Rivals to Steam

Update: it was apparently Valve who removed Crysis 2 from Steam, due to some disagreement over their contract..

Today I see a number of posts on the web announcing that Crysis 2 has been pulled from Steam as EA begin to push their digital distribution store, Origin.  The Star Wars game and  Alice: Madness Returns are also to be ‘Origin exclusives’.. so we can only assume that other games will follow suit.

I like Steam.

I have easy access to my games library, I get automatic updates.. the Steam overlay allows me to talk to friends, invite them to my game or join theirs, without having to stop playing or mess around trying to find a server that we can all get on.  Steam is not without problems, most notably when a new game is released and the servers just can’t cope.. so I like having a few games that don’t rely on it to run.. but that’s all I want.

I picked up Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 from the EA store because of a 50% discount, and in order to have a few games that don’t rely on Steam, and then reluctantly installed Origin.. but now I wonder how long it’ll be before these games will require Origin.  I also have Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2, bought on Steam, but if Origin doesn’t fall on its face I guess I’ll soon need to add them there too, if I want to receive updates.

My friends play these games, so I know they’ll also be forced to install and run Origin.. but what when the next publisher decides they want in on the act?  A client per publisher?  Eww.

I don’t want to run multiple clients to do the job that one is doing now.

It’s going to mean hassle adding the same people to my friends list, hoping I’ll still be able to chat and invite them to games as easily as I can now.  I don’t really want to be forced into  advertising the latest new client at my friends: “Hey, I bought a game off this company, go and sign up to their website and forum, get loads of annoying emails, download their client, add me to yet another list.. then we can play”.

I can only hope that I’ll still be able to add games to Steam as “Non-Steam games”, at least allowing me access to the overlay so I can still talk to people who refuse to install all the clients I guess I’m going to be stuck with.

What about clients that nobody else installs?  A while ago, I was introduced to Green Man Gaming, another digital retailer.  I was given a free game, which is why I consented to downloading their gaming client, Capsule.  I have launched this client only a handful of times.. I don’t think I’ve even reinstalled it since reinstalling Windows.   I’ve not even bought a single game from them despite the fact that they allow you to sell back your games for credit, and despite the fact they have offers on from time to time.. my friends are on Steam, the majority of my games are on Steam, so I find myself barely thinking about Green Man Gaming and Capsule, let alone running it.


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