Gabe Newell on disappearing EA Steam games and Origin: "yeah, I've tried it"

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Owen caught up with Valve CEO Gabe Newell at Gamescom for a chat about Origin, and asked him about the recent withdrawal of a number of EA games from Steam,

Origin is a revamped version of the EA store that can be run from a downloadable client. It's the only place players will be able to buy the digital version of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and it was recently confirmed that retail copies of Battlefield 3 will require Origin to be installed in order to run. It seems to be positioning itself as a direct competitor to Valve's Steam service, but what does Gabe Newell think of it?

"I got an account before I came here and was trying it out," he says. "So yeah, I've tried it."

"It does some things well, I think there's still some areas where as a customer I'd like to see it improve, it's not that different from any other system like this. There are positive things and negative things," he says.

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Over the last few months EA games have been disappearing from Steam. Crysis 2 and Dragon Age 2 have vanished, and EA have said that Battlefield 3e will also avoid Valve's service. EA have blamed Steam's "restrictive terms of service" for all of these disappearances. We asked Gabe Newell if he could shed any light on what those could be.

"I don't really know what they're referring to by that," he replied. "In general with Steam and Steam partners its incumbent on us to create value for those partners, whether it's EA or Ubisoft or Take Two or any of the other developers who are using it, so that's our goal, to create enough value so that is makes sense for partners to use the technology, the tools, services and community that we've created.

"We're going to keep trying to do that with EA and trying to convince them that it's worth it to have their games on Steam."

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.