An important part of whether a game sells well or not is the reviews and general feel it gets from the public post-launch. If it’s met with critical acclaim many will flock to shops to pick it up and if it’s not, it’s dead in the water. Origin senior vice president David DeMartini see’s how important game ratings are and wants everything from their game titles to the Origin download platform to have a Metacritic rating of 90-plus, the publisher certainly not aiming low anyway.
Talking with MCVUK recently, DeMartini had a lot to say, even going as far to compare Steam to MySpace and Origin to Facebook, he went on to say, “EA is in a really interesting place. We have this bar that is set so high, so that whether it is any of our games or services, we want to be 90-plus Metacritic at everything. Origin is moving in that direction. We are not there yet. We understand that. But we are going to get there soon.” With Origin having many features that Steam can’t compete with, there is a lot of truth behind what’s been said. The service offers faster download speed and better integrated customer support, which are major factors.
Both DeMartini and Peter Moore have stated, Origin needs more time to evolve as rival service Steam did, DeMartini says:
If 12 months ago you would tell me we’d be in the conversation, I would have been pretty happy. And when you look at the fact that over 12m people have downloaded Origin, we have over 50 partners that have flocked to the service in less than 12 months, and we did over $150m in revenue, which represented 400 per cent growth over the previous year – those numbers show we are making huge progress.
Just like any rivalry, words were said and it has become somewhat heated between Origin and Steam, with Valve main man Gabe Newell saying EA’s client service hasn’t achieved anything that will cause them concern. DeMartini responded saying,
Gabe was quick to point out in the first time he ever spoke about Origin publicly that he didn’t think we’d achieved that yet. I would agree with that we’re on a path of constant improvement. I didn’t expect to be able to out-feature Steam within the first 12 months. But I’m quite optimistic we will differentiate ourselves as a service. We’ve built the foundation and now we are starting to add value to the service off of that foundation.
As for the 90 plus Metacritic comment, they might be aiming a little too high, Metacritic is a very honest review site (to some people) and if you have a game or any product with a 90-plus score, it’s the equivalent of a 2-tonne diamond found in a gold mine full of trillion-dollar bills, just take Call of Duty for an example. One thing is for sure, Origin is growing and in the future Steam does have a lot to worry about.