Eight years ago, EA took most of their IP’s off of Steam and made them exclusive to their own PC video game launcher/retail store Origin. At the time, the move was looked at as a huge mistake in the gaming community, as Valve’s Steam was, and in some ways still is, the most dominant digital retailer in the PC gaming market. Well, it looks like EA may have had a change of heart as the company tweeted something that might hint at them bringing back their games to the Steam platform.
— Electronic Arts (@EA) October 25, 2019
Yes, an EA coffee mug with some “steam” stemming from the hot coffee is what they went with. A little bit of tongue in cheek humor to be sure, but it’s still a major tease at a potential announcement in the foreseeable future. This wasn’t the only thing that warranted the initial rumor. A few days prior to this, someone on Reddit posted a couple of links, one of which leads to a tweet that shows a test application in the Steam Database where it looks like it gives you the option to purchase games from Steam but run them on Origin. This would be similar to how Ubisoft’s Uplay is integrated with Steam purchases, allowing you to play them on their launcher. However, the above tweet makes it look like a much bigger deal in the eyes of EA.
EA launched Origin in 2011, and in the process made every single one of their proprietary IP’s exclusive to it, meaning if you wanted to play any EA game on PC, it had to be through Origin. This started with Battlefield 3, a game that would go onto be critically acclaimed, especially in the PC market as it looked like Origin was a win for EA. However, this was eight years ago and the PC gaming market has since become extremely crowded. Steam is the most well known followed by the aforementioned Uplay, then there’s GOG’s Galaxy, the Epic Game Store, Blizzards Battle.net, and the recently announced Rockstar Game Launcher.
While Origin’s has a decent fanbase, it’s getting harder and harder to maintain that popularity, especially with all of these competitors. EA has yet to say anything official, but this recent tweet definitely shows that they are at least aware of the rumors. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if they confirm them.