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EA to "re-think Origin", may wish to re-re-think


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What do they want Origin to be?

 

 

GamesIndustry International conducted an interview with EA's Executive Vice President, Andrew Wilson, during this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2013). Wilson was on the team which originally designed Origin before marketing decided to write off all DOS-era nostalgia they once held with PC gamers through recycling an old web address.

The service, itself, has also changed since the original project.

 

'"Over the years ... there've been some permutations of that vision that have manifested as part of Origin," Wilson said. "I think what we've done is taken a step back and said 'Wow, we've actually done some really cool things with Origin.' 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?"

 

Fans of Sim City, who faithfully pre-ordered, will likely argue that Origin does not have enough sewage treatment at the end of their plumbing and the out-flow defecated all over their experience. A good service can be built atop the foundations of Origin; but, I have little confidence in their ability to realize that potential.

Wilson, on the other hand, believes they now "get it".

 

One assertion deals with customers who purchase more than one game. He argues that multiple update and online services are required and that is a barrier for users who desire a second, third, or hundredth purchase thereafter. The belief is that Origin can create a single experience for users and remove that barrier to inhibit a user's purchase. In practice, Origin ends up being a bigger hurdle than a single-game's service. It washes a bad faith over their entire library and fails to justify itself: games, such as Sim City, update on their own and old titles still have their online services taken offline.

 

What it comes down to is lack of focus. Wilson believes development of Origin was too focused on the transaction, and that lead to bad faith, presumably because customers would smell the disingenuous salesman. Good Old Games (GOG), on the other hand, successfully focused on the transaction. The difference? GOG gets out of your way immediately after the transaction, leaving you with just the game plus its bonus pack-ins you ordered, not DRM and a redundant social network.

 

Steam is heavily focused as a service and that is where EA desires Origin to be. The problem? Valve has set a high bar for EA to contend with. Steam has built customer faith consistently, albeit not perfectly, over its life with its user-centric vision. Not only would EA need to be substantially better than Steam, it is fighting with a severe handicap from their history of shutting down gaming servers and threatening to delicense merchandise if their customers upset them.

A successful Origin will need to carefully consider what it wants to be and strive to win at that goal. While possible, they are still content to handicap themselves and, then, not own the results of their decisions.

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They are thinking about this now? They should have thought long and hard about the advantages and disadvantages of origin before designing it. I knew from the beginning that Origin was going to be a headache. I bet the old CEO had something to do with the speed that origin was developed. And now look where he is...In the unemployment line. lol

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Yea I don't know, I think the whole Sim City debacle was a huge wake up call for them. However, I can't remember the last time I fired up steam since getting heavy into BF3. I think they recently tried to turn the battlog friends list into a show if logged into origin with an icon and show without the icon when actually in BF3. A patch they really borked and had to revert.

 

It's come a long way since EA downloader, and integrating Twitch streaming into a free client is something I fully supported them doing. But in true EA fashion they broke PBSS in the process, which has since been resolved. They have great ideas but some of the worst execution I've seen in the industry.

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They are thinking about this now? They should have thought long and hard about the advantages and disadvantages of origin before designing it. I knew from the beginning that Origin was going to be a headache. I bet the old CEO had something to do with the speed that origin was developed. And now look where he is...In the unemployment line. lol

 

 

I agree with you on this. When designing and releasing a major product like that, they should have have put more thought into it.

He made his bed, now he's gotta sleep in it :)

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I think what we've done is taken a step back and said 'Wow, we've actually done some really cool things with Origin.'

 

Ya right. The achievement system is the biggest thing that was done in my opinion opposed to Twitch streaming through the software. Sales... there's not much to choose from...

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I haven't used origin in 3-6 months, yet I continue to use Steam on a regular basis. Origin was just another pain in the ass and I thought it was stupid that I had to download it just to play 1 game which I also haven't played in months.

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I don't like origin or steam to be honest, never have liked running an extra programme to run a programme and who's business is it what games I have and what I'm playing. Thank god for offlinining...

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