If you’ve been paying attention to the EA / Steam battle, you could have guessed that Mass Effect 3 wasn’t going to be on Steam, regardless of the fact that Mass Effect 1 and 2 are currently available. If you were really in tune to the situation, you would have also guessed that Mass Effect 3 would require Origin to play on the PC. Bioware has confirmed both facts over the weekend, explicitly stating that Origin will be required even if you buy a boxed copy and that it wouldn’t be available on Steam “at this time.”
While both of those things are true of BF3, and did cause some outrage, it didn’t seem to hurt the game’s sales or popularity online, and I suspect a similar outcome for Mass Effect 3. Both games are high profile with a large following, and even though the Origin requirement will cause complaints, the number of players boycotting the game due to this alone will be low.
Origin still feels clunky even months after its wide scale debut with BF3, still calls itself a beta in its window title bar, and still shows me games that have permanently expired like the BF3 alpha and beta tests. At this point, it’s added no value for me and only serves as EA’s latest attempt at always-on DRM that just so happens to come bundled with a game store and a friends list. What’s your opinion of Origin after you’ve been using it (or not) for the past few months?