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EA gets serious about game discounts with new Origin promotion
EA gets serious about game discounts with new Origin promotion
March 27, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Newsbrief: Electronic Arts launched its new On The House initiative today in an effort to garner goodwill by offering select games for free via the company's Origin digital distribution platform.

Dead Space is the inaugural offering -- the standard edition of the game, which typically costs about $20, is available on Origin for zero dollars until Thursday, May 8.

It's a canny move to promote the Origin service by tapping the strength of EA's game catalog, though the company is being cagey about how it will continue to do so going forward -- "On the House specials can appear and disappear at any time" according to the On The House fact page.

Gamasutra has reached out to representatives of EA for more details on the program and whether games not published or developed by EA will ever be featured.

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Ron Dippold
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It's a fairly smart loss leader move because you can get Dead Space for $5 elsewhere (very few people should be actually buying it at $20), and then maybe you'll buy Dead Space 2 and then Dead Space 3.

There aren't a lot of games on Origin - 184, and half of those are alternate SKUs (X + X Deluxe). But at one a month they could do the old stuff for quite a while.

Josh Riley
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Yeah, and it's especially easy for them to do since it was in the EA Humble Bundle, where almost anyone with interest in it has already picked it up.

Kyle Redd
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And in the process, they further expose their own hypocrisy referring to deep game discounts as "cheapening IP." You can't get any cheaper than free.

Bob Johnson
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All consumers want is for EA to become games craftsmen.

Alfa Etizado
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They aren't extending this to Brazilian Origin so far. Can't see a proper reason beyond not caring.

Alex Covic
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Having seen Paul Barnett recently on the Giantbomb GDC week stream, I start to feel bad for the people at EA. Whatever they are trying to do, there will be the usual backlash from parts of the public and some 'media'?

The same kids who gladly take the free/cheap stuff they get from EA on GOG, Humble or Origins, feel no ethical conflict to talk s**t about EA, just because everybody is doing it?

John Riccitiello did many things right (or he tried to), but had no time left to succeed?

Experimenting with IP's, marketing and pricing these days should be allowed for every company without the certain type of comments on those infamous forum threads... in my humble opinion.

Dane MacMahon
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It's hard to turn around a reputation, good or bad. Valve have done some pretty sketchy things the past few years in my opinion but it's not easy to fall out of love either.

EA's reputation will eventually come around if they slave away towards that goal for a while. Whether they will or not, who knows. I know they keep doing deals for exclusivity and such, which doesn't make anyone happy. "You can't play Peggle 2 on PC yet... BECAUSE!"

Carter Gabriel
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Valve has deinitely done some awful things. It is unfortune that steam fanboys have a "valve can do no wrong" attitude even in the face of being flaunted with scams.

It is sad when a company lacks the integrity to refuse to sell scams. It is sheer greed when they put said scams on the front page for months, alongside a ridiculous no refunds policy.

War Z anyone? Still being sold. And even after caught scamming people, it ended back up on the frontpage for months. This is one, among many greedy evils.

Still, they can do no wrong! Even when they steal peoples money. Fortunately for at least european citizens, laws protect them and force refunds out of their ugly grasps. Unfortunatr for the rest of the world :/

With EA, at least they don't sell broken games and advertise scams. As awful as they can be, they are more likely to screw over fans of a genre than consumers.

Ron Dippold
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I think as long as you have EA execs saying things like
y-launch-efforts-discusses-future/ they are going to have an image problem.

It's going to take a while of no BF4s and no SimCity-s till the jokes stop. It's all self inflicted. It took about a year for people to stop making cracks about Ubisoft's always on copy protection.

Now for the individual employees working at EA who're doing great jobs on great projects but have to cringe every time someone rags on the company in a forum or when a stupid exec won't shut the hell up, yeah, I feel for them.

Carter Gabriel
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Oh yea... I forgot about SimCity... nevermind about my above comment on EA lol

Garry Grossmann
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Sorry, but you can't possibly be serious.
Broken games on launch (defo not just BF4), broken PC ports, non-functional protection (expiring CD-keys, problems with the network), ruined franchises (Mass Effect, Dead Space, Need For Speed, Medal of Honor and more), idiotic advertisement methods (Dante's Inferno, Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed and others), banning people in-game for posting any form of criticism on the official forums, giving away account information over a phone (caused a massive wave of stolen LIVE account two years ago) and so much more.
And what are their free-to-play games on mobile of not scam. Those games are designed from bottom up to pull money away from people.

Valve has had their hiccups, no denying that, but EA's campaign over the past few years has been one of constant disappointment, controversy and complete lack of interest in the wellbeing of the industry.

Kai Boernert
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Well this might be a smart move, to increase the spread of the origin platform,
but I guess they would sell much more, if it weren't for them forcing the use of origin.

David Paris
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Seems like a fine move for them.

They trade an old product that isn't netting them anything at the moment, for a bit of exposure and potential Origin users, which in turn raises the chance that someone will buy something current and valuable.

As customers, we become slightly more aware of Origin (which most of us probably already have, but basically ignore), and occasionally might pick up some old title that we like but wouldn't otherwise have paid for because it has already fallen off the radar.

Good for everyone.

William Johnson
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Its weird that Dead Space is not listed as a Deal or Free Game on Origin. You have to actually look for Dead Space to get it for free. If this is suppose to push adoption of Origin, EA is doing a great job to make sure no one knows about it.