Mass Effect 3 will be tied to Origin

— 9:32 AM on January 19, 2012

You know what I love? When a game distribution service makes me download and run an installer every time it needs to update. I love it when that service goes down after a patch for a popular game comes out. And you know what? I love it when major, triple-A titles force me to use that service.

That's why I'm so chipper this morning. You see, according to Bioware's Chris Priestly, Origin will be "required for the PC versions of Mass Effect 3, both physical and digital." I was excited about Mass Effect 3 before, but now?

Priestly adds that, though Mass Effect 3 will be released through certain third-party digital retailers, it won't be available through Steam "at this time." He explains, "Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game."

I know where he's coming from. Playing Battlefield 3 over the past few months, I've found that Origin, coupled with EA's Battlelog social gaming service, is leaps and bounds better than anything Steam can pull off. The few times my friends and I managed to connect to the same server, the experience was fantastic. When they rolled out that BF3 patch and Origin ground to a halt? Absolute brilliance—teasing us with expectations of bug fixes and fewer crashes, only to make post-installation play more intense.

Valve, you've been put on notice. If you don't get your act together and become more like Origin, more games will slip through your grasp.

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