Battlefield 3 will not be sold on Steam due to Valve’s ToS

Saturday, 6th August 2011 19:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

As if there was any more doubt that Battlefield 3 wouldn’t be made available on Steam, EA has pretty much confirmed what we’ve all already figured all along – no dice (pun intended).

According to various tweets and forum posts by EA, pulled together by Joystiq, EA has said BF3, one of its biggest releases of the year, will skip out on a Steam release due to it restricting the firm’s “ability to directly support players.”

“Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices.”

Like with the recent pulling of Dragon Age 2 from Valve’s service, EA has taken umberage with a section of Steam’s ToS agreement, which states publishers can only deliver updates,patches, and DLC hrough Steam instead of a game-specific client.

EA feels this is restrictive, and has pulled certain titles and refused to offer others on the service.

“We hope to work out an agreement where Steam can carry Battlefield 3; meanwhile, gamers can pick from the more than 100 digital retailers,” according to a forum post from the firm.



  1. DarkElfa

    Whatever EA.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Talkar

    I do think Valve is being kinda weird about kicking both Crysis 2 and Dragon Age 2 off of steam due to the DLC not being purchasable through Steam. There are other games on Steam that does this, and they aren’t getting kicked. Why are Valve so focused on pissing on EA? o.O

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    Shame, I was looking forward to seeing how BF3 would turn out. I hope MW3 doesn’t completely flop.

    #3 3 years ago

    So you’re only going to get it if it’s on Steam??

    #4 3 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    Erm, forgive this ignorant little console gamer, but does it matter where you download this? @ DSB, you think MW3 will/could flop?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Talkar

    I don’t mind using Origin to buy it. And for people saying “I have over 50-100 games on Steam, i want this game on Steam too”. I can just say that i have 224 games on Steam, and only 21 on Origin, still, i don’t mind using Origin. Competition is good for the consumers, why can’t people see this?

    #6 3 years ago

    I’d have thought that it wouldn’t really matter.

    Unless you’re just a big fan of Steam’s other functionality….

    …Whatever that is…

    *Only uses Stream to play StarCraft II*

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    thats very sad.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Talkar

    Pretty much same here, it’s nice to have all 3 versions of StarCraft 2 next to eachother :P (EU, US, KR)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. noherczeg

    Anyone knows something about retail releases? Will they be available to be downloaded + used through Origin?

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Talkar

    Most likely. I’ve activated everything from BF2 and 2142 to Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm on there. All of the games i have on Origin (except for SWTOR and Alice: Madness Returns, are either bought retail or on Steam). So it would be weird imo to not make BF3 able to be activated on Origin.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. GwynbleiddiuM


    #12 3 years ago
  13. deathgaze

    Battlefield 3 is already up on Origin, preorder bonuses and all. In fact, I prepurchased it today. I think people are overreacting to this whole Steam v Origin thing to a ridiculous degree. No, EA is not a competitor to Steam. EA only uses Origin for distribution of it’s own games (at least so far). What’s more, the platform is rather nice.

    I downloaded Origin a month ago to see what all the fuss was about and, wouldn’t you know, EA had already consolidated all my games using my email address. So, all the boxed EA games I had registered online already showed up on there, ready to download. How fantastic is that?

    Indeed, when I hopped on to get BF3 today, I found Battlefield Bad Company 2 and SimCity 4 Deluxe on there for five bucks apiece. I snapped them both up and BF:BC2 just finished installing.

    To put it succinctly: I like it.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Yoshi

    For a second there I thought this was going to be related to the competition, unfortunately not… just another QQ from EA blaming it all on Steam :P

    #14 3 years ago
  15. GrimRita

    EA forgot to mention in their PR bullshit that ‘no other publisher has an issue with Steam allowing them to interact with its customers, just us’….

    Its no big deal to Steam, lets face it. EA will be regretting this in a few years time

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DSB

    It’s obviously a matter of personal taste where you buy it. I’m not gonna jump clients simply because the one I use is left out, and especially not without any kind of incentive. I wouldn’t mind using Origin, it seems functional enough, but if EA are going to be making 30% extra, then I need at least 10% off for indulging them.

    @5 Definitely, I’d give it a 50/50 shot. I’m not too confident in Bowling seemingly listening to whiners on the internet instead of letting the studio make the game they think is the best one.

    They have two studios working on it, and the original designers left. That’s cause for skepticism on its own.

    I’m actually somewhat more interested in seeing how BF3 will turn out, for the simple reason that DICE can really only improve, while Infinity Ward can almost only disappoint based on their last games.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Yoshi

    @15, actually they’ll be regretting it in a few months when Battlefield 3 comes out, when they realise it didn’t sell as well as it could have if they opened it up to everywhere.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. hitnrun

    @16: It certainly won’t flop, but it could easily suck.

    The distinction being that the massive casual market now acts as some kind of dark matter of the gaming universe, exerting its own pull far beyond what people who actually like games can generate.

    Infinity Ward doesn’t really exist any more, so as far as I’m concerned CoD is over, but it will take a number of mediocre games (and a triumphant replacement franchise) before the larger market comes around to that point of view.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. LOLshock94

    Holy Fuckalukadingdong

    #19 3 years ago
  20. GrimRita

    After my experience with Alpha, they should just call it Bad Company 3 because thats exactly how it plays. I struggled to find any elements from previous BF outings that made it into BF3 (excluding prone!)

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DSB

    @18 I’m purely talking about whether the game is going to be good or not. Numbers are numbers.

    The same thing goes for peoples perception of a game. As long as it sells 5-7 million, then it’s great, because you feel cool in liking it. It’s big enough to make you seem qualified for buying the hype, but it’s not too big. Once it reels in 20 million, then suddenly people become skeptical, and they start noticing people they don’t like, liking the things they do, and as such, it becomes uncool.

    Time will tell whether 40 employees more or less will make the difference for Infinity Ward. I’m not optimistic, but it still has a shot.

    It would be a shame if Sledgehammer got put on Modern Warfare fulltime though, I was looking forward to seeing their own project.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Yoshi

    @20, yeh same. Not to say the Bad Company series is bad or anything but I was looking for Battlefield 3, a sequel to Battlefield 2 not a sequel to Bad Company 2 :(

    #22 3 years ago


    Bowling has nothing whatsoever to do with decision making in the development of the game, btw. He’s basically just the PR guy.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. GrimRita

    I’ve just cancelled my pre-order as I wasnt impressed. EA can stick it up their arse and if the new CoD isnt a shoddy port on the PC, I will take a look.

    Bad Company 2 is shit with its lame hitboxes and bugs and although Bf3 was alpha, I found evidence to suggest that the hitbox problem is still in the game – which clearly points to it being a Frostshite game engine issue.

    And judging by all these ‘contests’, I predict the review scores to land 10/10 across the board for yet another average FPS attempt by DICE

    #24 3 years ago
  25. MrBambinoDent

    Valve are the ones losing here.
    BF3 doesn’t need Steam to sell especially with the PC version being superior to other platforms.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. DSB

    @23 Fair enough, but he’s the guy conveying the messages. He’s seemingly jumping on every little complaint, and that doesn’t give me faith in a game. Either you know where you want to go or you don’t.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. OlderGamer

    “Valve are the ones losing here.
    BF3 doesn’t need Steam to sell especially with the PC version being superior to other platforms.”

    Somewhat disagree. EA will lose sales due to their arogance. Infact they have already lost one. Mine.

    But, no doubt the move hurts Valve too. And gamers too really. Its one of those things, a basic one infact. Give the consumers what they want. And a very large hunk of that consumer pie wants the game on Steam. Its just that simple.

    Its like Epic, remember when they bad mouthed the PS3, PSN, and Sony in general? I recall Cliffy stating he hated PS3 and that PSN was a mess. But they put games out for it anyways. Why? Because there are gamers that will only buy games if they are on PS3. Consumers drive this industry. Not greedy monopolistic suits that want more More MORE.

    I think EAs recent strong arming of Steam will bite them in the ass eventualy.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DSB

    They’re gonna lose a few sales, but how many really? For the people who genuinely want the game, I don’t think clients or principles are going to stop them. It would be very interesting if people passed based on something like that though.

    I kinda doubt that it’ll make much of a dent. I think there are more consumers willing to pledge certain ethics than actually live by ‘em.

    I don’t think they’ll lose enough for it not to be worth it. They’re going to be able to parasitically pass their storefront through Impulse, D2D and GamersGate, while arguably gaining quite a few 100% margins on sales given that they have a good client, and hurting Steams marketshare in the process.

    Whatever small loss they might get, I reckon they’ll consider it an investment.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. OlderGamer

    DSB, pretty much. I won’t be buying their PC game. And I am sure others will also take a stand too. But prolly not enough people to make a difference at the end of the day.

    #29 3 years ago


    Sure, he’s the IW mouthpiece and he’s paid to be the super-diplomat who makes everyone feel like their views are being listened to by IW.

    I wouldn’t say that he’s jumping on every complaint, though…

    If he was, I’ve got a big list that he can tell the rest of the team to get started on right now, lol.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. DSB

    @30 It’s a hard call I guess. If Black Ops is pulling 30% more individual users than Modern Warfare 2 at the moment, then it must be incredibly popular on consoles. On PC it’s been getting beat pretty severely.

    That makes me nervous when they start talking about changing the game to the tastes of the internet, because at least on PC, they’re still doing quite well. Personally I think Black Ops fucked up as much as it fixed, so I’d much rather hear folks from Infinity Ward going “Our game, our rules”.

    I guess I’m just shit out of luck if it’s pulling more than 30% more on the consoles, but I personally love the fact that MW2 is over the top, that it rewards people who play well in pretty spectacular ways, and that the weapons aren’t completely overproduced, which seems to be the flavor of the week. I basically want something just as crazy as MW2, not something that’s simply trying to claim an air of “sophisticatication” based on internet chatter. That sort of public posturing does nothing for nobody, just ask DICE.

    #31 3 years ago

    Well, I’m really interested to see what they’ve done with the MP. All this talk of a re-worked killstreak system and putting much less focus on vertical play sounds like some pretty big changes.

    The MP aspect of Special Ops sounds like it’s a whole lot of fun too, but I suppose we all need to see more to get a better idea of the direction they want to go in.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. MrBambinoDent

    I agree with you about the fact that this industry should be consumer centric but unfortunately things don’t go that way all the time.
    I for one will buy this game on PS3 or 360 because their online capabilities suit me well.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. GrimRita

    CoD will always remain crap on the PC so long as it remains a shoddy port. Although BC2 was supposed to be ‘designed’ for the PC, it also felt like a console port.

    Right now the genre is full of the same ol’ crap but with two major titles battling for the #1 spot. Its just the shame that quality is being sacrificed over PR BS

    #34 3 years ago
  35. arabassassin94

    who gives a shit everyone who complains is too lazy to buy a physical copy

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Edix

    @6, Talkar

    Competition between retailers is healthy. Competition between retailer and publisher is unhealthy. Steams TOS describes that it should have fair access to the content the publisher wants to sale (namely DLC) but the publisher wants to deliver content via in game to bypass the store. Not only is this anti-competitive it’s just rude. The reason steam has other games on there store that sells content in game but not on steam is (probably) because steam and said publisher came to an agreement to exclusivity for a time. After the time is up steam gets to sell the content too. All EA would have to do is do the same.


    My only conclusion is at some point when Steam was handing over wads of cash to EA, from all the games they sold for them, they revived a paper cut. So, now, they want to avoid paper cuts. Namely by selling less game on Origin. But that’s just the first step in there fight against paper cuts. Phase 2 is to announce that Origin must be installed and all games must be connected to the internet at all times through it in order to play EA games. And it will require a subscription. If you don’t believe that is coming you’re fooling yourself.

    #36 3 years ago

    lol at all the people saying the won’t buy it because it’s not on steam.

    Just like nobody bought the PC version of MW2 because of the lack of dedicated ser-

    Oh wait they all fucking bought it anyway.

    Given that this is even less of an issue than that was, I expect this to influence the final purchase decisions of around 12 people. Probably less.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. GrimRita

    @37 I havent bought a single version of CoD/MW not because of the server issue but because IW etc are just lazy developers – much like DICE are becoming

    @35 – Excluding the major publishers, you try and purchase a PC game at retail that isnt on the budget label.

    Even if you buy a copy through an online retailer, you still need to install EA’s naff download service to play.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. DarkElfa


    EA knows Steam’s TOS very well and they’re purposely violating it in order to force Valve to kick the games off and make Valve look like the bad guy while ensuring Origin is the only DD service to carry their flagship titles.

    This is all EA’s doing and very much part of their plan to ensure Origin get’s it’s foot into the DD market.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. rjwarda

    Steam will not be selling Battlefield 3 because Microsoft Windows Live was jealous about how much money they were making on Marketing games. So, all they did was just pay Valve Steampowered to not sell this game on Steam. It sounds like jealousy to me to let you know, it just doesn’t sound right on why they would do this to Steam gamers, I mean Microsoft already has an Xbox, but why would they have Live for PC and try to get people to abandon Steam? If this game is that good, who knows what people who game on Steam would do…All we could do is pray for this game to be on Steam.

    #40 3 years ago

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