EA’s Origin service coming to Android
EA is bringing its digital distribution platform to Android phones and tablets
EA’s chief operating officer, Peter Moore, revealed the plans at the company’s press conference at the annual GamesCom event, which took place in Cologne, Germany.
Not much has been detailed at this early stage, the announcement didn’t focus on the Android platform specifically as it was a broader reveal that Origin would come to a variety of mediums, including Facebook, Smart TVs and Mac OSX.
The main point there of course, is that users should be able to access their accounts, and therefore their purchased content, between different devices and platforms.
However, Moore did drop a few general hints at what kind of new services users can expect, suggesting enhanced support for free-to-play titles (such titles are increasingly common on Android), as well as Origin-only exclusive content, live video feeds and platform-specific interfaces.
The most important thing yet to be revealed is how Origin on Android will compare to its nearest rival in the industry, Valve’s Steam.
On PC Steam is still very much the dominant force, however, the Steam app on Android is simply an account management and social tool, there is no linkup to Android-facing games content. If Origin can get in on this aspect first it will establish a key foothold in the digital distribution competition.
Like Steam, Origin also offers a distribution platform for titles which it doesn’t publish itself, Capcom and THQ are just two of the publishers which have an agreement with EA to push titles through the platform. How this might correlate to Android isn’t yet clear.
It’ll also be interesting to see how this will fit in with existing Google Play titles, whether new control inputs (such as keyboards and gamepads) might be supported, and whether or not Origin might offer streaming services for non-Android games to Android tablets, as we’ve seen with On-Live.