EA finally launched their rumored eStore and while the idea is novel, it won’t do much good for people outside of various territories. I figured I’d give it a try and going to the site provided by the press release takes me to the Japanese store that is in Japanese with no way to get to the U.S. version of the store. On top of that, the Japanese store is the same store it’s always been, but under a new URL.

If they think they’re going to compete with Steam like this, then they’re mistaken. The one great thing about Steam is that it doesn’t do anything like IP checks. Someone can purchase software from pretty much any country and with any credit card. I’ve yet to have any problems with this. I’m not saying they’ll fail or anything like that, but it does create a barrier of entry for some people. And, just to be clear, IP checks are evil.


From the press release:

    Electronic Arts (EA) Inc. announced today the launch of Origin™, EA’s direct-to-consumer gaming platform. Available today at www.origin.com, Origin is where gamers can go to find, purchase and download all the best content from EA. More than 150 games are currently available on Origin, and in the months ahead, Origin will be the place to purchase and download exclusive limited edition copies of highly-anticipated EA games, including Battlefield 3™ and FIFA 12, as well as content from EA Partners including Alice: Madness Returns™ and 38 Studios’ Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning™. Later this year, digital downloads of Star Wars ™: The Old Republic ™ will be available exclusively on Origin.

    Also launching today is the Origin beta application. Available for download at www.origin.com, the Origin beta is a desktop application that will be users’ direct connection to the best content from EA and offer the ability to create and manage a personal community of gamers. Through the Origin beta application, users will be able to find and connect with friends, see what they are playing, and digitally download and play PC games straight from EA.

    By visiting Origin.com today, users can set up an Origin profile, download the Origin beta application, and begin browsing titles available now or pre-order upcoming games. In addition, exclusive game content and trailers for upcoming EA titles will also be available on Origin, including Mass Effect™ 3, FIFA 12, SSX™, Madden NFL 12, Need for Speed™ The Run, Star Wars: The Old Republic , The Sims™ 3 and Battlefield 3.

    “Origin is a game service with two fundamental features,” said David DeMartini, senior vice president of Global Online at EA. “It’s a download service for the very best content from EA and its partners. It also offers a social function which, over time, will connect a player’s profile with friends lists and a cross-platform feed that shows what your friends are playing and where.”

    “We’re committed to offering consumers direct access to great content and community in a way they have never experienced before,” said EA CEO John Riccitiello. “Today we’re launching Origin.com and the Origin beta application. Over time, Origin will grow with new functionality and unique new content that consumers can’t get anywhere else.”