EA And Steam Are Getting Back Together

Apex Legends coming to Steam

Starting with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, EA games will begin returning to Steam for the first time since 2011. EA characterizes the reunion as a partnership between them and Valve. And the partnership doesn’t focus only on individual games. EA Access, the subscription service on Xbox One and PS4, is also coming to Steam next spring.

Bringing EA Access to Steam is an important distinction from EA’s other PC subscription offerings. Origin Access and Origin Access Premiere include third-party games, while EA Access only offers games published by EA. It makes sense. I doubt third-party publishers were keen on a subscription service offering games they already sell on Steam.

We don’t know the exact games coming to Steam’s version of EA Access, but it’s likely to include the current slate of Vault games. Expect a whole lot of Battlefield, Madden, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, Mirror’s Edge, and more.

While Jedi: Fallen Order is the first coming to Steam, don’t sleep on Battlefront II when it hits via EA Access next spring. After the loot box debacle at launch, the folks behind Battlefront II have turned it into a fun shooter.

EA’s other big games, including Apex Legends, FIFA 2020, Battlefield V, Unravel Two, and The Sims 4 are all coming to Steam next year.

Adding EA Access to Steam is a notable move. It’ll be the first subscription service of its kind to hit Steam. And probably the only one for a while. Ubisoft and Xbox are the only other subscription services that I could see remotely coming over. But not anytime soon. Microsoft is cool with putting games like Halo and Gears on Steam, but I doubt they feel the same way about Game Pass. And Ubisoft and Epic are teaming up with new releases on Ubisoft’s end.

A GameIndustry.biz article takes a deeper dive into the news with comments from EA Senior VP Mike Blank. One of the main takeaways is EA wants to take a more open approach to PC gaming. For years, EA has been in there own little walled garden. This new deal with Valve aims to change that.

As for EA’s future? Their just-released quarterly results tell us they will continue focusing on “live services” and “our core franchises.”

From EA COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen:

“Looking ahead, we are doubling down on live services combined with our core franchises. We’re investing in games that people play for longer and engage with much more deeply. This focus will continue to drive growth and profitability for the company through the remainder of this year and beyond.” 

Cool, now bring Battlefield back to a modern setting, please.

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