When facing the end of time as we know it through a cataclysmic prophecy, it's time for a sale to mark history's end with a bang. To wit, GameFly's End of the World event nixes 75 percent off select titles for the next 12 days, providing valuable buys such as a $15/£9 Witcher 2, a $25/£15.50 XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and $12.50/£8 for The Walking Dead, among others.
There are many great things about the Dragon Age games, but simplicity of purchasing options has never been one of them. In the run up to both games' release, it appeared as if you could receive a different in-game pre-order bonus depending on where you bought it from, the time of purchase, or whether you chose an even or odd day of the month to place your order. I think there was even a special helmet made just for people who had drunk exactly 13,964 cups of coffee in their lifetime.
Bioware are finally collecting Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II's many disparate items together, and will give all of them to you, for free, if you go to this promo page and log-in with your EA Origin account details.
Remember last year when seemingly every day there was a new security vulnerability that had us scrabbling to change our passwords? Well bad news. Eurogamer's own Richard Leadbetter received an email from Origin informing that his account's password and email address had been successfully changed. Only problem: he never issued any such request.
Everyone's favourite digital distribution system, Origin, is getting a big update soon. While the most useful to most will almost certainly be the general tweaks to speed, and the ability to add other installed games to your menu (much like Steam), easily the coolest is direct integration with video streaming site twitch.tv. In Steam, you can tap a button to take and share screenshots. In Origin, you'll be able to share whole gaming sessions just as easily - or set things up to broadcast automatically.
EA is now offering Battlefield 1942 as a free download on Origin. The series' 2002 progenitor is listed in the demos section, but the official site is clear that it's fully free-to-play. The site has also enlisted the surprised/angry medic above to help spread the word: "35 machines of war?! Yeah, that's just what I needed: 35 more problems for me. You know what, why don't you go remove your own damn shrapnel?"
Gamers who participated in an Electronic Arts survey at the weekend were rewarded with a $20 Origin discount code. Or so EA presumably thought. Poor EA. In fact, the code worked for everyone, not just those who took part in the survey, and could be used to chug down an unlimited number of $20 games, all for free - a fact which was quickly publicised on Reddit and Overclockers.
It's hard to believe that it's been a whole decade since we were riding on the wings of bombers and making car bombs with satchel charges in Battlefield 1942, one of the most influential multiplayer shooters of all time. To celebrate its storied run, Origin is offering six major entries from the series at $10/£10 a pop.
Origin servers will be taken down for maintenance tonight from 10 PM to 1:30 AM PDT. According to EA's notice, Origin will be available in offline mode during those hours, and the single-player portions of EA/Origin games will still be accessible. The multiplayer modes in games such as Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3, however, will not be playable. Additionally, any purchases made via Origin will be added to a queue and delivered after the outage ends.
EA Labels President Frank Gibeau has told Games Industry Biz that he believes EA will be a "100% digital" company in the future, stating "It's inevitable" He doesn't think this transition is far off either, saying ""It's in the near future. It's coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we're excited about it."
Last June Crysis 2 was suddenly removed from the Steam store. The game was "expelled," in EA's words, because a separate agreement with another download service violated new rules from Steam, EA said.
This contract conundrum between Crytek and digital distributors seems to've been resolved: Crysis 2 is back on Steam as a $40 re-release. The Maximum Edition bundles existing multiplayer map pack content for the game. This version of the game is also available on Origin today, duh.
EA’s like-it-or-lump-it Origin service has divided gamers who either like it, or lump it. Recognising the lumpers, EA have put up a blog entry called, “Continuing the Origin Conversation”, or, “Please tell us what we’re doing wrong.” The post somewhat foolhardily invites users to comment on their favourite Origin feature, as well as features they’d like to see added in the future.
The post has already attracted over 300 comments, from, “I would like a clock on the overlay so I can check the time easier while playing” to “Please add a feature to purchase and play EA games through Steam.” A live question-and-answer follow-up with Origin’s head honches Robert Kissinger and Mike Lewis will take place on Tuesday.
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."
"I don’t want Witcher to be sold by crappy stores which don’t care about the consumers." That's what the impressively titled Marcin Iwinski - co-founder, Member of the Board and Business Development at CD Projekt Group - had to say at GDC last week.
The diversity of video game retailers is a contentious issue at the moment. UK retail chain GAME's share prices are at an all-time low. If the cover of industry magazine, MCV is anything to go by, they're already dead. Marcin has been predicting the decline for years: "It’s funny because I’m speaking at the conferences, lectures and whatnot for the last six years of saying 'digital, digital, digital' and nothing happened. Then... kaboom! We're at the tipping point and off we go."
On Friday night, I suddenly, desperately wanted to play Mass Effect 2. I’d procrastinated all the way up to the release of Mass Effect 3, and finally snapped out of whatever was holding me back. No problem: digital distribution makes the PC the best-suited platform to satiate sudden cravings. ME2 is on Steam, but since ME3 is exclusively on Origin, I figured I’d buy it there so the two games could snuggle up together in my library. That arbitrary decision was a huge mistake.
Yesterday's EA financial report turned up plenty of big numbers for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Some of that success seems to have rubbed off on their new digital download service, Origin, which now has more than 9.3 million registered users. That's about a quarter of the number of users as Steam. Not bad for a service that's only seven months old.
EA's Financial Results report also mentions that Origin has generated "more than $100 million in non-GAAP revenue since launch." Origin-only pre-order deals and Origin digital exclusives like Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Battlefield 3 beta will have helped the service enormously in its early months. Its future prospects are none too shabby, either.
Bioware's Chris Priestly has posted on the Bioware forums with confirmation that all copies of Mass Effect will have to be activated using EA's digital download service, Origin. Priestly also says that while Mass Effect 3 "will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers," it won't be coming to Steam.
Happy new year! We're back of from two weeks of balancing dutiful shifts of family time with prolonged periods of PC gaming. From the look of Steam's player stats page, we're not alone. Steam has just broken the five million concurrent users barrier.
Crusader isn’t about action, or even shooting. It’s not about explosions, about story, or about saving the world from the generic totalitarian government in charge of it. It’s about being That Guy. You know the one. The one the guards have no chance of stopping. The one who just walks through any trap. The one who’s sent in alone to save the world because he and his gun are, if anything, overkill.
Action heroes don’t get much sleeker than the Silencer—an unnamed, mute super-commando who worked for the evil, all-controlling World Economic Consortium until ordered to massacre a group of civilians. Refusing, he officially switched sides and joined up with the rebels instead, lending his gun, skill, and (most importantly) awesome-looking battle armor to their noble cause. Just one glance at him tells you you’re many, many weight classes above most enemies you’ll face.
I don't think anyone's ever held up gaming forums as bastions of sanity and rational thought, but EA's current forum policy is a bit, well, bonkers. Recently, multiple users alleged that they'd been unceremoniously booted from their Origin accounts - as in, the games that they purchased - for various acts of rabble-rousing on the forums. One even received an indisputable lifetime ban for quoting the word "e-peen."
Surely, though, there's a method to the madness, right? Well, er...