Origin has not exactly had a warm reception among the vocal gamer community, but it has nevertheless performed adequately. Electronic Arts, of course, isn’t satisfied with being second best (even though it always is) and has clearly laid down its plans to be the “Facebook” of digital distribution, compared to Valve’s Myspace.
“If MySpace had stayed the one answer in social networking and no one switched to Facebook, then we’d all be stuck on MySpace right now and we wouldn’t have had the Facebook phenomenon,” said EA’s David DeMartini. “There are better mousetraps that ultimately get built out of this innovation and the only way you get to the innovation is to have other people try and do a better version of what someone has previously done. And that’s what we’re attempting to do on Origin.
“EA is in a really interesting place. We have this bar that is set so high, so that whether it is any of our games or services, we want to be 90 plus Metacritic at everything. Origin is moving in that direction. We are not there yet. We understand that. But we are going to get there soon.”
Whether it be first-person shooters, MMOs, or digital services, EA has a real habit of gunning for the top dog in any given field … by producing a less engaging version of that dog’s product. If Origin could provide a superior service to Steam, I’d be quite interested in trying it, but the publisher’s “me too” approach to everything really makes me doubtful it’ll ever provide that “something different” it needs.