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.

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