Is Steam losing its steam?
Ah Steam, how I adore your service. And I am not alone in doing so, as more than 40 million users over the past decade can attest.
Steam once was an unheard of business that has gone on to be simply the juggernaut form of distribution as a simple one-stop shop for games. Steam though is now in danger of other companies who are dangerously close to usurping the throne. Steam has always been classy for displaying the top titles of the time in the same market as completely unknown indie games, but what is a distributor to do when top companies simply don’t sell the game through it?
Steam’s current top contender for distribution sales is EAs Origin store and it has gained this status in two ways. First, by being an exclusively licensed store for EAs top titles, it can provide games that Steam simply cannot – most notably this year Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Even though the current user count would pose a different story – with Steam having over 40 million and Origin having only 9.5 million – it has to be taken into consideration that Origin built that user-base in just over a year while Steam has been around for over a decade.
While EA has gone on record to say that they won’t be making games only for Origin, they still seem to be using it to as a means to cut off other distributors leading to the possible rise of Origin over Steam for gamers to have access to top-notch titles. Some gamers may taste a bit of sickness in their mouth at the thought of EA completely nudging out the competitors simply by methods, it seems that it will be a continuing trend as the next major EA title – Crysis 3 – is an Origin exclusive as well.