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Found 18 results

  1. Up until earlier this year, you could get the occasional free Origin game through Electronic Arts' "On the House" program, such as Peggle, Battlefield 3, and even Mass Effect 2. The program has given away a whopping 35 games for free (both from its own published library as well as indie titles) over the last 10 years, but it appears the free ride is finally over as the webpage promoting it has been taken down. Polygon has confirmed this news from an EA spokesperson, who said that Origin On The House is, in fact, being discontinued and games will no longer be offered through it. However, they did also say that anyone who had gotten free games through the program in the past will still be able to keep and play them. The removal of the program could possibly be due to the impending launch of Origin Access Premier, an expanded version of Origin Access which is due to go live on July 30. Origin Access Premier offers all of the previous perks of Origin Access (such as an instant collection of 123 PC games to play and a discount of 10% on any game you buy through Origin) as well as the benefit of having unlimited access to each new EA game on PC five days before it releases. Essentially, this means that as long as you pay for the subscription - which costs $14.99/month or $99/year -- you won't have to buy each new game EA releases. In the meantime, don't expect to see any more freebies from EA anytime soon. Source: Polygon What are your thoughts on EA discontinuing Origin On the House's free games?
  2. Steamworld Dig is Origin's current On the House game: https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/steamworld/steamworld-dig/standard-edition Can't beat free, especially for a game like that. I mean, it would be better if it wasn't Origin, but it's still better than Uplay, so I guess there's that.
  3. Looks like Jade Empire Special Edition is Origin's free game of the month. All you need to do is add it to the cart, click okay, and it's yours for good! I haven't played it yet (though I've heard very good things) so I'm looking forward to trying it out at some point. It's pretty much the last original game that Bioware developed before Mass Effect and Dragon Age released.
  4. Harrison Lee

    Review: Titanfall

    Developer: Respawn Publisher: EA Platforms: PC, Xbox One Release Date: 3/11/2014 Rating: M (for Mature) Microsoft is banking everything on Respawn Entertainment's premier shooter, Titanfall—they've pulled out all the stops to make sure everyone and their mother knows what the game is all about, whether it's through live-action TV spots or a seemingly endless tide of preview articles. This is the game that's meant to sell the Xbox One, from the former esteemed creative leads of the Modern Warfare series. While I don't think Titanfall will be the game to prove the Xbox One is the best next-gen system, it's still one heck of an entertaining ride. The first thing you'll notice about Titanfall is that it's a multiplayer-only experience. Teams of up to 6 players will duke it in 5 game modes familiar to almost every FPS aficionado; Attrition (TDM), CTF, Hardpoint (mini-Conquest), Pilot Hunter (Pilot kills award more points) and Last Titan Standing (Titans-only). There is a solid handful of maps to experience the war between the Militia and IMC, but the limited amount of game types means you might start feeling a sense of deja vu. The 12-player matches and limited modes might have been dealbreakers if it weren't for the 65-foot tall Titans. Titans are massive humanoid mechs capable of dishing out insane amounts of punishment. They control similarly to Pilots, if slower and less maneuverable. Every Titan comes equipped with a primary weapon, some sort of missile, tactical abilities, perks and a charging offensive/defensive buff. It sounds complicated but it's essentially the same set-up as the infantry. They can change the tide of battle but every player has the opportunity to call down his or her own after a 2-minute timer clocks out. However, the timer can be shortened by damaging other Titans, killing Pilots or killing the various AI Grunts that roam the chaotic battlefields. Skilled players will be calling Titans to the field like clockwork, though any novice can quickly adapt to the learning curve and call down their own death machines in short order. Titanfall has been balanced to perfection, featuring a limited number of weapon unlocks and attachments. Perks are more like abilities, including cloaking and combat stims. Starting weapons and abilities can be just as effective as the higher-level ones, so long as you persistently unlock new gear and learn each weapon's capabilities and trade-offs. No particular unlock feels overpowered or better than another weapon. Complementing loadouts are single-use Burn Cards, which offer XP boosts for killing certain enemy types or spawn you with a buffed weapon. The best Burn Cards are Titan drops, though their frequency of attainment is extremely low. Use them wisely at the beginning of matches to help tip the battle in your team's favor. Weapon handling is about what you'd expect from the former developers of Call of Duty. Gunfire is tight and focused, featuring limited recoil and enhanced accuracy. It's not as frustrating as Call of Duty's easy marks but the weapon modeling isn't far off either. Controls are incredibly responsive and the parkour system in place for Pilots allows players to traverse entire maps without ever touching the ground. Wall-running to rodeo and expose Titans to extreme damage is always a blast, especially when the Titan operators don't realize someone's on top of their rig. Pilots can level up to 50 before they need to regenerate and start over. Gear unlocks will be reset and players can re-earn every piece of equipment up to 10 times. While I haven't gotten very far in the 2nd generation, I've seen numerous players already hitting the 7th and 8th generations. Leveling is fairly quick and each regeneration adds an XP multiplier to get you leveled even faster. I wish new equipment and weapons were added as you progressed but it would likely upset the delicate balance Respawn has achieved. I played Titanfall on PC and saw the game at its best looking. While the animations and effects can be impressive, the overall art direction and texture work is not. This is a Source engine game with all of the limitations that that entails. It's certainly far better than Half-Life 2 in the visuals department, but it won't unseat Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4. Then again, it also runs at a solid 60 FPS. For the amount of on-screen action happening, I can't complain all that much. The audio is snappy and effective, with sound effects that pop and a decent backing soundtrack. It's not as visceral as DICE's sound work but it's fine for what Titanfall sets out to do; be a great, accessible competitive shooter. As I mentioned earlier, the variety of Titanfall's experience is somewhat limited. With a game that stretches the limited amount of modes, weapons and Titans across a handful of maps, some fresh content is in dire need of being added. Don't get me wrong, though—Titanfall can be downright thrilling when you're tricking off of Titans and scoring chain-kills on Grunts and Pilots. It just needs more to do, which a free content update and some season pass DLC seek to rectify. There is a campaign mode but it's still multiplayer-only. It's also an incredibly dull affair but is necessary to complete for both the Militia and IMC in order to unlock the the other two Titan types. I haven't completed either and find the Atlas Titan perfectly suitable for almost all weapon and ability combos. It would be nice if the other Titans weren't locked behind the boring, noncompetitive campaign but I don't feel like I'm missing out on a whole lot either. In it's current state, Titanfall is a blast. Bar the limited content and lackluster campaign, it's an adrenaline shot of pure action and violence. The Titans are a blast to control and every bit of kit is balanced to near perfection. The learning curve is quick to get into and you won't need to be the best FPS player to pull off insane moves and great kills. Titanfall isn't the savior of the Xbox One but it is the perfect introductory experience for anyone buying the console. Pros: + Consistently thrilling combat + Balanced equipment and leveling system + Titans are fantastic to control + Easy to pick up and play Cons: - Lack of content (soon to be fixed) - Lackluster campaign locks away two Titans Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great If you're tired of Call of Duty and Battlefield, Titanfall is begging for your attention. The game is a genuine joy to play despite a lack of content. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using a retail copy purchased by the writer
  5. Harrison Lee

    Review: Battlefield 4

    Developer: EA DICE Publisher: Electronic Arts Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Release Date: October 29, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature Another year, another big-budget modern military shooter vying for your wallet. This time it's EA's Call of Duty competitor, Battlefield, with the fourth numbered installment in the mega-hit franchise. Battlefield 4 boasts an overhauled destruction engine, improved visuals, a reworked single-player campaign and the massive scale of previous entries, but is any of it enough to justify your hard earned cash? Much like Battlefield 3, BF4 is all about the chaotic online multiplayer. Despite a new writer at the helm and a renewed focus on the characters, the single-player campaign feels a bit like an afterthought. The good news is that the narrative, while military fiction nonsense, is at least more focused and directed than the haphazard tech demo that was BF3's campaign. Players will assume the role of protagonist Recker as he and the rest of Tombstone squad attempt to thwart an impending war between the US and China. Missions range from close-quarters combat aboard a dying aircraft carrier to a beach-head assault on a major Chinese airfield. As you might guess, most of the campaign is a string of intense set-pieces populated with lots and lots of shooting and explosions. The improvements over BF3 are readily apparent in the dialogue, character chemistry, technical enhancements and a better sense of pacing. All that said, BF4's campaign is essentially the same solo shooting gallery you've come to expect. While the addition of basic squad commands is a welcome change, it does little to alter the overall experience. The campaign is short, clocking in at 3.5-4 hours on Normal difficulty; it doesn't overstay it's welcome and can provide a few entertaining moments if you're in the right mindset. Just don't expect anything on the level of Modern Warfare or Black Ops II. The entire focus of BF4 - multiplayer - is the sole reason you should have any interest in purchasing the game. The scale is breathtakingly massive, with tanks and aircraft thundering about wide, expansive maps. New combat watercraft have been added, providing a brand new battlefield in the sea. Waves are lovingly rendered in 3D and allow for boats to hide and use cover behind wave swells. Watching infantry, boats, jets, helicopters and various land vehicles all duke it out is incredibly impressive in DICE's proprietary Frostbite 3.0 game engine. The most-heralded feature of BF4 is the terribly-named "levolution", which is touted as the future of dynamic maps. While bringing down a skyscraper or blowing open a dam is awesome the first time around, levolution doesn't always have the biggest impact on gameplay. It's only on maps where water can flood the ground level that BF4's map design significantly alters. When it does, however, combat becomes more frantic and intense because the pace and flow of the battle evolves, creating an experience unlike anything else on the market. The "only in Battlefield" advert campaign is surprisingly indicative of the in-game presentation. Game modes include the ever-popular Conquest, Domination, Team Deathmatch and new Obliteration. The former trio are exactly the same as BF3, with the new mode tasking players with bringing bombs to several objects to score points. Obliteration was my least favorite of game types on offer; I typically stuck to Domination or Rush unless I was feeling really adventurous. Regardless of whichever mode you choose, BF4 will likely have something just right for you. Make sure you at least experience a full-scale, 64-player Conquest match at least once before you die. It's absolutely exhilarating. Map design is absolutely on-point this time around. My favorite is the easy-to-love Paracel Storm. It features violent waves, islands to seize control of, a beached battleship that provides additional anti-air support and fantastic naval combat. The weather effects are absolutely gorgeous here and really showcase BF4's attention to detail. Other maps like Golmud Railway and Dawnbreaker offer unique experiences, whether it's a roving capture point on a train or street-by-street inner city grudge matches. Combat feels faster and is more evenly balanced this time around. Sniper rifles are as powerful as ever, matched by a great selection of assault weapons and light machine guns. Most of the classes can mix and match unlock weapons, though the signature guns are still class-centric. The one major change in the class system is the addition of C4 to the Recon's armory. As a result, Recon has become my go-to for almost every long-range engagement due to its versatility. Engineer is also a great choice because of its anti-armor capabilities, crucial in vehicle-heavy Conquest maps. The multiplayer is so refined and entertaining that it's a shame the campaign wasn't shown the same level of love and attention. The single-player is by no means bad, but when compared against the online component, one has to wonder why DICE even bothers. Battlefield is best when it doesn't try to ape Call of Duty because it offers a unique experience that Call of Duty could only dream of offering. At least the campaign is supplemented by fantastic visuals and audio. The newest incarnation of the Frostbite engine offers beautiful particle effects and enhanced textures and lighting. The audio has also been improved, providing the guns a punchier, clearer sound. In addition, the voice-acting is well done and the ambient battle chatter is pitch perfect. Few shooters are as atmospheric as BF4, and DICE is to be congratulated on a spectacularly beautiful game. Sadly, BF4 is still quite buggy in spots. While this launch has been considerably smoother and more stable than BF3, I've still encountered no less than 3-4 crashes every time I start playing. It seems to be sporadic and server-involved, which means the most important part of the multiplayer desperately needs attention. If the servers are foggy and bugged, BF4 stands to infringe upon the reputation of its best component. All that said, it's still better than any other recent EA launch (especially when compared against SimCity). The bigger issue I have with BF4 has nothing to do with the technical composition. Rather, it's the fact that the game doesn't do much to innovate or change the formula. While the new maps, combat tweaks and visual enhancements are great, the lack of good new game modes and a less-than-stellar campaign have left me wanting. This should have been what BF3 was, yet I have to purchase a brand new game to get the same fundamental experience. The good news is Battlefield isn't an annualized franchise so I don't feel the same franchise fatigue as I might about other popular shooter series. Is BF4 absolutely worth your money? If you enjoy a multiplayer experience unlike anything else on the market and want to show off some snazzy visuals, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Even if you only have a passing interest in shooters, BF4 is the biggest, best thing on the market that isn't ArmA III; few games are as gorgeous, well-thought out or explosive as it. While it might have some technical issues and doesn't do much to rock the boat, it's still a great package in the end. Pros: + Exciting, large-scale combat + Improved single-player campaign + Snazzy production values + It's classic Battlefield Cons: - Campaign is still meh - Technical issues - It's classic Battlefield Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Battlefield 4 is an exciting, intense shooter that does what virtually no other game can. It's unique, explosive and beautiful.
  6. Marcus Estrada

    Humble Origin Bundle is Entirely Unexpected

    The Humble Bundle began as an exciting area to showcase eclectic sets of independent video games a few years back. Since then, many other bundle groups have come out to do the same. In the time since, Humble Bundle have provided less "indie" bundles too alongside others, such as the THQ bundle. They've provided another very un-indie bundle today with the debut of the Humble Origin Bundle. Yes, that's Origin as in EA's digital distribution service and social platform. With this being the case, you can't get any of the games in DRM free versions. For a buck or more you get the following: Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (Windows: Origin, Steam) Crysis 2 Maximum Edition (Windows: Origin, Steam) Dead Space (Windows: Origin, Steam) Dead Space 3 (Windows: Origin) Medal of Honor (Windows: Origin, Steam) Mirror's Edge (Windows: Origin, Steam) Beating the average (currently $4.78) adds two more titles: Battlefield 3 (Windows: Origin) The Sims 3 + Starter Pack (Windows: Origin) And before anyone accuses EA of being money-grubbing monsters, it is worth noting that they will receive none of the funds from this bundle. All proceeds are being donated to a selection of five charities: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Human Rights Campaign, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Watsi.
  7. So, in what I'm assuming is an effort to beat Steam's summer sale to the punch, Amazon is having a big sale on PC digital downloads: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ref=hy-bill-dvg-1&ie=UTF8&docId=1000716161 Some good deals on some good titles here people, so check 'em out! (found on CAG, as usual)
  8. This is a pretty good price...if you can get past the fact that it's on Origin: http://store.origin.com/store/ea/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.273547900 Just throwing it out there for anyone interested, since I know some people were waiting for it to be in the $20-$30 range before buying it.
  9. We're probably all familiar with the infamous "Steam Sales" that come around a few times a year. Sure, there are a great deal of continuous and weekly sales offered through Valve's digital storefront, but it's during those Summer and Winter sales that things really get interesting. Origin, too, has been handling a few sale periods since it launched but to less acclaim. Today is the start of Origin's first Player Appreciation Sale which helps celebrate the 40 million registered Origin users. There are a little over 200 titles on sale (not all of which are EA games). Here are a few of the highlights: Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition - $12 Battlefield 3 Premium - $25 Dead Space 3 - $30 Saints Row the Third: The Full Package - $25 The Walking Dead Season Pass - $10 The main difference between Origin and Steam, aside from respective interfaces, is that this sale also includes physical games. For example, the sale price for Dead Space 3 applies to a PC digital download as well as physical copies on 360, PS3, or PC. Of course, not as many of the deals seem as discounted as Steam is apt to do, so the Player Appreciation Sale is not quite as compelling. Are there any games you're looking to buy thanks to Origin's sale?
  10. Recently, EA apologized to gamers who had been facing problems when simply trying to play their copy of SimCity. Since the game requires users to be connected to the internet for play, the overworked servers were unable to stay up for the launch and even a while afterwards. Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw then let irked users know that they would receive a free game because of their game's issues. Some have been speculating what these free game choices may be but now there's no more need to do so. Here is the official list of games which users may choose one from: Battlefield 3 Bejeweled 3 Dead Space 3 Mass Effect 3 Medal of Honor Warfighter Need for Speed Most Wanted Plants vs. Zombies SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition Those who have registered SimCity should get an email detailing these game choices soon if they haven't already. If you have yet to register your game, then you still have until March 25th to do so and be eligible for a free game. Anyone who has (or will soon) register SimCity had better make up their minds about the free game quickly though as the redemption period ends on March 30th.
  11. Here's one huge rumor that has been going around for a bit. Before SimCity launched, and even after launch, EA and Maxis have continuously stated that a persistent internet connection is a requirement for the game. Specifically, it isn't just for DRM purposes, but that computations integral to the game are carried out on EA's servers. According to Rock Paper Shotgun, they have received word from a "Maxis Insider" who says this is a serious fudging of the truth. Here is some of the exact statement: “The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they“re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they“re not doing anything. I have no idea why they“re claiming otherwise. It“s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I“m clueless.” Gamers are certainly aware that there was a big push of social elements for SimCity, but could that really be the majority of what the servers are handling? If that is the case, then it seems silly to require a game to always be online. Sure, many players love to be socially connected, but there are definitely others who will play the game as "alone" as possible all the same. To solidify this claim, many have tested the game while purposefully losing their internet connection and have found the game to run for a while without it (Notch of Minecraft, for example, as well as popular journalists). As such, it does seem likely that the server is not keeping the main game running, as much as it is checking in to update social information, persistently save world, or make sure the game is legitimate. If it does turn out that EA's statements proclaiming the game needs to be online all the time are purely based around social aspects then many will become angrier than they already are. Do you think things are only going to get worse for EA thanks to this series of SimCity events?
  12. Harrison Lee

    Review: Dead Space 3

    Developer: Visceral Studios Publisher: EA Games Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3 Release Date: February 5, 2013 Rating: M for Mature This review is based on the PC version of the game I really didn't want to write this review. In fact, I was prepared to thrash Dead Space 3 like a Necromorph against a Sprawl citizen. Here was a game that resembled previous entries yet added so many unnecessary features, according to series diehards. Here was a Dead Space game that I was prepared to denounce. After Aliens: Colonial Marines, I was in full "game critic cynic" mode. I expected to tell you that the good in Dead Space 3 was heavily outweighed by the bad design choices. What I'm going to tell you is far different than what I expected. For all of Dead Space 3's minor (and major) missteps, this third horror traipse in space is a great entry in the storied franchise. Even though it lacks some of the legendary scares of the first two games, Dead Space 3 is an adrenaline-induced, panic-riddled thrill ride that's deserving of your time and money. Read on to find out why Visceral and EA's space epic is 2013's first flawed masterpiece. Dead Space 3 starts off with a bang, and not in the right way. Series protagonist Isaac Clarke is still fighting the demons of his past, though with noticeably less hallucinations and violent outbursts. He's been hiding from EarthGov of a populous planet, trying to salvage the relationship he broke with ex-girlfriend Ellie. Isaac, however, is quickly found by EarthGov agents and barely escapes from Unitologist militants intent on killing him. In a series first, the game tasks you with shooting humans instead of the undead nightmares. Oh boy.... Before you cry foul, I'll say this much; the combat against humans is at worst an annoyance. It only pops up in a scant few sequences, such as the opening acts. It never intrudes on the intense experience more than a handful of times and doesn't overstay its welcome. In fact, fighting Unitologists can be a welcome change of pace and a reprieve from the stress of dismembering unimaginable nightmares. With all this said, I'm still not in love with the combat mechanics. Dead Space is a survival horror game, not a Call of Duty title. Combat against living organisms is not a good fit for the franchise. Hopefully, Visceral focuses on what made this series great in the next Dead Space entry. So what of fighting the Necromorphs? Is it as scary and sweat-breaking as Dead Space and Dead Space 2? For the most part, yes. While I never felt under-prepared or truly out of ammo, I was constantly stressed by Necromorphs jumping from vents, crawling on ceilings, and popping out of elevators. It's nothing new but still manages to get your blood pumping in the right way. The Necromorphs are still agile, strong, and require the same dismemberment techniques of past games. When they start pouring out of every crevice and corner, Dead Space 3 really hits its stride. You'll start wondering if you have enough ammo to take on the new enemy variants, as well as the series stand-by terrors. Unfortunately, Dead Space 3 makes Isaac a little too powerful. I felt as though he was often carrying uncharacteristically high amounts of ammo. It feels a lot less frightening when you're walking around with a clip equivalent of 3,000 bullets for a telemetry-spike Gatling gun. Even though you might feel like you're running low on bullets, you'll almost never run out of ammo to fend off the numerous hordes of baddies. Corpses liberally drop clips and the environment is practically brimming with ammunition to grab. If you really find yourself strapped for plasma cutter or SMG rounds, you can always craft new clips. In another series first, Dead Space 3 has added workbenches where you can craft new weapons, swap out parts, upgrade various weapon stats, and build usable items. It's likely my favorite addition to the series as it makes you feel like the engineer Isaac truly is. It also allows you to find personal favorite weapon combinations, like my Evangelizer assault rifle coupled with a scope and electric shock rounds. It's a blast (quite literally) to test out the fantastic weapons Dead Space 3 can proffer. All you need are some resources and weapon parts to get going. In a rather cheeky move, Visceral implemented micro-transactions. These allow you to buy resources and weapon parts with real cash. I'll tell you right off that you'll never need to spend a dollar more to find the most effective weapons. With judicious use of the scavenger bots, you'll find plenty of ration seals, resources, and parts to make all of the gear you'll ever need. While some DLC suits and weapons can only be purchased with cash, I found them entirely trivial to the core experience. The workbench more or less ensures micro-transactions are useless and, at worst, somewhat intrusive on the atmosphere. I spent about 8 hours mucking around in Dead Space 3's campaign and, for the most part, the narrative is well put together. That is, until you reach the ham-fisted conclusion. While I wasn't expecting a superb revelation or particularly shocking ending, I would have appreciated a smoother close out to one of this generation's finest survival horror franchises. As a whole, the campaign shouldn't be played for the story, but rather for the intense action sequences, great set pieces, and stellar weapon customization. The addition of co-op should not be viewed as a negative against Dead Space 3. The two-player affair, while largely featuring the same content as the campaign, offers a few interesting side missions and can be great fun with a friend. While there's little to no survival horror element, I still enjoyed the few shots of fun I took with a buddy. They weren't the best experiences, but they were far from the worst either. Also, the technical design is as strong as ever. While Dead Space 3's visuals aren't the greatest thing I've come across, the art design and breath-taking vistas more than make up for a few shoddy textures here and there. Tau Volantis is positively beautiful and shines in that dead alien planet sort of way. The sound design is also great, with strong atmospheric sound and decent voice-over work. Not surprisingly, the soundtrack is easily the standout audio feature, subtly driving the action forward. Dead Space 3 is a flawed masterpiece. There are so many things it gets right. Yet I can't overlook the major missteps Visceral took along the path. If there weren't microtransactions and a few niggling problems with the narrative, Dead Space 3 would be an absolute must-play. As it is, it's a great experience but not the perfect end to the trilogy one could hope for. Pros: + Great audio and visual design + Exciting combat and weapons customization + Fun co-op that ramps up the action + Oodles of side content Cons: - Microtransactions......why?! - Hammy narrative and plot threads Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Dead Space 3 isn't perfect but it's worthy of your time and money for those who like their horror games action-packed.
  13. Marcus Estrada

    Uplay Gets Non-Ubisoft Titles

    Ubisoft's Uplay is an interesting part of the gaming landscape. It has been the attempt by said company to create a network around their games, as well as offer them as digital downloads. Of course, it isn't anywhere near as popular as Steam, instead seeing EA's Origin as the closest rival. Today it has been announced that Uplay will be getting third-party games, as well as bringing some of their library to Origin. As of right now, games from EA and Warner Bros' catalogs are the headliners. However, many other groups have signed on such as Bohemia Interactive, Nordic Games, Paradox Interactive, Telltale Games, and a handful of others. In exchange for Uplay getting EA games, EA's Origin is getting Ubisoft games too. Of course, in that case, why must multiple web storefronts persist? Oh, because everyone still wants a piece of the action. What reason should those already perfectly happy with Steam or Origin have to check out Uplay? In an attempt to grab more customers, there is currently a promotion underway. If you spend around $20 in their store, they will grant you with a free game. The choice of free digital titles are as follows: Driver: San Francisco Deluxe Edition, From Dust, Might & Magic Heroes VI Deluxe Edition, Rayman Origins, The Settlers 7 Gold Edition, World in Conflict: Complete Edition. The promo runs from right now until March 4th. Do you use Uplay or do you prefer another solution?
  14. Most of us may now have an Origin account but still feel allied with Steam. Earlier this week, they started up a free game promotion to get some more people registering for accounts. Now, something much more impressive is coming. In the latest news post it was announced that Twitch.tv streaming integration will be added in the next update. As the new update rolls out, Origin software users will be able to stream their gameplay sessions live via Twitch. This will be accomplished by starting a game then bringing up the Origin screen. There will be a icon that looks like a camera which is what interested streamers need to click. From there, they will be required to sign into a Twitch account to grant Origin authorization with it. Then you're able to start streaming the game on Twitch. Within Origin you are able to change the stream title as well as adjust gameplay and microphone volume independently. More detailed options include things streaming regulars would expect, such as resolution, framerates, and more. This might not seem like a big deal, but many who have struggled with streaming PC games before will probably be excited. It typically is not so simple to get everything running and adjusted in minutes, which is how long it seems it will take with Origin. When will this update be live? Those who have opted in to Origin beta updates will get it first, as early as this week. The rest of us will be able to check it out a little after that is done. The update also includes the long-awaited ability to add non-Origin games to the program. Expect that these two features will be used in conjunction for a lot of upcoming Twitch streams!
  15. http://store.origin.com/store/ea/en_US/html/pbPage.demos-en_US I know not everyone favorite client. But the game is free through Origin. Just download the client and play the game for free if you like.
  16. If you haven't been following EA and Danger Close's new Medal of Honor game, Warfighter, I totally understand. It's another anti-terrorist modern warfare shooter. Yes, it even has the same general color palettes as most other shooters. Yes, there's also future tech that current and next generation soldiers use. I hear you, but check out this multiplayer video below. You might just be surprised by it: Okay, enough of my hyperbolic speech about how awesome this game looks. What do you guys think? Intrigued? Meh? Don't care? Let me know in the comments below!
  17. What is the future of video game sales? If you ask Electronic Arts, it“s a digital-only library. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz ( Brightman, 2012), EA Labels president Frank Gibeau stated that EA“s “fastest growing segment...is clearly digital and digital services and ultimately Electronic Arts, at some point in the future...we“re going to be a 100% digital company, period.” Hold up, a gaming future where there won“t be any more discs? Is EA absolutely insane? Before we cry foul, EA has assured us that it will not be dropping standard retail services right now. “If customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too. We“ll continue to deliver games in whatever media format makes sense,” said Gibeau. That means all of you lovers of physical game copies can breathe a sigh of relief; your next EA purchase will likely come in a plastic case. The fact remains, however, that EA is still pushing towards a digital services-based future. While many gamers may naysay EA“s efforts, I“d say the company“s decision is completely sound. Take a look at the success of Valve“s digital distribution service, Steam. At any one point in time, more than 3,000,000 users are logged into the popular digital game delivery app. At its core, Steam is meant to be a universal platform for easy, fast, and convenient gaming. You can log in to Steam from your laptop, mobile device, or Mac. Valve has also ensured users are treated well with regular sales including the Steam Daily Deal, Midweek Madness, and seasonal clearances such as the Winter Sale. For frugal gamers, what“s not to like? Given Valve“s commitment to making digital distribution the most viable platform for buying games on PC, just how much has the company made? A report from the Forecasting and Analysing Digital Entertainment group estimated a whopping $1 billion in revenues in 2010. Forbes Magazine estimated Valve took a 30-40% cut of third-party game sales revenue, meaning Valve may have made as much as $400 million in 2010. When questioned about first-party release figures, Valve said profits were roughly comparable to its third-party game sales (Chiang, 2011). Think about it. That means Valve made between $600 million and $800 million almost two years ago, in a company that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Are you seeing the dollar signs in digital distribution? It“s a massive market that hasn“t seen a true competitor to Steam in many, many years. Services like Direct2Drive and Impulse have come along, but Steam still remains the dominant force in digital gaming. Even EA attempted to counter Steam“s success with its own digital service platform, Origin. Though Origin“s success is relatively limited when compared to Steam, it represents a bold move on EA“s part to enter the digital gaming market and, perhaps, the publisher“s first true attempt at making a digital-only future. Now, the most important factor when considering digital distribution is the gaming platform of choice. Where EA“s plan still holds question marks is digital content in relation to game consoles. The disc-based monoliths such as the XBOX 360 and PS3 haven“t been known to cater to digital distribution. User interfaces make sorting through digital game libraries a pain, and most gamers aren“t willing to pay higher prices for the same games they can find cheaper in brick-and-mortar stores. For example, Call of Duty: Black Ops on the XBOX Marketplace is still $49.99 while stores regularly clearance the game as low as $19.99. There“s a disconnect between digital and physical prices, a divide that can“t exist if digital distribution is to thrive. By removing the hard-copy element, EA effectively makes this issue null and void. Only having digital releases means brick-and-mortar stores won“t compete with digital markets by having the lowest prices. EA will also eliminate the need to regulate used game sales, since digital copies can“t be resold once the product key or DRM has been activated. For EA“s digital future to really take hold, I doubt its library will become all-digital until the next generation of consoles. While the PS3 and XBOX offer games on demand, the service is not the simple, convenient form which consumers want. Sorting through lists of digital games is a chore when it“s cheaper just to buy them in-store. Future consoles are under debate as to whether or not they will use disks, and it seems EA has fired its own answer; yes. What does a digital-only library mean for consumers? If EA doesn“t properly reward customers for purchasing their digital content, the consumers will likely stop purchasing EA products. It doesn“t make sense for a consumer to put up with inflated prices or a lack of sales if a company refuses to change its sales policy. For EA, this means the company must adapt. Having sales is one thing, but ensuring the customer experience is smooth and rewarding is paramount to the success of digital distribution. Valve won the PC battle with an easy-to-use, accessible platform that features great rewards for user loyalty. Can EA do the same for consoles with its digital-only future? Sound off: What do you think of EA's decision to go digital? Is it a great idea, a terrible one, or a mixture of the two? Leave your opinion in the comments below!
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