Electronic Arts is on a role. A few days ago they joined with up retro-download site Good Old Games and now they've launched Origin, a direct download service. After installing the download client, Origin will give players access to exclusive content like special trailers and the ability to create a personal gamer profile used to interact with other users. Multiplayer, mobile gaming and web browsing are standard, and with a few titles already available Origin is off to a good start.
Origin is offering only first party titles right now and their library of games is relatively limited. Crysis 2 and Darkspore - along with a number of other titles - are currently available for players to download, and games like Mass Effect 3 and Alice: Madness Returns are available for pre-order. For mobile gamers, Origin is offering such gaming gems as SCRABBLE, but initial scepticism aside there are more games on the way. Support for the PSP, Nintendo DS and 3DS is available, and more than
Origin's site says, "Origin's new social features allow you to create a profile, connect and chat with your friends, share your game library, and effortlessly join your friends' games." It sounds just like Valve's online service Steam, but there's no mention of third-party content.
EA's new download service is part of their digital strategy. By doing more than just selling products to their market, they can create a online community that will not only support Origin, but also increase the number of people buying its online-only content. The company is already planning to use Star Wars: The Old Republic as a test bed for this by offering up content only available through their retail client.
While still in its infancy, Origin is already off to a good start by having a focus on exclusive content and social gaming. This download service is anything but unique; however, it's promising a few interesting things. For more info check out the site here. Just hold onto your video game retail boxes, they're going to be collector's items sooner than later.