Gamers love oppositions. PC versus console. Mario vs Sonic. Dude from Modern Warfare 3 vs Other Guy from Battlefield 3. And so on. So when gamers spotted EA lumbering toward the digital arena and even throwing around some fightin' words, they assumed things were about to get ugly. Bets were placed, dukes were put up, and... nope. According to EA's David DeMartini, it's all just a big misunderstanding. We're still keeping your bet money, though.
"Obviously when a big publisher comes up with their own application and launches a site where you can buy games directly, people immediately jump to the conclusion that means they're going to exclude everyone else," DeMartini told Gamasutra.
“We believe in absolute freedom of choice to allow customers to buy through whatever retail outlet... as long as they're buying an EA game, we're delighted," he countered. "We feel like if you buy the product with Origin, where we're going on a long-term basis is we'll integrate some of the Origin feature set into many of our highest-profile IP... but by all means if your preferred retailer is Best Buy or Direct2Drive or Impulse or Steam or Amazon... we're going to make our product available to you."
And, contrary to popular belief, Origin was absolutely not working the smoke and mirrors behind the recent Crysis 2 Steam disappearing act. DeMartini explained:
"Crysis was taken down because the DLC was not available through Steam; it was available through [Direct2Drive]. That would, I guess, be a situation where two partners didn't see eye to eye, and by their choice, they were going to take that product down because they were insisting that the DLC be available through Steam."
He concluded, then, by reiterating EA's newfound hands-on approach to digital distribution, noting that it's now EA's way or the highway. So far, of course, there hasn't been a problem, but DeMartini's prepared to hold his ground if, say, EA and Valve don't see eye-to-eye on Origin integration. That said:
"I am absolutely not at this point saying, 'hey, it's Origin versus Steam.' It's never been about that."
Seems like that's pretty much that. So, anybody have any other videogame oppositions for us to verbally assault each other over? We're all in agreement about the whole PC-console issue, after all, and – last we checked – Mario and Sonic were, er, fist-bumping outside the Olympics. How about beards (Gordon Freeman vs Everyone Else)? Or best keyboard-cleaning product? Please! We're desperate!