EA have revealed via Twitter that the highly-anticipated sequel to 2005’s Battlefield to will not be available on Valve’s service. The game will be available at retail stores and from many of the other online distribution services, including EA’s own Origin service.
The friction between the top publisher and the popular digital distributor was first revealed back in June when the shooter Crysis 2 was removed from the Steam service. EA subsequently issued a statement that said that the removal was not an EA decision or the result of any action by EA. Apparently, the withdrawal of the game was due to a conflicting agreement that the Crysis 2 developer, Crytek, had made with another online distributor.
At the end of last month EA’s fantasy RPG Dragon Age 2 was also removed from the Steam service. At the time, EA's senior vice president of global e-commerce, David DeMartini, said Dragon Age 2 had fallen foul of Steam’s ‘restrictive terms of service’. The problem was due the way Dragon Age 2 handled DLC in-game rather than via the Steam store. Apparently it was Valve who removed the game and not EA.
EA have explained the situation to fans via an announcement on their forum. They also reveal that they do hope to work out an agreement with Valve to allow Battlefield 3 to be made available for purchase on Steam.
Steam hosts games from all the major publishers including Activision – who are very corporate-minded – without issue.
The tussle over the distribution of EA’s triple-A games on the Steam service coincidentally ties in with the recent launch of EA’s own digital distribution service, Origin. For the sake of both party’s customers, hopefully this situation will be resolved soon.
Battlefield 3 will be available on Xbox360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on October 27.