In context: With the recent news that EA would finally be bringing its games back to Steam after years of Origin exclusivity, many PC gamers were quite excited. Several also took the news as a jab at Epic, who has generated quite a bit of controversy in the PC gaming industry due to its tendency to snap up highly-anticipated games as timed exclusives.
However, it seems EA’s decision to return to Steam was not intended as a way to give more ammo to anti-Epic folks. Indeed, though EA has not outright confirmed it, the company said it’s “open to new partnerships” when asked if its EA Access program — which is coming to Steam as well — could arrive on the Epic Games Store someday.
From EA’s perspective, there’s probably not much benefit in playing favorites here. In an interview with Games Industry, EA said its primary goal is to become more “open” with the way it distributes its games. It wants to enable as many players as possible to enjoy its latest titles (and, of course, buy loot boxes), and the best way to do that is to take a platform-agnostic approach to sales.
Of course, sales and game access are two different things, and a much less-reported piece of information regarding EA’s return to Steam relates to the latter. As some long-term Steam users will know, many publishers — EA included — still require gamers to install and use their third-party platforms (Origin, in this case) to play their games. This will be the case with Fallen Order, and many other EA games set to arrive on Valve’s popular platform.
Naturally, there are still plenty of benefits to buying a game on Steam (such as achievements and friends list integration), but it’s still worth pointing that detail out for those who are perhaps newer to PC gaming and Steam in particular.
At any rate, EA hopes to “break down” more barriers moving forward, and not just through bringing its games to multiple platforms. Cross-play is another big focus for the company, and with Sony finally beginning to cave on that front, we may finally see a future in which your platform of choice doesn’t matter at all for matchmaking purposes.