What, you thought Steam was going to be free from competition? Think again. Joining the internet-based digital distribution of games platform is Origin, developed by Electronic Arts. Originally branded as EA Download Manager and primarily used to download games released by Electronic Arts (obviously), Origin officially re-branded in June 2011 to join Steam in digitally distributing games in the form of Origin keys, as well as other services.
The game library where Origin keys are available for purchase may be dwarfed by Steam, but it hopes to further expand its database in order to stand toe to toe with its direct competitor. After all, Steam has been operating and providing services for a decade now, compared to Origin. But technically-speaking, Origin has been around since 2005, named then as EA Downloader. With the growing business opportunities to be had with the digital distribution of games, Electronic Arts has officially made itself a full-fledged rival to Steam, not only with game distribution with the use of Origin keys, but with providing all sorts of services that caters to gamers to make their gaming experience more exciting and interactive.
One of the more prevalent differences between Origin and Steam, as mentioned above, is the wide gap with their game libraries. Origin mainly offers games that are published by its parent company, games like the Battlefield and FIFA series. The current list of games available for Origin keys may be small, but it doesn’t mean it is lackluster: the Battlefield series alone is enough to draw a good number of fans to Origin.
Origin is also used by Electronic Arts to hand out expansion packs, patches, and other additional content for the games they published. That means players no longer have to prowl around the internet: everything EA-related is provided by Origin. This is a convenient way for players in making sure their games are always up-to-date and not lagging in the updates department, especially if they are always too busy in multiplayer to notice.
Different from its competitor, Origin gives players more options for socializing. Not in the Facebook and Twitter kind of way that you have in your mind, although it can integrate itself with Facebook and other gaming community networks like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Origin allows players to have their own profile to manage, chat with friends online, and share game libraries. They also have the option to live-stream their games. The live-streaming service is done through TwitchTV, owned by Amazon.com, and players use this platform for anything video game-related such as streaming walkthroughs for those too lazy to read an actual guide.
Origin keys are just similar to any other game keys in terms of purchasing and usage, although an Origin key does not have an expiration date: it’s available forever! Origin, and Origin keys, may not be that popular yet due to its well-established competition, but give it a chance and you’ll find out that it has more to offer!