You can't buy Crysis 2 and other EA games from digital download service Steam because Valve won't let EA directly manage its relationship with gamers.

Or, in other words, it has nothing to do with the launch of EA's Steam rival, Origin.

"As you know, games and how they are made have both changed," EA's SVP of global online David DeMartini wrote in a blog post.

"Today, we continue to extend the experience with new maps, vehicles and other content that adds hours of fun and more value for our players.

"We also enhance the gaming experience with features like friends lists and in-game chat using the Origin application. Most importantly, we always want to be sure we provide this content and service at the highest possible level of quality.

"To ensure this, any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players. You are connecting to our servers, and we want to establish an ongoing relationship with you, to continue to give you the best possible gaming experience. This works well for our partnership with GameStop, Amazon and other online retailers.

"Unfortunately, if we're not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve.

"At present, there is only one download service that will not allow this relationship. This is not our choice, and unfortunately it is their customer base that is most impacted by this decision. We are working diligently to find a mutually agreeable solution.

"Going forward, EA will continue offering our games to all major download sites. We will also remain committed to providing you, our players, with the best possible content, services, and gaming experience that we can."

EA launched Origin last month. It will be the only place you can download upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, but it is not necessary that you run Origin to play it.

Two weeks after launch Crysis 2 disappeared from Steam, but was still available from other non-EA digital distribution outlets such as Impulse and Direct2Drive.

EA said at the time the decision to remove Crysis 2 from Steam was Valve's call, not EA's.

"It's unfortunate that Steam has removed Crysis 2 from their service. This was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA," read a statement.

"Steam has imposed a set of business terms for developers hoping to sell content on that service – many of which are not imposed by other online game services.

"Unfortunately, Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis 2 from Steam.

"Crysis 2 continues to be available on several other download services including Origin.com."

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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