EA's return to Steam brings higher prices

Alex Gervas breaks down the price increases that have come into place across EA's games

Alex Gervas
20th February 2020
During the first weeks of February, users of the digital storefront Steam reported an increase in the prices of Electronic Arts (EA) games.

Reddit user MJuniorDC9 noticed how after EA’s comeback to the platform, many of the original games, such as SimCity 4, Crysis 2, and Mass Effect Collection. These games have increased as far as 30%.

The Mass Effect Collection, for instance, has gone from £23 to £30; Sim City has seen an increase of £5; Crysis 2 went from £15 to £25. Other affected games are Battlefield: Bad Company; Command & Conquer: Red Alert; Dead Space 2; and Dragon Age: Origins.

Some countries like Thailand and Indonesia have seen a higher increase in their Steam prices.

Alex Gervas

But the spike in prices doesn’t appear to be consistent. Some countries like Thailand and Indonesia have seen a higher increase in their Steam prices as opposed to US users. However, EA’s distribution platform, Origin, has not been affected by these price alterations.

Eight years ago, EA stopped selling their games in third-party-platforms. Still, by the end of 2019, EA announced a new partnership with Valve, the publisher behind Steam. The new association with Valve came with a new release: Jedi: Fallen Order.

Users have started reflecting on possible reasons behind this increase. The first explanation given was that EA intended to attract more users to the Origin platform. The increase in prices creates further disparity between Origin and Steam, meaning that third-party platforms can’t use games bought through Origin.

Secondly, EA’s price spike could be due to Valve’s commission on games bought through Steam. Game developer, Alva Majo, explains that Valve take a cut depending on the country and the importance of the developer. While their cut on EA’s games is allegedly now 30%, the commission varies depending on the country.

However, some users appear to be sceptical. While Valve’s cut is now at 30% for EA, the exact percentage before EA’s ‘hiatus’ is unknown. This means that the price spike could be due to a change in Valve and EA’s commission.

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