EA’s digital distribution service has to offer something different than Steam, according to Origin senior vice president David DeMartini.
“There’s one Steam. I think what people want to see is, they want to have another viable option. They want us to differentiate in a way that sets us apart,” DeMartini told Gamasutra.
The executive compared the digital distribution services’ rivalry with that of big-ticket games – not necessarily aiming to deliver the same experiences.
“Battlefield 3 isn’t Call of Duty. Battlefield 3 is great, it’s a shooter, but it’s a great shooter in its own right. I want Origin to be the exact same thing,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean Call of Duty is bad. I don’t want to see Steam become bad. They’re a partner. They do a lot of good things. What I want is Origin to be differentiable and better as a service, which is similar to what Steam does.”
As for how EA intends to achieve this, DeMartini said the publisher hopes to leverage EA’s multiplatform capabilities.
“We need to be able to visualize that in the service in a way that allows you amongst your circle of gaming friends to differentiate yourself or demonstrate your skills multiplatform versus other people you game with or who you are interested in their opinion,” he said.
If Origin is to be a major alternative to Steam, then it has to live up to Valve’s more established service, and DeMartini echoed colleague Peter Moore in asking gamers to be patient.
“Give us a few more years, and maybe we’ll be better than Steam,” he said.
“Steam took eight years to get where it is. We’re not going to take eight years, but we’re going to get there and go beyond.”