BioWare’s Christ Priestly confirmed that Mass Effect 3 will not be released on Steam. The PC version will instead require Origin.
Much to the dismay of gamers worldwide, BioWare has confirmed on their forums that Mass Effect 3 will not be available through Steam, Valve’s well-known (and loved) digital content distribution service that supports both Valve-developed and third-party games. Instead the PC version will require Origin, EA’s own platform for doing the same. However, unlike Steam, Origin has been met with almost unanimous disapproval from the gaming community.
Both the digital and physical retail versions will require a one-time activation through Origin, and after that there is no limit to the number of installs, as long as they are tied to the account through which they were initally registered.
Although, unlike many other frustrating types of DRM, BioWare’s Chris Priestly stated that the single player mode of Mass Effect 3 will not require a constant Origin connection; meaning that after the initial activation, players can enjoy the game in offline mode if an internet connection is not available – so there is some good to come from all of this.
If past games are any indication, the choice to force players to use Origin may mean the loss of many customers who otherwise would have purchase Mass Effect 3. The BioWare forums, in fact, have already been flooded with a torrent of comments by angry gamers stating that they’ve cancelled their preorders. Unfortunately for BioWare, it seems their latest business strategy to provide consumers with an easy content distribution system that contains a built-in anti-pirating tool may have backfired. On the other hand, many die-hard fans of the series may choose instead to purchase a console version of the game, as Mass Effect 3 will also see a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360 release.
As with all new business ideas, perhaps Origin is just going through a warm-up period and consumers will eventually grow to love it. However, Valve has pretty much cornered the market with Steam, putting up some truly tough competition.