First Experience With Origin

As everyone is doubtless aware, EA is trying to foist Origin, its new buy-and-download service, upon the gaming consumer. It’s essentially a counterpart to Steam, with a lightweight client that runs in the background and through which you can chat and download and install your games. And buy new ones, of course, through the Origin store.

But here’s the rub: I (for example) have 4 EA games. Well, more than that, but I have 4 games that are well and duly registered through the EA website and all that business. But even though I am running Origin through the same account, none of them were available there. This is something that should have happened seamlessly on the EA end, as far as I’m concerned.

Now, I tried the obvious trick of dropping the CD codes into Origin to see whether they would take or not. Of those, Mass Effect 2 and IDragon Age: Origins took, and are now sitting happily in Orign’s “My Games” tab. And I’m currently downloading ME2 for an eventual replay.

The fellow I got in EA’s live support chat was helpful enough – he was able to generate a code for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and get that showing up as well. But no luck on Mass Effect. Evidently it’s an issue because it’s an older title and they’re unable to generate a secondary code for it at this time. He told me it’s being worked on, though, so I’m actually happy enough with the end result, provided that it does eventually get fixed.

As I say, though, making the games that the customer had already bought and which are already registered to the EA account usable in Origin is something EA really should have thought of. I shouldn’t have to fish old boxes out of the closet to look up codes. What if Mass Effect had been the only registered EA game I’d had? Then I’d have felt ill-used by that answer, and disinclined to purchase other stuff through Origin, since EA wasn’t able to give me good support for the title I already owned. And why can’t I buy ME2 DLC through Origin?

From a software standpoint Origin seems to work fairly well; I’ve used it only a little but I see no major issues and it runs lightweight enough to not bother me when I’m actually playing. But from the service end the operation seems a bit half-baked. I’m not swearing the thing off or anything (it is still a beta,) but it seems to me that these kinds of things should have been ironed out in alpha.


2 responses to “First Experience With Origin

  1. Well, now I know what’s going on with Mass Effect. Hopefully, I won’t have to nuke my hard disks until after that gets fixed. (Or hopefully EA is letting Steam still allow folks to download it from them until they do.)

    Now, from what I understand, ME2’s DLC is actually handled directly through Bioware, and not EA, since you buy them with Bioware points, Xbox Live Points, or PSN Store purchases. I would be shocked if the PC version of ME3 didn’t work through Origin, though.

    Long run, I think Origin won’t be as big an issue as some folks may (want to) think. That being said, yeah, it’s annoying to have to work through all this alpha and beta stuff before then.

  2. Each and every one of EA download service, Origin being like the 4th incarnation so far, are always ‘half-baked’ like you encountered.

    You think they’d be able to get it right by now. I mean, if your exploiting the consumers and ruining the industry you’d think they could put enough effort into improving their own service.

    Oh wait, its EA.