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EA to Launch 'Origin' Digital Distribution Service


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EA is taking its digital initiative to the next level. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the publisher, which has been steadily growing its digital revenues and hinted at its next steps on its last quarterly call, will be launching a brand-new digital distribution platform called "Origin" (not to be confused with the old Origin Systems label).


The Journal's report says that the service will kick off with 150 titles and will be the only place online to purchase BioWare's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic (which will still see a PC retail release). EA's hoping the much anticipated BioWare game will fuel interest in the new digital platform. Origin will make use of an iTunes-like client that manages consumers' game downloads and also offers social networking features.


EA's been big on social elements for some time now, and that will hold true for Origin as well. Even if consumers don't purchase any games, they can use Origin "to create profile pages that record all of their scores and other progress on EA games and to establish Origin friend lists based on their friend lists on Facebook and other social networks," the Journal said.


EA CEO John Riccitiello is naturally very excited about the Origin service, already calling it a cornerstone of EA's business before it's even launched.


EA rival Activision recently announced Call of Duty: Elite, as a special digital and social service for their biggest franchise. This new Origin service from EA could be an interesting way to counter Elite as we think it's likely that the PC version of Battlefield 3 would make ample use.








Beta version that was posted on EAUK


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Looks to be a Steam rip-off (not that it's a bad thing given that the requirement for discs to be inserted in your CD\DVD drive to play games are so yesterday's technology...)

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The only function I'm looking forward to, is the ability to see what servers my friends are playing on without firing up the game and being able to join on them. The system steam uses for its friends list is great like this, If EA wants to bring its own in for the BF series even better. Being limited to 20 friends in BC2 sucked

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