Valve co-founder Gabe Newell gave his views on Origin in the first episode of the Seven Day Cooldown podcast , suggesting that EA's digital distribution service isn't close to challenging Steam. "They have a lot of work to do to get to way they want to be and where I as a customer would want them to be," he said.
"I don't think they're doing anything super well yet," he added. "They have a bunch of smart people working on it. I think they're still playing catch up to a lot of people who have been working in the space for a while. I think they're recognising what the challenges are with building and scaling out this kind of system."
"That's isn't to say they won't build stuff in the future that is useful to software developers or gamers but they haven't done that yet."
Newell also reiterated that Valve are keen to have EA games back on Steam "We think their customers would be happy if their games were on Steam. We tell them that on a regular basis."
He later said "as we learn about this stuff we're all going to be making things better for other gamers. Tim Sweeney (Epic founder) doesn't look at Steam and say "Fuck! We shouldn't support that because that will hurt long term sales of the Unreal Engine." He's like, "that's pretty cool, that's pretty useful." So hopefully EA get their head to the same place."
At the moment EA are more likely to keep their heads where the money is. Back in February EA announced that Origin had amassed more than nine million registered users , and had churned out more than $100m in revenue. It look as though EA's Origin exclusives are currently doing very well for the platform. It's definitely more of a shop than a service at the moment, though. What do you think of Origin?