Origin causes stir by auto-adding Steam-bought EA games

By Lee Kaelin on February 29, 2012, 9:30 AM

Game publisher Electronic Arts has caused quite a stir this week after users began to report that their game distribution service, Origin, appeared to be automatically adding EA titles previously purchased on Steam to users' libraries.

The news first broke on the Day One Patch Forums, with one their users, Forsayken posting, "I just booted up Origin today to play BF3 and I see Dead Space 2 there. Why? I bought this game on Steam 4 months ago. I just beat it last week and haven't booted it up since. The purchase date in Origin states Feb 18, 2012 (today). The CD keys match."

It appeared that Electronic Arts was aware of each user's game purchases on Steam, and was using that information to add their titles onto the Origin service without seeking the consent of those using the accounts.

Joystiq offered their thoughts regarding the situation, suggesting it was actually a positive move by the developer. "Origin is known to check out the file names on users' computers -- without reading or transmitting any private information back to EA, of course -- and it now uses that power to streamline your EA games lists. In other words, EA is using its power for good. And to better market its own titles," said Jessica Conditt.

After news spread and concerns were raised further, EA responded to MCVITA to clarify their position. "A few of you noticed some of your older EA games showing up in your Origin My Games library over the past few weeks and I wanted to clear up any confusion," the EA representative stated. "We tested a feature that in some cases made your older games show up in your Origin My Games Library."

The representative went on to clearly state that no information has been accessed on user’s computers at any point, and they have only used the information provided in the game registration records created by those registering games for the first time.

EA stated they will share more information about this feature as soon as possible, and said those interested in adding older EA games to their Origin library to visit www.origin.com/activate and enter each game's registration code. Not all games are currently supported yet, but they are constantly working on adding older titles.




User Comments: 22

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Guest said:

Sneaky but smart move.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

"Joystiq offered their thoughts regarding the situation, suggesting it was actually a positive move by the developer. "Origin is known to check out the file names on users' computers -- without reading or transmitting"

Yes this is a positive...I'm POSITIVE I won't be using Origin anytime soon.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sadly I have to use Origin for BF3 and ME3 ... not TOR even though I am not really playing that atm.....

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

No, he logged into EA's online service in Dead Space 2, then they added it to origin.

I don't like Origin for two reasons.

First, you can't backup your downloaded games to another drive like you can in Steam. (Useful for swapping games on a small SSD or staying within your data limits.)

Second, the games don't update automatically. You much attempt to launch the outdated game before it updates.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Even though I'm pretty anti Origin (or anything EA really) I think this is a positive move for current Origin users. You have no idea how many games I wish I could import into my Steam library that I can't. Adding a shortcut to a manual install just doesn't cut it.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

PS: They've been doing this from the very beginning. I had Alice: Maddness returns added to Origin from a Steam purchase back when BF3 Beta first released.

Guest said:

It just seems these servcies would go much further if they simply posted a message when you logged in, in this case Origin, "New Feature: Automatically add your older EA games into your Origin profile."

EEatGDL said:

darkshadoe said:

Yes this is a positive...I'm POSITIVE I won't be using Origin anytime soon.

That's what people said when Steam was launched. I've been using Origin for BF3 and ME3 demo, and also own Crysis 2 which doesn't have support for in-game Origin. I have C&C 3 expanded and RA3 also expanded and they don't appear automatically in my Origin library.

After using in-game Origin a lot in ME3, compared to the very bad multiplayer environment in Crysis 2 I would prefer that title supporting in-game Origin, for basic browsing while in the game [speedtest.net for example when I'm having lag] and the friends system is what C2's should have been -it sucks that if your friends aren't in your match you can't chat with them.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

spydercanopus said:

No, he logged into EA's online service in Dead Space 2, then they added it to origin.

I don't like Origin for two reasons.

First, you can't backup your downloaded games to another drive like you can in Steam. (Useful for swapping games on a small SSD or staying within your data limits.)

Second, the games don't update automatically. You much attempt to launch the outdated game before it updates.

What? Can't right. I had BF3 and TOR on my 1TB Drive till it broke down and now using my backup 140GB drive, still have 1 TB drive left but that's for pure Data Backups etc...

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This isn't new as pointed out and happened to me during the BF3 beta as well. However for me it decided to add a retail EA game which I wasn't exactly keen on since it never asked, but at least it was multiplayer based with DRM already.

Guest said:

oh go cry about it.. geesh

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

EEatGDL said:

darkshadoe said:

Yes this is a positive...I'm POSITIVE I won't be using Origin anytime soon.

That's what people said when Steam was launched.

I'm sure it been said about a lot of services. I don't base this on Origin being a new service and just trying to get the kinks out. I base this on the reputations of these two companies - Valve (Steam) vs EA (Origin).

EA has poor track record for customer service and just plain dickheadedness.

If you enjoy Origin and EA, God ( or your choice of deity) bless you and enjoy. I am just voting with my dollars.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Guest said:

oh go cry about it.. geesh

Let me see..how do you youngsters put it...

U MAD BRO?

ramonsterns said:

artix said:

Sadly I have to use Origin for BF3 and ME3 ... not TOR even though I am not really playing that atm.....

Every time you support EA, or any other scummy publisher, god kills a game developer.

Remember kids, don't be like this guy!

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

ramonsterns said:

artix said:

Sadly I have to use Origin for BF3 and ME3 ... not TOR even though I am not really playing that atm.....

Every time you support EA, or any other scummy publisher, god kills a game developer.

Remember kids, don't be like this guy!

That made me LOL

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As long as its done based on registration of the game with EA, don't see a problem with it.

But scanning my computer to find Steam versions of their own games...that would not be acceptable.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

spydercanopus said:

No, he logged into EA's online service in Dead Space 2, then they added it to origin.

I don't like Origin for two reasons.

First, you can't backup your downloaded games to another drive like you can in Steam. (Useful for swapping games on a small SSD or staying within your data limits.)

Second, the games don't update automatically. You much attempt to launch the outdated game before it updates.

Yeah they have a looooooong way to go before the platform is near Steam. EA beta testing on the users as usual.

MrAnderson said:

Not a bad thing... but they should have posted something if they did not or sent out an email to customers...

jeffz6 said:

I have enjoyed Origin, its very refreshing, I also have a massive collection on Steam.I actually thought EA gave me a free game, even though I owned it already. I should of known better from EA. Origin should of informend the masses.

Guest said:

Simply put, EA Origins does not look at your computer.

If you have purchased EA games(whether from a retail store, steam or origin itself), you have an EA ID associated with it saying you purchased it when you enter the CD Key or play online.

Origin then looks at the EA ID account, not the computer to determine the EA specific games you own.

Guest said:

I stopped buying or playing games from any company requiring Steam to be installed and requiring being logged in and online to play said game.

Hell with them, they say they don't peer into my stuff, and maybe that's even true, but I refuse to take part. It's my computer, and my product (if I paid for it), I don't like all the extra BS they're adding onto everything.

Guest said:

It's a good move on EA part for not making you buy their games twice and keeping their supporters close. I still will not ever use Origin. After 2 years of inactivity you lose your account and it does not support slower internet users. EA is a company and Steam is a company but EA lost my respect a long time ago.

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