OCT. 28, 2011 • Electronic Arts announced that it had signed agreements with Capcom Ent., THQ, and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. to distribute their game content on the Electronic Arts Origin digital platform. To date, 6 million consumers had downloaded the client for the direct distribution service.
Impact: The battle to compete with Steam in digital distribution is just getting started. Origin is one of many would be competitors, but Electronic Arts already has an advantage because of its existing pool of customers that use EA products. On the other hand, long term it may be hard for a company to act as both a distributor of content and a publisher of content. There is an inherent conflict of interest when a company is distributing products from its competitors. However, this conflict of interest is also true for Steam as Valve basically started it as a way to distribute their own products. Most successful products have several distribution channels and it is unusual for a service like Steam to have such strong market share. This market share has nowhere to go but down, however, as more services like Origin spring up.