Origin to be “re-established as a service,” says Wilson

Thursday, 27th June 2013 16:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA Sports EVP Andrew Wilson said the firm is looking to “re-establish Origin as a service,” instead of a means to “drive transactions” from its 40 million customers.

Speaking with GI International, Wilson said when Origin was first conceptualized, EA wanted it to be a service which made the firm’s games better and which “enhanced the experience of playing games,” for users across all platforms – not just PC. However, the service changed since launch, something Wilson acknowledges, but he said the team is working to bring the service back to its original intent.

“Over the years … there’ve been some permutations of that vision that have manifested as part of Origin,” he said. “It is by no means perfect, but we’ve done some pretty cool things. As you say, the plumbing is there. What can we do now to really think about Origin in the next generation?

“Part of the reason why I think it came back in to me was my history with Origin, and the ability to take a step back – really coming back to our roots as a service for gamers, versus anything else that it may have been perceived to have been over the last few years by virtue of its various permutations or changes in direction.

“The transaction component of that service has taken a disproportionate amount of the communication and mindshare of what we really try and provide.”

When EA reorganized a few months back, Wilson was put in charge of Origin in addition to his responsibilities as head of EA Sports.



  1. DSB

    I hate it when EA make sense.

    Just be evil, goddamn it. You have one job.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. silkvg247

    If EA gave two shits about the consumer, they’d let people pick which digital platform to use. Same applies to Ubi though they at least put their titles on steam.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    It only has 40 million users because it was forced upon them. Origin will NEVER be an alternative to Steam because EA simply do not understand community, gaming and how to treat them.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. nollie4545

    Origin is nothing like as good as steam, mostly for the reasons above, but also because people HATE EA. Electronic arts, fuck off trying to pwn us with your shit storefront and put all your stuff on STEAM.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ballz

    pls publish on steam again, otherwise ea games will be dead forever for me and millions others

    #5 2 years ago
  6. digitalFatteh

    I would agree with post @2. If anything I’ve avoided any EA game since it launched its Origin service mainly for the fact its there way or there’s the door.

    Ubisoft with the recent update (concession) on Uplay have at least managed to merge both my steam games and separate boxed titles into one manageable area on its service but that took some time coming at the same time allow me to purchase on various other distributors. One day maybe they’ll allow username changes.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. nollie4545

    Even Uplay is far from ideal though. It’s slow and server uptime is probably sporadic at best. I’ve tried to access the thing several times and the game virtually grinds to a halt whilst your PC tries to interrogate a server which is asleep.

    I see no need for EA or Ubisoft to bother investing in their own online entity or marketplace. Valve have got it down cleverly and best of all it is integrated into so many of the titles on offer. It is streamlined, simple and feels almost open source. Virtually anyone who is a PC gamer has steam. Having origin and Uplay etc is just divisive in the PC community because there is no way a gamer is going to have three seperate third party clients running in the background at once.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    It’s only a service, when I get to pick whether or not to use it. You know, there are times when I look at an EA game, and perhaps it’s in a sale, or maybe not, but it’s appealing anyway enough that I’ve looked into it, checked the requirements and so on…Origin’s usually a deal breaker, and I’m sadly, reluctant to go and even reinstall it to play the several games its affixed itself to – which I already own!
    I’d sooner just boot up something else, than actually begin Dragon Age II (the current casualty) which is otherwise installed and ready to go. :(

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Neroist

    I would rather buy off a DRM free retailer than Steam. Games bought from Steam are “services” and not your game.
    At least with Origin you can keep the install folder separate and can reinstall your game to any machine and it is yours FOREVER. Not so with Steam. Also you can give away your copy of your digital game to another account in Origin. Not so with Steam.
    Steam is a snake in the grass. You get banned from Steam and you lose the “right” to play all the games you bought on your account. With Origin if you have the install folder not so… Steam is a snake in the grass DRM pile of poo.
    Buy anywhere first other than Steam if available. Steam holds the right take away any and all it’s “services”( that means your games) without notice or warning or reason.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    Origin is little more than a trojan horse (in the historical sense), that came with Battlefield 3.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Samoan Spider

    @9 The answer to everything you’ve said there is really a simple one: DON’T GET BANNED! I have no idea what I’d have to do to get banned, but I’d probably have to be some kind of a fucknut. Until I lose my head, I’m extremely happy with the games I have in Steam and the ‘service’ Steam offers me.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @9 Some of that is true although I don’t share the paranoia.

    I doubt that Origin doesn’t require authentication for their games. It’s pretty much a standard requirement by any publisher that games be run at least once for authentication, and that’s the exact reason why GOG usually can’t get a deal to sell day one titles.

    If Origin was somehow an engine that allowed people to copy and share games infinitely, then they wouldn’t be selling anyone elses games. At least not anywhere close to day one.

    I suspect the real difference is that you need Steam to play Steam games, whereas you only need Origin to authenticate the first time.

    I don’t see any option to share my games with anyone on Origin, where are you getting that from?

    If you really want to compare the rights you’re afforded. EA recently refused to refund people for Simcity 5, even though that’s a right afforded to anyone within the EU.

    Steam has problems with that too, most digital services are seriously lacking in that department, but at least they made a good show of it when they refunded people for The War Z, which unlike Simcity 5, wasn’t even their own game.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Kyle Jackson

    I hate Origin and with good reason, mine got hacked into about 3 times by some Russian (always the Russian’s)a little while ago. According to Jasmeet (probably his name) he said it wasn’t their fault, it was all mine, and I shouldn’t write my passwords down. I never write my passwords down, they’re in my head, just like Jasmeet’s accusations. If I didn’t like Battlefield so darn much, I would have it nowhere near my PC.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DarkElfa

    I’m completely done with EA. This tidbit is too little, too late.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. ps3fanboy

    Origin is the worst shit that have happen to peecee, it made me quit peecee gaming for good…

    #15 2 years ago
  16. SplatteredHouse

    “How do we make sure that if you never want to see that gracious host again, you don’t have to – you go straight to the game. But if you want to call them up and you want to find out where your friends are, where the latest cool party is or whatever that might be, you can do that.”
    Why did you leave us? WHY! :(

    “We think of Origin, in this new world, as the gracious host of the party. It’s not the center of attention; it’s not the DJ, it’s not the dance director, it’s just a gracious host. It’s someone who greets you at the door and ushers you in to where you want to go and points you in the direction of your friends so that you can go and party with them together. That’s really how we see it.”

    THAT does not sound bad, at all. If they can make that perception a reality, that would be a stark difference to now.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Ajsman

    You can install most of your Steam games on separate location for some time now. You can play your Steam games on any PC. I have some of them installed on my PC and two laptops.

    You do not own games you buy on Orign or anywhere else for that matter. When you buy a game, or any software, 99% of the time you actually buy a license to use it. You do not own the game. Even the ones you buy in retail.

    You can “share” games on Origin only because their costumer support is full of people who don’t give a sh*t about EA so if you get someone like that to “help” you, he will move your game on different account. I actually know bunch of people who managed to scam BFBC2: Vietnam of them like that.

    Name one case where someone got banned from Steam? Even after DiRT 3 keys leaked from AMD database and bunch of people used them I never heard someone got banned for that. Of for any region restricted game. E.G. cheap Russian CoD keys. And if you get banned by VAC for cheating you only get banned from multiplayer part of the game you cheated in.

    tl.dr. You are talking BS.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. zme-ul

    buying games of Origin .. no thank you
    I’d rather stick with the evil I already know

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Neroist

    @17 You can share games on Origin cause it’s in the ToS you sign when you register the game with Origin or did you not read it? You have to install Steam to play any and all games and they are all tided to an account. Not so with all games on Origin.
    Origin is not the shining example of digital distribution. Before someone makes a purchase they should always look at different disturbers and see if they are happy with the terms, availability, and service. Steam has to be the most DRM filled company out there. The games are cheap for a reason. They are not your games.
    I would buy off GoG whenever I can first. Then look at Gamestop Online, and go down the list from there.
    Steam has to much against the customer and down the road there is too much room for abuse. Steam will not always have the same people in charge.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DarkElfa

    There may be little difference between Steam and Origin, but I don’t want to give my money to EA for anything else till they start taking ethics classes.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    @19 Obviously you’ve read it, so would you please point out the part of the EULA that says you can share your games?

    I think it’s kinda funny that EA would be so hip on sharing, and then “forget” to make it a function of their client.

    Your games “aren’t your games” on Origin either champ. It’s all licensed.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. heroes159

    Haha too many Steam FANBOYS . This comment section makes me lol.. I don’t know what you were guys Smoking But Origin doing fine. It does what it was supposed to do without any problems. That EA on Steam Train is long gone & its not coming back. There’s nothing wrong with what EA doing. Its the same thing as Valve doing.

    And Another thing


    #22 2 years ago
  23. DSB

    @22 Monopowhat? The PC has the most fiercely contested market in gaming.

    I agree that the walled gardens are bad, but 50% of the market isn’t even close to a monopoly, and both the choice and the prices clearly reflect that.

    Personally I’ve used more than five different services on the PC. How many digital services does the 360, the iPhone/iPad and the PS3 have? One? Okay. That’s what is commonly referred to as a monopoly.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. UuBuU

    I dont hate EA and would happily buy their games ~ I just hate the idea of having my digital game collection split over two distribution softwares. Steam got there first so no Origin.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Neroist

    @24 Having all your eggs in the same basket can end up badly. That’s why I say shop around.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. UuBuU

    @25 why? Steam isnt going to *poof* into thin air all of a sudden and im not stupid enough to do anything which might get my account banned

    #26 2 years ago
  27. DSB

    @25 “can end up badly” isn’t really an argument for or against anything.

    Crossing the street can end up badly. Taking a shower can end up badly.

    It’s not that I don’t share the sentiment, but Steam doesn’t have a 50% marketshare due to dodgy practices. They were the first, and to many people, they are still the best at what they do.

    There’s nothing sinister about that, even though they really need to work on shit like refunds and exclusive deals.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Neroist

    @25 Someone can hack your account and get you banned. You can install mods like Helximods fro 3d and get banned and lose every last one of your games. You may get no reason either why you were banned.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DSB

    @28 You seem like a guy who has a healthy bit of skepticism, so why is that suspended when reading stuff like that?

    The fact that Rock, Paper, Shotgun are so poor at checking their sources and the facts of their stories was the worst bit about that story for me.

    The guy was systematically selling games on Steam for profit, directly contrary to the TOS.

    You don’t think the average user can take measures to prevent that happening to them? You think they’d ever be in any risk of having that happen to them?

    The guy even admitted to it, so I don’t see much room for a “hacker made me do it” defense.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Neroist

    @29 Maybe he didn’t know that was against the ToS but Steam told him that was not why they banned him and has yet to tell him why. So his $1,500 in games is totally in the hands of people without phone support. Who did not answer emials as to why. That is more than enough to not want your entire library on Steam.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. DSB

    @30 Maybe he didn’t know, but then he should’ve checked before he opened for business. It’s not Valves fault that he didn’t read the terms.

    Again, you’re relying on one source (who was guilty as sin) as well as his pastebin, which may be complete or incomplete for all you know. As far as I can tell, Steam are saying they’re on to him as soon as they respond:

    “According to our records, you have made a large amount of gift purchases on the Russian Storefront. Additionally, these purchases of high value items were all gifted to many various users. Please confirm these purchases and explain this activity”

    … And from the end of that ticket he merely claims they locked the account without any notice, and didn’t get in touch for 30 days. He provides no evidence at all, but apparently simply telling RPS something on scout’s honor is enough for them to print it.

    That is more than enough to not want your entire library on Steam.

    I couldn’t agree less. The fact that people who systematically and deliberately abuse the system get punished isn’t a threat to me in any way.

    If that’s the best you got, it seems to be working as intended.

    I’ve used my wifes (American) account to gift myself eight games during one of the sales, and absolutely nothing happened, so what do I have to be afraid of again?

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Neroist

    @31 If you feel that your Steam purchases are to your liking and happy with the service then I’m glad your happy. I on the other hand like to keep my games for the future and not have them tided to one account that can be banned and render games installed useless.
    Informing people of pros and cons of something is not usually a bad thing. I believe that people should be aware of the possible pit falls of things. Steam rates pretty high on high risk to me is all.
    31 you like Steam and I’m not saying you are wrong. I am saying that there is a possibility of losing your investment and there are viable alternatives out there. Enjoy your gaming.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. DSB

    @32 Well I don’t know how you use your accounts. If you use it like gimperial, you could get banned from a lot of places.

    Other than that, being a perfectly normal gamer, I don’t see any reason to worry. You’re claiming I might lose my games, and I’m really just asking you to explain why that would ever be a probability.

    I have most of my games with a market leader, so they’re not gonna go broke any time soon, and apparently the “worst case scenario”, is a guy who was banned after systematically violating the TOS.

    Everybody has to decide for themselves though. Personally I’ll choose convenience over paranoia any day.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. hitnrun

    At any rate, we can all agree that those people who *don’t* already have their stuff on Steam are not exactly candidates to a crappier version of Steam.

    As for me, I hated Steam and still refuse to buy full $30+ titles that use Steamworks DRM. However, Valve has bribed me into compromising my principles and I have a vast library of indie, smaller, and years-old games on a Steam account on which I’ve spent probably $70. Steam is so cheap that it actually outbids the Pirate Bay.

    Like I said about the Xbone DRM before the #Xbox180 last week: “If I buy it, and I don’t own it, it had better be cheap.” So far, MS, EA, and Ubisoft have signaled that they haven’t gotten that message.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. GwynbleiddiuM

    @Neroist Your entire argument is based on paranoia and very rare instances which is in my opinion is completely illogical. I’m using Steam for a decade now, and never had the kind of problems that you’re so paranoid about. I wonder if you treat everything in your life with the same level of paranoia or it’s just steam? Because a paranoid individual like you should have plethora of things to be horrified about.

    Only last week I had to re-install my Windows, a fresh install. You know how much trouble was involved for me to be able to play games on my steam again? Absolutely none. I launched steam, logged in and played. Zero difficulty or complications. Meanwhile, I did the same with Origin, which I have FIFA 13, BF3 and ME3 on it, I launched Origin, I had to re configure all my previous settings and when I finally got to my games library, everything needed to be downloaded again. I wanted to play a game of FIFA 13 and instead Origin wiped the installed directory and started re-downloading the whole thing over.

    You wanna talk monopoly and a snake in a grass? it’s Origin. They wanted to get big immediately, so they pulled out of Steam. people who wanted to play ME3, BF3 and FIFA 13 and loads of other EA popular games had no choice but to purchase it through Origin or get a physical copy. Other digital distributing services may have had them on sale but what was the point it needed Origin to authenticate and run their games.

    You say you don’t need Origin to play those games after authentication, when you try to launch FIFA 13, it opens up Origin to check for authentication. So it’s not something all games on Origin benefit from.

    I’m much happier using Steam and GoG over everything else out there, because they’re convenient. They have made PC gaming simple and with less problems and complication than before.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Joe_Gamer

    Go home origin…

    As long as you try to force it on people with exclusives they will instinctively rebel against it. Drop the exclusives, drop the prices, drop the bullshit, tell us why origin is a GOOD thing instead of being shady as fuck and trying to force it on us.

    It’s all moot anyway. The damage is already done, Origin, Uplay, and GFWL are damaged goods, dishonest, anti-consumer, crapware. Fucking plague rats gnawing at the door, trying to get in where they’re not wanted. If you want to overcome that kind of reputation you’re gonna have to feel some pain, you’ll have to back off on the DRM, you’ll have to drop prices through the god damn floor, You’re gonna have to actually CARE about what’s best for the customer and I honestly don’t think you have it in you.

    #36 2 years ago

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