We're still lacking a formal announcement from either EA or Valve, but the evidence does seem to be piling up. Develop says an "unnamed executive" at GameStop has now confirmed Battlefield 3 won't be available on Steam.
The executive reportedly told research firm Baird that Battlefield 3 will be offered through GameStop's own digital delivery service, as well as other Steam competitors. That bombshell was apparently dropped during a meeting between Baird and GameStop management, so it would appear to hold a little more water than an anonymous report—or the EA information page that mysteriously vanished earlier this month.
Develop says Baird commented on the situation: "Given Steam's dominance – and insistence on users downloading a Steam client application – publishers are likely to be receptive to a competitive alternative."
It's true Steam has become a sort of 800-lb gorilla in the digital distribution world, but the timing of this development suggests EA is simply trying to push Origin, its own, freshly rebranded service that's really no better from a user's standpoint. Whether users ultimately benefit from greater competition between digital distribution services remains to be seen, but right now, I'm not looking forward to being stuck with Origin for Battlefield 3.