Valve Games Available Through EA's Origin Storeby Craig Getting on September 3, 2011 4:01 PM EST
In an ironic development following months of public squabbling over digital distribution practices, Electronic Arts is now offering Valve games through its Origin service.
EA is running a buy-two-get-one-free special this weekend, and three Valve titles are included: Counter-Strike: Source, Left For Dead: Game of the Year Edition, and Left 4 Dead 2. The Valve games (each priced at $19.99) are boxed retail copies, and the free games available are downloadable copies of select EA titles.
The promotion is raising eyebrows after EA announced last month that its flagship shooter Battlefield 3 would not be available on Valve’s Steam platform, citing “a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content.” EA issued similar statements after removing Crysis 2 from Steam following Origin’s launch.
Without offering any concrete solutions, both sides have expressed a desire to resolve this dispute. Valve president Gabe Newell recently told Develop, “We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do.” EA’s Jens Uwe Intat told Eurogamer last week that the company isn’t planning on making its games Origin-exclusive. “Competition and choice go hand in hand,” he said. “So the fact we will only distribute our own games on our own platform, I don't see that.”
Neither company has issued a statement regarding the promotion. EA does hold the distribution rights to retail copies of some Valve titles, so this may be less of a sign that the two companies are newly cooperating and more of a message from EA saying they’d like to cooperate.