Electronic Arts have officially done it, with the announcement of their new game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, they revealed it would be available on steam as a pre-order. It will be the first EA game in 8 years to be sold on the Valve platform, according to The Verge.
Not only that, plans have also been announced that EA’s subscription program EA Access, will also be available on Steam next spring, becoming the 4th platforms to feature the service, which enables you to play from games from the EA Collection and even have free trials of new releases, and some discounts.
EA themselves released a statement about it, saying, “… In the coming months, players on Steam will also be able to play other major titles like The Sims™ 4 and Unravel™ Two. Multiplayer games—like Apex Legends™, FIFA 20, and Battlefield™ V—will become available next year, and players on both Origin™ and Steam will have the ability to play together.”
EA’s senior VP, Mike Blank also spoke out, and told Gameindustry that there’s more to it, "We're working on our technical integration with Valve now…" and he added, when asking about title parity on the platforms that, "I can't tell you today exactly which other games (besides the ones we’ve mentioned) and when. I would anticipate you'll see a great catalog of content coming to Steam, and I'll leave it at that."
About the compatibility regarding both platforms during gameplay, he said, "… We want to make the experience for players who want to play their games on Steam or Origin as frictionless as possible, so we're working towards connecting our accounts together as well as enabling players to play together across both Steam and Origin so they can play the games with the people they want to play with regardless of which platform they play on…"
Eurogamer went on a bit deeper about Blank’s statement and said that although the cross-play is a good starting point, both platforms are being treated separately meaning, that so far, the possibility of transferring your purchases from one to the other is not on the table.
HOW THEY WENT SEPARATE WAYS
Steam was the classical house and main online market for video games, back in 2011, just before EA’s hiatus on the platform started, many people claimed that the company owned by Gabe Newell was on its way to becoming a monopoly. Calculating that Steam “controlled half to 70% of the $4 billion markets for downloaded PC games,” selling titles from bigger firms such as EA and Activision, as well as Valve's games, all according to Forbes.
Months later, around August a couple of games were removed from Valve’s Store, Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2. According to Forbes, it was EA’s COO Peter Moore who talked about the game, and expressed quite clearly the advantages that Origin provided gamers.
PCGamer, reached out to Gaben Newell to ask him his opinion regarding EA’s moves, as Electronic Arts blamed Steam’s “restrictive terms of service”. Newell rejected that statement, saying he “Doesn’t know what they’re referring to…” adding, “… That's our goal, to create enough value so that it makes sense for partners to use the technology, the tools, services and community that we've created…”
Origin, developed by EA, was released in June 2011 and progressively became the main outlet for EA games and, until this year the only EA content on Steam were multiple Sims DLCs.
And although STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER, marked the milestone a milestone, we’ll have to wait until next year to see what other surprises this partnership could have for us.
For all the soccer or NFL fans, who we bet would like to see Madden NFL or FIFA on Steam they will have to wait a little longer, but it is not impossible.