Electronic Arts has followed its claim that Steam "expelled" the EA-published Crysis 2 with an explanation that some EA games will not be available over Steam, the leading PC download service, because of a dispute over how they are patched and updated. This comes, of course, a month after EA opened Origin, its own digital download service.
"We always want to be sure we provide this content and service at the highest possible level of quality. To ensure this, any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players," wrote David DeMartini, Electronic Arts' senior vice president of global E-commerce. "Unfortunately, if we're not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve."
DeMartini said that this arrangement was suitable in EA's partnerships with GameStop, Amazon "and other online retailers," but implied that it was unworkable "under extremely special circumstances," implying such circumstances were conditions set by Steam.
DeMartini added that, except under those circumstances "We offer our games to every major download service, including Amazon, Gamestop, and Steam."
In mid-June, Crysis 2 went missing from Steam, though it was available on other download services, including Origin. EA insisted that Steam's "business terms" forced Crysis 2's removal, adding that "Crytek has an agreement with another download service which violates the new rules from Steam and resulted in its expulsion of Crysis II from Steam." While unspecified at the time, taken with DeMartini's comments it sounds like a conflict over post-release support and its approval.
David DeMartini: At EA We Respect Consumer Choice ... Your Choice [Electronic Arts]