In what's sure to go down as a victory in the campaign to eradicate pointless numbers from the names of things, Play4Free - EA's unnecessarily styled moniker for what everyone else calls free to play - is being renamed. Games like Battlefield Heroes, Need for Speed World, Battlefield Play4Free and *shudder* Command & Conquer: Tibererium Alliances all now live under the label "Origin Free to Play".
EA's VP of Play4Free, Sean Decker, explains what the switch means on their blog . He also makes this bold statement: "You already know Origin as your destination for the latest and greatest in gaming content from some of the world's best video game publishers, including EA."
"Why change to Origin Free To Play? The main reason is convenience for players – Origin now becomes your single destination for paid downloadable PC games and free-to-play games alike. Sign on to Origin to play the latest and greatest expansion pack in the Battlefield franchise, or jump into a Need for Speed World race. That's the beauty of integrating on Origin – all your gaming content in one place, and the choice is yours what and where you want to play today."
The game's now live at http://free.origin.com/ , although as far as I can tell, the Origin client isn't required to play most of them. The exception appears to be Need for Speed World. Clicking "Play" on most of the games' pages takes you to the individual website to launch as normal, but NfSW prompts you to download it through the Origin, something you've optionally been able to do since last year. You can, however, go straight to the game's site and download through the browser. Whether the move suggests that more games will start to be pushed through Origin remains to be seen.
Does this news actually effect anyone? To be honest, of the - ugh - Play4Free games I've tried, all seemed to have fairly significant issues, something I can't see a new name and launch site fixing.
Thanks, RPS .