do it for no other reason than because it’s to EA’s benefit. Do you get anything for using Origin? Are the prices better? Is the user experience better? In all cases, no: Origin is either equal to, or sometimes worse than, existing platforms. I don’t want to be some Steam evangelist, definitely, but at the same time, what does Origin have to offer? The publisher is corralling us into a different pen, and it’s doing it with a cattle prod. And that kinda sucks.

Owen: The reason Origin doesn’t have a big community is because folks don’t ever say to their friends, “Hey, we all like Crysis, right? Let’s all get it on Origin, since we can’t here, and play together over there and be Origin friends and all that!” EA can’t conjure up a community. If you don’t have Origin friends to play Crysis 3 with even though you have plenty of Steam friends to play Crysis 2 with, it’s because you didn’t apply enough peer pressure.

Nobody is ever going to say that Origin is better than Steam, but I can hardly blame EA for not wanting to give a significant cut of every game sold to Valve. They are, after all, running a business. They’ve seen that digital distribution can be quite profitable for the platform holder, and they’ve got this insane idea in their head that people will use a platform if it is the only place to get certain major games that there are audiences for. They just didn’t count on some PC gamers being so unreasonable as to try to avoid a new, free platform simply because it isn’t the one they already use most of the time.

Hornshaw: As far as the “EA is running a business” argument, what does that have to do with me? Why am I supposed to jump ship on the digital foundation I’ve built over at Steam, because EA is too cheap to pay whatever slice Valve wants it to pay? That has nothing to do with me, and if you want to talk about the business EA is running, I’d say that it’s on EA to provide a better experience for players. It needs to outcompete Valve in some way to justify Origin.

What it boils down to for me is that EA wants its money, and rather than put together a better product in Origin, it figures it’ll just force us to use Origin by taking away game availability. EA shouldn’t be surprised if players look at this offer and see it for exactly what it is — all pain in the ass, no gain whatsoever. For my part, Crysis 3 is not so enticing as to play EA’s game. Other titles, like Dead Space 3, are. And when they come up, maybe I’ll jump ship. But if EA thinks I’m going to turn to Origin as my standard gaming platform right now, the company is delusional. It offers nothing but hassle, and its games aren’t so incredible as to justify that hassle. So until EA comes up with a better way to sell Origin, it should expect people to go, “Screw you.” It’s another example of EA pushing gamers so it can make more money without offering anything more in terms of experience, because EA thinks gamers will take it.

What sucks about the whole situation is that EA is probably going to interpret players saying “I don’t want to use Origin because it offers me nothing and can be actively irritating,” as meaning “PC games are a waste of money.” Totally not the case. It’s just that EA hasn’t offered anything in terms of meaningful competition to the much-better-established Steam.

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22 Comments on Phil vs. Phil: Is It Crazy to Skip Crysis 3 Because of Origin?

Nick

On March 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

You guys look like you’re about to make out and also did you?

Phil Hornshaw

On March 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

@Nick

I dunno why Phil is making that face. I’m making a battle face. There is no making out with a battle face.

beema

On March 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Phil Owen is clearly satan’s spawn.

bob

On March 6, 2013 at 3:58 am

is it crazy to skip crysis 3 because it is an actually terrible game?

John

On March 6, 2013 at 5:32 am

Crysis 3 was kinda more of a dud to me, tomb raider blew it out of the water, and after Aliens: Colonial Marines, FPS shooters have been officially parodied for me to play any in the near future.

Freedonad

On March 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

@bob
Well, generic shooter is generic, even when it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at. Learned this a ways back with Crysis 1, so no surprise there.

Phil Hornshaw

On March 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

@bob @Freedonad

Fair point to skip the game on its merits — we really didn’t want to weigh in on whether Crysis 3 is actually any good (I haven’t even played it). I think the question is legitimate though: is the PC platform a reason to avoid a game you really want to play?

JawaEsteban

On March 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm

In this case, I’d say yes. Now, if I look at Origin in an artificial bubble of isolation, there’s nothing significantly wrong with it compared to Steam. Yes, it’s a bit less optimized and yes there’s basically no community when compared to Steam. These issues were also true of Steam back in the first few years of its’ existence as well, so I can’t knock Origin for them without being a bit hypocritical.

The problem is that Origin does not exist in that fantasy bubble. It is an EA product, and use of it constitutes an endorsement of both EA and EA’s business practices. Using Origin to buy EA titles, or download EA data, or even just generate traffic on EA servers tells the corporation that you’re ok with how they do business.

My personal decision to not use Origin regardless of the game offered is based on moral, not technical, convictions. EA embodies the absolute worst abusive and outright fraudulent consumer business practices in the entire games industry. If it is allowed to be successful thorugh utilizing these practices, they will spread to the rest of the industry and ultimately make the gaming experience worse for everyone.

We, as gamers, need to have enough self-control to say no to purchasing titles from comsumer abusive publishers. We’re not crack addicts. The world will not end if I don’t play Crysis 3, but gaming as a whole could greatly benefit.

MPSewell

On March 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hornshaw pretty clearly took this one.

David

On March 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I guess I’m missing the logic here. I have any number of EA games I’ve bought through non-Origin vendors: GameStop aka Impulse; GameFly aka D2D; Amazon (!); and–yes–Steam. Of course, these are generally older games that are selling at a discount.

So I really don’t quite understand this “either/or” mentality: all Origin is–or at least looks like to me–is a more structured version of the walled garden that every vendor craves (Bioware Community, anyone?). Origin doesn’t invalidate your existing EA games suite: it’s just a one-button control panel.

What, exactly, am I missing?

David

On March 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

BTW…Crysis 3 is on sale on GameStop for one-third off retail…so if the “problem” with Origins is insufficient discounting, there do in fact appear to be alternatives! :-)

R.J.

On March 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

As much as I don’t like the idea of having more and more programs added to my computer where the only purpose of them is to activate a particular game, I don’t really let it bother me much. All of those programs are free, so it doesn’t add much of a financial burden, more of an annoying burden. Plus, I also am someone who games extensively on PC and PS3. I do so because there are games that I want to play that Sony will only offer on its console. The free, yet annoying, nature of Origin seems less problematic when I have purchased entire machines just to play certain games. I certainly do respect that people want to use what their friends use, but as someone who rarely plays multiplayer, that isn’t an issue for me.

lol

On March 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Im sorry remember Half Life 2?

JawaEsteban

On March 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Yes, you underbridge dweller, we do remember HL2. We remember being exceedingly annoyed by the Steam interface requirement, and there were more than a few flame wars over it.

Here’s the difference. Most of us decided to give Gabe Newell and Valve the benefit of the doubt, gritted our teeth, and took a chance on it. We did this because Valve had, up to that point, been a solid game company that tried hard to do right by its customers. It still is. Valve’s history of good behavior resulted in it getting a pass on Steam from the gaming community.

EA, on the other hand, has a long and demonstrated history of pillaging good studios and franchises and f*#ing over gamers for every last cent they can get their greedy little corporate fingers around. Consequently, they don’t get a pass. Get it?

Joseph

On March 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

It is a hassle. It is yet another account where I have to remember the username and password. Imagine if you had to do that for every game franchise-Skyrim, Deus Ex, Civilization etc. I already have a lot of accounts to keep track of and I do not want to add yet another account to that list for no good reason.

There is a convenience to have all your games under one account. Right now its only 3 but this could quickly get out of hand and you’d have 10+ accounts for every franchise cause every company would love to to get your info and collect data from your gaming session.

I for one would like to play games from Ubisoft and Origin but I just refuse to do so on my PC for this very reason. I instead will simply play it on my PS3 and if that option did not exist I simply will do without it. I will not die with regret because I didn’t get to play a video game. After a couple of weeks I’ve already forgotten about that game and moved on.

Drizzt

On March 7, 2013 at 12:20 am

Origin is simply technical inferior: for example I can’t choose the game’s language in the UI for all games, just some; I have to descend into the registry. And to top it off EA offers the explanation, that the publisher decides if I get this option or not and they can’t do anything about it. That’d would be ok, except that the game(s) this was about were all published by EA.
Also: Origin is forgetting my login with every update.

To make it short: I use Origin for exactly one game which required it for activation (Mass Effect 3) and I had invested too much time into the series to just skip it. But I wouldn’t get Origin for a rather generic game like Crysis.

lol

On March 7, 2013 at 6:29 am

@JawaEsteban

You’re joking right? lol.

EA is BBB accredited with an A+ rating, Steam on the other hand has nothing.

Either way it goes, Origin is going through it’s growing pains the same way Steam did when it was released. I personally hated Origin the first few months it was released after they converted it from the EADM which worked perfectly fine.

Goa Weigh

On March 7, 2013 at 7:33 am

Whenever I see a post from ‘lol’ my table receives another head-shaped dent. You’d have thought after so many months of being repeatedly shot down he would at the very least choose a less fatuous screenname, but it’s like a child touching a stove.

TheDog

On March 7, 2013 at 9:26 am

@LOL Only if the three b’s stand for backstabbing, boneheaded bullsh_tters. Then yes EA is approved. If it’s for anything nice, well, all I can say is, your special ed class misses you and want you back. They’ve got your medication ready. In fact Wisker0000 is waiting for you. Wants to give you a big wet kiss back. Go on little fella. Head on back ( cause your sure not wanted here).
Sorry I’ld talk more but I’ve got to go to the bathroom and make some littles LOL’s and these are smarter.

James

On March 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

if people can boycott Walmart for their business practices – which cost them personally nothing – they sure can boycott a game because the business practices of the merchant.

Bob

On March 10, 2013 at 6:07 am

I absolutely agree with Phil H in regards to EA/Origin’s track record of new release multiplayer modes. It seems as though every time they release a game, I have to wait for at least three months and 75GB of patches before the multiplayer part of their games is playable (and even then it has its recurring issues).

I did play Crysis 3, and while the story provided a satisfying conclusion to the series (unlike AC3), half of the time I wasn’t sure whether I was playing an FPS or watching a 3DMark11 test. The difference between watching a movie and playing a PC game is that one activity is passive while the other is active – the Crysis developers need to realise this before they take another step down the dark CoD path to converting the FPS genre into the FPC (First person cutscene) genre.

Voqar

On May 8, 2014 at 11:49 am

The EA doesn’t want to give Valve a cut argument is kind of weak considering that EA sells its games thru Amazon, Gamespot, and plenty of other outlets that all take a cut themselves. It’s a more petty issue than that.

The bottom line is that companies like EA and Blizzard don’t give gamers a choice, and that is lame.

I don’t like UPlay either – it’s clunky and useless – but at least Ubisoft sells thru Steam and only punishes users with an additional login and forces them into using the UPlay launcher they want nothing to do with – they can still at least buy the game from where they want to buy it.

EA already has a terrible reputation with so many gamers and the whole Origin vs Steam thing doesn’t help any. What’s better for EA – a sale to a Steam user at a slightly lower profit or no sale at all because someone like me doesn’t want to install Origin for just one game (Crysis3 in this case). There are tons and tons of great games out there. Nobody needs to suffer idiocy when they have so many options.