Origin

Interface for using the gaming giant's online community

4.8

967 Votes

  • Category Various Utilities
  • License Free
  • Version 9.12.2
  • Size 31.40 MB
  • Works under Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
  • Language English
  • Program by Electronic Arts

EA Origin is Electronic Arts's gaming platform, designed to keep all of a player's games in one place and improve them with extra features.

Origin is fast and easy to install, and equally easy to use. After installing the application, any given user is brought to its main hub, where games are displayed side-by-side, cover-by-cover, and can be launched with (generally) minimal fuss. Buying games is also easy, and the platform provides all of the information needed to use and run the games it provides (for example, it warns users if an item is an expansion pack rather than a base game, and notes what game is required to use that expansion pack).

Additionally, Origin offers a number of free games and a few demos as well, most of which are only available for Origin itself – this, on its own, can provide a reason to use the platform. Couple that with a strong offline mode that allows you to play all of your games when you're on the go, and well-designed networking code, and you have a fairly solid gaming platform.

But although Origin's key features are good, the bloom may come off the rose after some time of using the software. First, although Origin will detect and add any existing Origin games on your hard drive (such as Steam copies of Origin games), this may not always work correctly, and if you attempt to use these ported games certain ways (such as downloading map packs or additional content for a game you have on Steam), Origin may even break, forcing you to reinstall the game or double-check all of its data (via Origin's own tools).

And beyond that, Origin also suffers from some areas of user-unfriendliness, particularly where it concerns EA itself. For example, by default, Origin's settings send usage data and information to EA, without informing the user that this is the case. In a world of evolving computer security, this is often considered an invasion of privacy or at least a faux pas. Although the setting can be changed, some of Origin's default settings are unfriendly.

And finally, Origin rarely provides discounts or deals on games that are available there, unlike its competitors. This is a huge draw of those platforms, and a key reason that consumers are willing (at least begrudgingly) to use "middleman" game platforms that must be launched before the consumer can play a game that they purchase. In the end, the main reason to use Origin is that there are no other ways to play some of the games it offers – and Origin has few exclusives, however important they might be.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Well-designed and responsive interface

Cons

  • Required to play many of EA's recent releases, rather than being optional
  • Unfortunately redundant with competitors on the market today
  • Backwards compatibility is a good effort, but often weak
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