Last year Electronic Arts went back to its Origin with a view to changing its streaming game. A rebrand, repackaging and rename of its online games store was set to bring EA’s platform up to par with the popular Steam service and was heralded to dominate internet-based PC gaming as well as expanding Origin’s reach with a push onto smartphones and tablets.
In retrospect, over the past seven months since the big changeover, this hasn’t happened, the punters have not been drawn in as hoped and EA seems to be acknowledging this fact by now offering one of 2011’s top titles, Battlefield 3 – usually a $60 game – free of charge to US-based Origin subscribers.
Released less than four-months ago, Battlefield 3 – the first-person shooter for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Windows PC exclusive through EA Origin sold over 5-million copies in its first week of release and proved one of the strong contenders in a pre-Christmas market battle which also included new Call of Duty and Gears of War games. Accolades for the PC version of Battlefield 3 include Best PC Shooter and Best PC Multiplayer at the IGN awards.
EA should be hoping that by giving away the hotly-hyped, in-house developed and published global warfare game will polish its somewhat tarnished customer service and satisfaction and sway PC gamers to the platform and away from Steam (at least in the US, for now).
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