EA's Origin service recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and while it's a growing platform -- 12 million registered users and $150 million in revenue is nothing to sneeze at -- it's not yet as good as EA wants it to be. Its main competitor, Valve's Steam system, has built a loyal user base in almost nine years of existence, and one of its main tactics is the deep discounts it periodically offers. But the man who runs Origin, David DeMartini, told GamesIndustry International that his service won't be using that strategy.
The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value -- we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount; just don't look for 75-percent-off going-out-of-business sales.
DeMartini also pointed out that Steam sales can engender in gamers a wait-and-see attitude, teaching customers, "I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off." That's not an unreasonable thought for cash-strapped gamers in an economic downturn, but it's obviously not ideal for developers and publishers.