EA Origin head: No plans for Steam-like deep discounts

Looking to get that year-or-two-old shooter you’ve wanted to download for awhile but figured you could wait for it to drop to a dirt-cheap price? According to EA Senior Vice President of Global E-Commerce David DeMartini, his company’s digital distribution service Origin won’t be dabbling much in that bargain-bin price strategy its main competitor Steam has become known for.

“We won’t be doing that,” DeMartini told GamesIndustry International at E3 this week. “Obviously they think it’s the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it.”

The hope for DeMartini, then, is for his Origin service to aspire to be known for more than the sales it holds on products, comparing Steam’s sales strategy to a certain bulls-eyed big box retailer.

“The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we’re not trying to be Target. We’re trying to be Nordstrom,” DeMartini continued. “When I say that, I mean good value – we’re trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don’t look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.

Differentiating oneself from the competition is a fundamentally sound plan, though we’ll see if game buyers are willing to look past deep discounts for perhaps a more well-rounded purchasing and playing experience.

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