Is Electronic Arts coming back to Steam?
A tweet from Electronic Arts last night appears to tease something PC gamers have been speculating on for a while: that EA’s PC games are coming back to Steam.
This went out sans comment yesterday afternoon. I’ll admit that I missed the point at first. That’s steam coming off the coffee mug, for those similarly obtuse.
Earlier this week, Redditors in the Steam subreddit collected a series of tipoffs that EA might be returning, eight years after launching Origin and moving all of its PC sales in-house. The biggest indicator was the discovery, on Oct. 22, of a test application that would allow players to buy games off Steam but run them through the Origin launcher.
It’s possible this return could be just for back-catalog stuff, as the clues so far have involved some rather old games — The Saboteur, for example. Electronic Arts is the biggest publisher of licensed video games (thanks to Star Wars and EA Sports), and those games come with heavy costs, so it’s possible the company wouldn’t want to hand over 30 percent to Valve for something like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Origin launched in 2011, and with it, Electronic Arts took Crysis 2 off of Steam, a move that angered Steam partisans as much as the half-dozen Epic Games Store exclusives that have launched in the past year. Electronic Arts launched Battlefield 3 on Origin and since, every EA-published PC game has been exclusive to Origin.