Electronic Arts / BioWare announced today that Mass Effect 3 will not be launching on the wildly popular digital distribution service “Steam”, citing overly restrictive terms of service as the lynchpin behind their decision.
This will mark the second major release from EA, in a row, which has skipped Steam.
Of course this announcement was just the laxative needed to unleash a shit storm in the BioWare forums, with users complaining about data collection, spyware, bloatware, the “always on” connection, etc…
Because, you know, the sky is falling.
Anyway, here’s what BW had to say about the steam issue:
“During initial release Mass Effect 3 will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers, but not on Steam at this time. Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.”
And, of course, their canned response regarding the Origin client being spyware, in reply to the canned accusations of spyware…
“Origin is not spyware, and does not use or install spyware on user’s machines. In order to allow Origin to install games and their patches for everyone to use, Origin implements a permission change that results in Windows, not Origin, reviewing the filenames in the ProgramData/Origin folder. This is an ordinary Windows function, not an information-gathering process.”
So for all of you Steam users out there, it looks like your choices are going to be pretty limited for a digital release…personally, I couldn’t care less where I get it.