In advance of the E3 Expo next week, Electronic Arts today officially unveiled Origin, its digital distribution platform first talked about last month during its quarterly earnings call.
Origin is not only the rebranded EA Store, but it will also serve as a standalone application, in which gamers will be able to purchase and download games direct from Electronic Arts.
The website currently has more than 150 EA titles available for digital purchase and download on the PC. Its standalone application is currently in beta, and can be downloaded from the Origin website.
In the months ahead Electronic Arts plans to offer limited editions of games exclusively through Origin, including Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12. You'll also have access to content from EA Partners, including Alice: Madness Returns and 38 Studios' Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Later this year, the digital download for BioWare's upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will be available exclusively on Origin.
“Origin is a game service with two fundamental features,” said David DeMartini, senior vice president of Global Online at EA. “It’s a download service for the very best content from EA and its partners. It also offers a social function which, over time, will connect a player’s profile with friends lists and a cross-platform feed that shows what your friends are playing and where.”
EA plans to offer exclusive deals and limited editions of games purchased through Origin.
Creating your Origin profile today will allow you to create your own community, connecting you with friends so that you can see what they're playing, similarly to Valve's Steam application. "An in-game overlay integrates social and web-browsing features directly into gameplay, with future capabilities to include in-game downloadable content purchases," says EA.
EA promises to also have exclusive game content and trailers available on Origin for their top upcoming games, including Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Madden NFL 12, FIFA 12, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Origin will also be available on mobile, allowing gamers to connect easily with their friends and play EA's smartphone titles like SCRABBLE and the upcoming mobile version of Battlefield 3.
The publisher plans to discuss Origin in great detail during the E3 Expo next week. Their press conference will take place at 12:30PM PST on Monday, June 6, 2011.