Peter Moore on EA's Origin: "I would ask give us 18 months to two years"

"It got off to a rocky start for all the wrong reasons."

Don't stand Origin directly next to Steam yet, EA's Peter Moore has asked - "give us 18 months to two years".

"We need to continue to add social layers so there is value to the consumer, so it doesn't feel like, in their words, 'something that is mandatory that I don't want'," murmered Moore to Kotaku.

"And it got off to a rocky start for all the wrong reasons which were mostly inaccurate: accusations of spyware. The EULA...

"We were clearly focused on by some folks who said, 'We don't like this. How can we start picking things apart?'"

But Origin's over the worst of it, according to Moore.

"It's quieted down. I don't think you see the initial level of vitriol. And I've been in gaming long enough [to know that] if you try to add something that's different, and particularly if you add the layer that it's EA and everything that goes with it..."

bennett
Like Bennett, gamers let off Steam.

Origin didn't come out of nowhere: it was the EA Store prior to being relaunched as Origin last summer, and before that it was EA Link and EA Downloader. But its relaunch as Origin was a clear, aggressive move to one day compete with Steam.

"We were clearly focused on by some folks who said, 'We don't like this. How can we start picking things apart?'"

Peter Moore, chief operating officer, EA

Origin now has 9.3 million users, and more than 1 million are active every day. Steam's witnessed 5 million people online at once, and has 35 million active users.

But Moore remembered Steam having similar problems to Origin at launch.

"If you go back and dust off the transcripts of when Steam first came out, it had the same reaction," Moore said. "People didn't like it. You were obligated."

"They provided, over the years - to Gabe [Newell's] and the team's credit - value to the gamer. Those first 12 months were very rocky."

Valve used its games to launch Steam, and so EA has with Origin, through Star Wars: The Old Republic and PC versions of Battlefield 3 and, soon, Mass Effect 3.

More to the point, no internally developed EA games - post-Origin's launch - are available on Steam. These games aren't Origin exclusive - places like GameFly (formerly Direct2Drive) and GamersGate stock them - but promotions and pricing make Origin an overwhelmingly compelling destination to buy them from in Steam's absence.

Steam today offers a catalogue of 1800 games. Origin doesn't, although hands are slowly being shaken by EA. But Moore wants more, and even Valve's games on Origin.

"It's an open platform. There is nothing I would love more than to have Valve's - everybody's games. We're talking to every publisher, as you can imagine.

"It's one of those things where I would ask give us 18 months to two years," Moore concluded. "And if we sit here two years from now, start looking at it then.

"The ability to have your own direct platform with the consumer is going to be very important in the digital world going forward."

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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