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EA Wants Origin To Be The 'HBO Meets Netflix' Of Gaming
EA Wants Origin To Be The 'HBO Meets Netflix' Of Gaming
July 27, 2011 | By Mike Rose

As part of a Gamasutra-attended conference call, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello stated that the company's own digital gaming platform Origin has seen "similar revenues" when comparing sales of EA games on Steam.

Riccitiello said that the company is now watching the service's margins compared to its competitor's. "We're seeing good uptake," he said. "By way of comparision, when we've had good success on Steam and then the same title on Origin, we see similar revenues to a service that is much more mature and of higher scale at this point in time."

"So we're seeing good revenue flowthrough on Origin. And of course that's a good thing, since we capture virtually 100 percent margins there," he noted.

"I think the most important issue to us is watching how this thing scales," he continued. "Obviously margins are going to be very, very important, but it's going to be how many we have, how frequently they use it, and how much they spend when they use it."

The EA boss admitted that the company has been closely monitoring Origin's stability, especially during big events, but said that the platform has proven very stable.

"The first issue was whether this was going to stand up to traffic," he explained. "A lot of folks put out platforms and they don't work -- they fall from pressure."

"[During] the Star Wars preorder program through Origin, the platform was very stable, up 99.99-something percent, so at least in terms of its stability we feel great about it."

"What I was hoping for when we introduced it last month was to get through the preorder launch of Star Wars without falling over," he admitted. "And I know that might sound like a low bar, but that was actually a very important issue for a very complicated system that underlies Origin. And the team nailed that with flying colors."

Discussing third-party developers on Origin, Riccitiello explained, "We've had a lot of inbound inquiry about getting on. I think forward-looking publishers really want their content on any and every platform possible. One more sale is better than not."

"By way of example, even though we have Origin, we are pushing EA content digitally on any and every e-tailer platform we can," he noted.

"And in fact just this morning we were talking to the guys at GameStop, I was personally talking to them about just that. They're great partners for us... we love what we're getting with Origin."

He concluded, "We hope to be HBO meets Netflix for gaming. But we're also very keen to have our content distributed to anywhere and everywhere gamers are."

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Aaron Truehitt
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Does that mean every Motel is going to have Origin?

Eric McQuiggan
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I want Origin to be the "Origin Systems" of games.

c anderson
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Of course they want to be the HBO; they want a monthly fee from their users.

Philip Michael Norris
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Interesting point; can't be far from the truth.

Matthew Mouras
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We'll see. Star Wars will certainly pull in a large number of new users, but beyond that? I know I'm personally too invested in Steam to consider Origin for much more than the occasional purchase. I wonder how Origin will treat indies? Will they be as approachable as Steam?

Agreed with Eric's comment above!

Jesse Tucker
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Charging $5 extra for a digital preorder of Star Wars: TOR is a great way for EA to help people understand exactly what Origin is all about.

Andrew Egelhofer
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Yup - just a picture of things to come. I don't want to turn this into an origin vs steam debate, but when you pre-order something on steam (most of the time) they discount the price! At origin im paying the full price, plus 5$.

Christian Schmidt
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May want to double check your invoice. The retail price was reduced by $5 before the $5 was charged. ie: $54.99 + $5 = $59.99, not $64.99.

Andrew Egelhofer
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Okay, but im still paying for full price. The 5$ for the online fee is about the same as the car dealership charging me for the undercoat (seinfeld joke).

Brian Roberts
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between SwTor, EASports, Battlefield/Sims/MassEffect, (but mainly just sports + TOR) This could happen. They want to integrate games with socializing...i could see it, but its definitely a reach. (EA has the money to try though, if it works they make bank. If not, they won't lose much)

Neeraj Kumar
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It will be interesting if EA will bring cross platform features with origin.

Matt Cratty
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I hear the words but I also know the track record.

I'll bet on Valve over EA every time.