EA will re-release games on Steam after it left the popular PC game market in 2011 in favor of the Origin store and launcher. It will start with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, making it the first new EA game to be released on Steam since 2011.
In addition, EA has announced plans to bring its EA Access subscription service to Steam from next year, allowing players to pay a monthly fee for access to a collection of EA games via Steam.
"At the core we are game makers, and our goal is to connect as many people as possible to the great games we have built and to make it as frictionless as possible for them to do that," said Mike Blank, senior vice president. a tea. "So with more players playing more games and more platforms, we honestly want to be where the players are." In the case of EA, that means Steam.
EA intends to follow this up Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order& # 39; S release on Steam with other recently released games from the catalog, including The Sims 4, Unraveling 2, Apex Legends, FIFA 20, and Battlefield V.
Despite the fact that Steam and Origin are PC boot programs running on the same platform, EA effectively treats the two storefronts as completely separate platforms. For example, if you have purchased EA games on Origin in the last eight years, there is no way to transfer those purchases to Steam – even if they are re-released there.
EA will of course like to sell you a second copy on Steam if you are sure that all your games are in one place. EA also works to enable crossplay between the Origin and Steam versions of its PC games. (That makes sense because they are the same PC game. They are only sold through different stores.) New EA releases are likely to appear in both stores, allowing players to choose their purchases for the launcher they want.
That split also applies to EA Access on Steam, which is explicitly not the same as EA & # 39; s Origin Access subscription service that it offers through Origin. As the name suggests, EA Access on Steam is similar to EA & # 39; s console subscription services, as opposed to the larger catalog on Origin Access.
"I expect the games catalog to be more like what you see on EA Access on Xbox or PlayStation," Blank said. To put that in perspective, EA Access on the Xbox One has just under 80 games, while the PS4 has about half of it – compared to the 235 (Origin Access) or 247 (Origin Access Premiere) titles available on PC. The prices are the same as EA Access on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4: $ 4.99 per month or $ 29.99 per year. However, what games are available on Steam & EA's EA Access is still being invented between now and when the service will be launched next year.
EA notoriously broke up with Valve & # 39; s Steam platform with the release of Crysis 2 in 2011. It accused Steam & # 39; s "set of business terms" for developers for preventing the release of that game due to a deal Crysis 2 developer Crytek had with a different service.
Blank would not specifically comment on what had changed since then, except: "It's a new way of working with Valve." The company would also not comment on whether it had reached some unique terms with Valve about the percentage it takes from Steam sales. (Valve typically takes between 20 and 30 percent of sales, depending on how much a developer has sold on Steam in total.)
If those standard terms and conditions are the case, EA puts a lot of money into the belief that it wants to meet players where they are, since it loses money with every sale it makes on Steam compared to selling games on the Origin platform.
With EA's new philosophy of placing its games where players are, you might wonder if those games can appear on other stores, such as the Epic Game Store. According to Blank, they are & # 39; open to new partnerships & # 39; although there is nothing specific to announce at this time.