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Does Steam Have Some Competition?
Everybody knows about Steam. And with over 40 million user accounts made in the last 10 years no one can deny their success. But why is Steam so successful? Besides the fact that they have been around for 10 years they’ve done some ground breaking things in the gaming world. By offering so many different games for sale it’s become a one stop game store in your living room. It has the big name games as well as an array of otherwise unknown indie games. From old-school platformers to MMOs, Steam has done a great job of creating a gaming community.
But Steam isn’t the only company doing this anymore. With other companies trying to offer gamers a competitive store application, Steam might start seeing some competition. For instance, EAs Origin is beginning to add features and games that aren’t available on steam. Gamestop released their version called Impulse. The program Desura has a following because it releases indie and small developer games. Any one of these could start taking customers away from steam, but I think Origin has the best chance of actually proving a threat to Valve.
EA has released that they won’t be making games exclusive to Origin. But we’ve already seen some exclusive occurrences, and games offered by Origin that aren’t offered on Steam. Older EA games like the Sims 2 and new titles like Mass Effect 3 aren’t offered on Steam like they are on Origin. They also have rights over Steam to Star Wars: The Old Republic, arguably one of the biggest MMOs of the year. If they continue to have these popular exclusives we could see a rise in the use of Origin.
EA also said that they will be releasing Crysis 2 on the Origin client, but it will not be available on the Steam application. This is just another game added to the list with other popular titles that are Origin exclusive. Other recent and notable titles include Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3. And while EA is getting a bad rap for using this as a way to increase users, it’s defiantly working.
Origin users can transfer games purchased on Steam and other clients onto their Origin account. Steam does not let any transferring occur, so if a player wants to have everything in one place Origin might be a better program. Steam could try and compete by continuing to make Valve games Steam exclusive, but they aren’t producing nearly as many titles as EA is. It’s the little things like this that is attracting more and more Origin users, that come for a game Steam doesn’t have and end up staying.
And while Origin does have some downfalls, so does Steam. Origin now has 9.5 million accounts since its release less than a year ago. Even though EA isn’t as respected in the gaming world as Valve, if it continues to grow like this Steam is going to have to watch out for the new competition. But whether you’re a diehard Steam fan or moving over to Origin as we speak, this competition can only be good for us. Competition between these clients will result in us, the gamers getting better deals and features on all of our gaming browsers. Hopefully these two corporations bidding for our business will result in even more benefits than Steam and Origin offer us now.