And this is what it’s like when worlds collide…
If you haven’t heard, EA confirmed a few days ago on their official forums that Battlefield 3 will not be available on Steam. They give the same explanation they did when Crysis 2 and Dragon Age II were removed from Steam, that it is due to Valve’s “restrictive terms of service.”
EA offers games, including Battlefield 3, to all major digital download sites. In doing so, our goal is to not only reach the widest possible global audience with our games, but also to provide ongoing customer support, patches and great new content. We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play the game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with consumers.
Basically, it’s the same PR bullshit we’ve been hearing for a couple months now. God forbid they tell us in plain English exactly what the problem is! Our best guess right now, judging by the timing of the removals, is that this has to do with DLC not being sold through Steam. Both Crysis 2
and Dragon Age II
were pulled the very same day their latest DLCs were released, which were only available for sale in-game or through an external website, respectively. This theory seems to mesh well with a separate statement EA has posted
on their forums concerning their digital distribution policies in general.
Any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services for the individuals and communities that play our games. These players are connecting to our servers, so we want to provide them with the very best service. This works well for our partnership with Gamestop, Amazon and other online retailers.
However, when a download service forbids publishers from contacting players with patches, new levels, items and other services – it disrupts our ability to provide the ongoing support players expect from us. At present, this is the case with only one download service. While EA offers its entire portfolio to this site, they have elected to not post many of our games. We hope to find a mutually agreeable solution to this issue soon.
This is where it gets a little hairy. If the issue does indeed concern Valve mandating DLC be sold through Steam, shouldn’t they be enforcing this policy uniformly? Why wouldn’t Codemaster’s DiRT 3
be pulled from the store, since they sell DLC exclusively through Games for Windows Live, some of which has been released after Crysis 2 disappeared
? Furthermore, EA’s own mega-hit casual game The Sims 3
has a proprietary web store that uses a virtual currency called Sim Points to sell items that aren’t available anywhere else (not even in the expansion packs for sale on Steam), so why is that still there? Again, it has had new content released since this whole mess happened, so the simple conclusion to draw here is that it’s not all about the DLC. There has to be some other reason that EA and Valve are butting heads.