After making Origin mandatory for the BF3 alpha test, EA isn’t letting up on the Origin hard sell. They know they have a valuable piece of content that can make or break Origin and they’re pulling out all of the tricks. First off, if your pre-order BF3 through Origin, you’ll get all the “Back to Karkand” DLC for free, which is no big deal, since that’s true of everywhere else that is selling the game. To sweeten the deal, they are giving early access to the beta in September. No exact word on how early “early” is, but it’s dangled out there. If that’s not enough, they are guaranteeing you can pre-load the game so you can play the game the second it becomes available and are also throwing in some Battlefield Play4Free items as well. The final icing on the cake is that those who were alpha testers can also get a free game with their BF3 pre-order and can choose from Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2 or Medal of Honor. Short of coming to your house and cooking you dinner, EA is throwing everything possible to make Origin the place to get BF3.
Obviously, all this is a smart move for EA, who is desperate to get Origin off the ground and help put a few dents in Steam’s armor. It also provides them a marketplace that they control so that they don’t have to play by Valve’s rules and also not share a cut of the profits of games sold on Steam. My experience with Origin so far isn’t that great; the interface is clunky and at time feels sluggish — but the same could have been said when Steam first hit the market. Time will tell if Origin will gain a significant market, but considering the size of EA and the number of games they publish, it’s a safe bet that Origin will be hanging around for a while. It can’t be any worse than the Games for Windows Live Marketplace, can it?
Where are you planning to purchase BF3? Has Origin offered a sweet enough deal for you to give it a shot, or will you look elsewhere?