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EA looks beyond Windows to grow Origin

Electronic Arts isn't content to keep its digital game distribution service Origin on just Windows and iOS -- the publisher is looking to grab audiences on other platforms like Mac and Facebook.
Electronic Arts isn't content to keep its digital game distribution service Origin on just Windows and iOS -- the publisher is looking to grab audiences on other platforms like Mac and Facebook. COO Peter Moore announced at Gamescom today that EA will bring Origin to Mac, Facebook, Android, and Smart TVs. He didn't reveal planned dates for those launches, but the Mac edition is expected to be available by February 2013, in time for SimCity's launch on the platform. The news comes shortly after a number of high-profile game industry figures have criticized the app store set to be included in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 update. Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo and Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson have both said the presumed closed service will hurt game makers, as opposed to an open service that encourages competition and invites indies to participate. Valve Software head Gabe Newell has also come out against Windows 8's app distribution service, calling it "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." His company recently announced a Linux version of its popular digital distribution platform Steam, and is seeking to encourage the adoption of the alternative operating system to gamers. Launched in June 2011, Origin currently has more than 21 million registered users across Windows and iOS, with 9 million of those people using the service on mobile. Along with bringing Origin to new platforms, EA announced that it will add support for achievements and free-to-play games to the service. Gamasutra is in Cologne, Germany this week covering GDC Europe and Gamescom. For more coverage, visit our official event page. (UBM TechWeb is parent to both Gamasutra and GDC events.)

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