Imagine a thing that’s great. Awesome, even. Now imagine an agent that works to damper that, to make it worse, to totally destroy its goodness, like rain on your wedding day or a free ride when you’ve already paid. I’ve talked about how digital distribution was the magnificent future of video gaming, in which new games could be acquired on Day One without needing to visit a Large Room Full Of Boxes. On impulse, I decided that I should buy Star Wars: The Old Republic, because our good pal Rob recommended it, and since I could only acquire it digitally through EA’s “new” Origin download service, I figured that was a good start. Little did I realize what sort of hazy wormhole I’d have to trip through in order to acquire the game I paid for.
Step One: Go to Star Wars: The Old Republic web site to buy the game digitally.
I googled “Star Wars: The Old Republic” and wound up on the game’s official site where it gave me an option to buy the game online for the full retail price of $59.99. Whatever. It directed me to EA’s Origin service because you can’t buy it on a service that’s actually decent, like Steam.
Step Two: Go to EA’s Origin site to actually buy the game digitally.
Step Three: Create account on EA’s Origin.
Put in your e-mail, then fill a long form out (worthy of government tax purposes) with my address and credit card info to purchase the game.
Step Four: Already have an account on EA’s Origin, return to long form which is now completely devoid of the information you just filled in.
Step Five: Fill out all your information again and purchase the game.
Step Six: Pretend I’m clever and download EA’s Origin client, setting up my Crazy Profile! so my friends can find me and hook up with all my Origin-enabled games!
Okay, so I just bought the game, and it’s tied to my Origin account, so I should just see it in the Origin client and download it, right?
Step Seven: Nope, it’s not in there. Grab the code from your order confirmation page and insert it in EA’s Origin client under “Redeem Code”.
Makes sense, right.
Step Eight: No again! You can’t redeem this code here! You have to go to swtor.com/You’reAnIdiotForThinkingItWouldBeThisSimple SinceElectronicArtsMakesBothThisGameAndTheOriginService.
Rock on, so you go there…
Step Nine: Paste That Code Into The Site It Needs To Go Into!
Yes! Download right around the corner!
Step Ten: Create YET ANOTHER account that says it’s an EA/Origin account, but you can’t actually use your EA/Origin account!
Remember that long form? YET AGAIN!
Step Eleven: Resolve an elaborate amount of security options because your account will probably be hacked by Chinese farmers.
It’s cool that they learned this from World of Warcraft, but c’mon now.
Step Twelve: Finally Get A Download Link And Start Downloading The Game!
Yes! Finally! As of now, it’s still downloading and I doubt I’ll even start to play the game tonight, but I didn’t need to spend half an hour just buying the stupid game in the store.
Step Thirteen: Never Use EA’s Origin again.