Eager to monetize each of their product in every possible way, EA launched a download platform similar to Steam but bearing only their homemade products. Known as Origin, the product is just another barrier for the player in his attempts of installing and playing a game.
We stumbled upon this manager when we wanted to get our hands on the Mass Effect 3 demo. It was required in order to run the free demo on our computer. I have nothing against exclusivity, but Origin is an annoying service.
If you wondered where EA Download Manager has disappeared to, you’ll be happy to know that it is now known as Origin. For any new EA release, Origin is the place where you should stop at, as it acts as a catalogue and store for their new titles. Sadly, older games are not always available, which is a bit of a missed mark on EAs part. If you are looking for deals you might want to go elsewhere, as pricing is usually the same as in retail stores, although there are occasionally bargains to be found.
In terms of functionality, the service is slower than Steam and it suffers from an unfinished interface which makes the user facing problems in browsing the service. One great feature is the ability to play some streaming demos in your web browser through the GaiKai service, so you can try before you buy. But forget the big titles.
If you only care about finding EA games then Origin is all you could wish for. While streaming demos are very convenient, Origin is far from a one-stop shop, even for EA’s catalogue, as older games are not always available. Origin is certainly good at what it does, but doesn’t do enough to be the only game manager you will ever need due to its forced exclusivity only on EA games.