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David DeMartini: At EA We Respect Consumer Choice … Your Choice

akatkin

2011-07-06

I’ve been at EA for 13 years – mostly on the studio side, developing games like March Madness, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and The Godfather. In 2007 I  began leading EA Partners and had the honor of working with marquee studios like Harmonix, Crytek, Insomniac, EPIC, Double Fine Studios, Respawn and Valve. 
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I’ve been at EA for 13 years – mostly on the studio side, developing games like March Madness, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and The Godfather. In 2007 I  began leading EA Partners and had the honor of working with marquee studios like Harmonix, Crytek, Insomniac, EPIC, Double Fine Studios, Respawn and Valve. 

More recently, I was asked to lead EA’s consumer platform, Origin. Origin connects gamers with our franchises across PC and mobile devices. It is the new name of our EA Store, and an application that allows you to download EA games directly to your PC. My new role means that I’m involved in shaping EA’s policies for how players download our online games and services, and we always try to avoid misunderstandings with our players.

Some confusion came up a few weeks ago, when we started seeing stories and forum posts that suggested that EA was in conflict with one of our download partners, and that we had removed our games from that service. This is absolutely not true. I want to make sure our players understand EA’s policy on selling games through our download partners. As such, today we posted our official policy on selling games on third-party download sites, which you can view here.

At EA, we want to bring the best possible content to our players. This was a key factor during my time in EA Partners, where we found great studios and worked to make their games available to as many players as possible. Here at Origin we have the same principle. We want our products available to as many players as possible, which means we make them available in all the places that gamers go to download games and services. To be very clear, except under extremely special circumstances we offer our games to every major download service including Amazon, Gamestop, and Steam.

As you know, games and how they are made have both changed. Today, we continue to extend the experience with new maps, vehicles and other content that adds hours of fun and more value for our players. We also enhance the gaming experience with features like friends lists and in-game chat using the Origin application. Most importantly, we always want to be sure we provide this content and service at the highest possible level of quality. To ensure this, any retailer can sell our games, but we take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players. You are connecting to our servers, and we want to establish on ongoing relationship with you, to continue to give you the best possible gaming experience. This works well for our partnership with Gamestop, Amazon and other online retailers. 

Unfortunately, if we’re not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve. At present, there is only one download service that will not allow this relationship. This is not our choice, and unfortunately it is their customer base that is most impacted by this decision. We are working diligently to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Going forward, EA will continue offering our games to all major download sites. We will also remain committed to providing you, our players, with the best possible content, services, and gaming experience that we can.

 

David DeMartini

SVP, Global E-Commerce

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