Nothing “fishy” behind EA’s decision to waive distribution fees on Origin for 90 days, says DeMartini

By Stephany Nunneley
19 May 2012 19:03 GMT

Dave DeMartini expects more developers to release their titles through Origin now that crowd-funded PC games will have distribution fees waived for 90 days.

Speaking with GI International, the Origin SVP said EA has been “a strong advocate,” of independent game development “for a long, long period of time,” and there’s nothing “fishy” regarding the firm’s decision to waive the fee, as it was made with the best of intentions.

“I think a lot of people are going to jump on it,” said DeMartini. “They really have absolutely nothing to lose, so I couldn’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to do this.

“We’re always having conversations with developers. We’ve signed well over 50 developers and publishers to Origin already, but we didn’t specifically reach out to anyone who was being crowd-funded. We just knew from our experience within the community that of course they would be happy about us doing this. I’ve looked at a few comments online and seen people saying: ‘boy this looks fishy because it doesn’t look like there is anything wrong with it. Why is EA doing this?’

“EA has been a strong advocate of independent game development for a long, long period of time. I think this is an absolute, logical extension of our close relationship with independent game developers. Offering the ones that are crowd-funded an opportunity to get published on Origin and not charge them any fees is an acknowledgement of the hardcore gaming community, it’s an acknowledgement of some of the most popular IP that has ever been developed and it was just an obvious thing to do and we just did it.’

DeMartini said developers who decide to take advantage of the incentive will not be bound by any rule sets or exclusivity agreements, as EA is very “open and open-minded,” to any firm which wants to sell their product through the service.

“There are no restrictions, no clever hooks, there are no ways to try and tie them into us,” he said.”

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