Since EA revealed its intentions to bring Origin to the App Store, we’ve been wondering how it will be implemented and what it will do for enthusiasts. Those questions were kind of answered at EA’s Summer Showcase event in San Francisco earlier this afternoon. In a nutshell, it’s an Open Feint-like interface that sits on top of games. It’ll have its own high score rankings and achievements, it’ll demand its own friends list, and it’ll allow you to launch other EA titles from the interface without having to switching to your dashboard.

Also, Origin will be able to read cross-platform cloud save data. You'll be able to pick up an Origin game on iOS, Facebook, or Android, then quit, and theoretically pick it back up again on any of these platforms. Scrabble will be a game with this feature and it'll also boast cross-platform multiplayer.

The cloud-saving is the super interesting feature, though the friends lists, while separate from Game Center and all the other game or service-specific friends lists you’ve been building for years, will allow you to see what your pals are doing with their PC Origin accounts as well as their iOS accounts. That’s neat. I think.

Origin is EA’s attempt to cut out the middleman in the PC digital distribution space, and it appears like it’s poised to try to do the same thing with this iOS extension. I’m not sure if closing off the pre-existing networking functionality that Game Center provides is the best move, but then again, EA never bothered with that service in the first place.

In this 1UP story, Need For Speed: Shift 2 was mentioned as one of the demos shown at the event. In that game, Origin usage will grant players access to more racing tracks and, hilariously, in-game cash. Following that logic, it appears as though Origin usage will be incentivized, but not mandatory, which is a good move considering the ire I’m sure this service is about to drum up.

UPDATE: Our information on the achievements part of Origin might have been bad. We're following up with EA this morning to check.

So, what do you think? Is Origin something you’re looking forward to or would you rather EA just use and leverage Game Center?

  • Claudio

    First I'd like Apple to fix the hideous way Game Center looks! As for Origin, meh, it's kind of a drag having both Gameloft Live and Game Center already. I guess one of the nice features of achievements in xbox live is that you got them all in one place. Just using more and more platforms for them in iOS kinda makes it meaningless for me!

    • XD

      Don't forget Openfeint.

    • Anonymous

      Game Center looks beautiful in comparison to the likes of OpenFeint, I was so glad to finally be able to sign up to something with a useable interface!

  • Anonymous

    I imagine this'll go just as well as pulling all their titles for Steam did.

    • SMP

      Why wouldnt it go well? It kinda bugs me, but it makes sense to me that EA would no longer want to give their cut to valve.
      Its not like people wont play the PC versions of their games because of this, some maybe, but People play Blizzard games despite not being on steam, and EA has plenty of equally compelling games. And thats a separate case, here theyre just adding a feature to ios games.

      • Anonymous

        Given they've already leaked by data via Battlefield Heroes, I'll not be signing up for anything EA any time soon.

    • HisDivineOrder

      EA didn't pull their titles from Steam.  Steam removed Crysis 2 because some DLC was only available via non-Steam sources and Steam found that unacceptable.  Other EA titles are still there.  Hell, other EA titles have been featured sales as part of the summer sale Steam is currently running.

      EA is using The Old Republic to deliver it via Origin only, but I'm sure in due time it'll make its way to the other services, too.  I say this because there is nothing to be gained from limiting a MMO's availability sources in the long term.  In the short term, having a lot of sales is great, but having so many you exceed your capability to have servers for them is not.  So in that unique case, it might be good to have a steady growth instead of all at once.

      Other than that, EA hasn't pulled anything from Steam.

  • osada

    Damn... Gameloft live, openfeint,plus+,crystal,gamecenter and now this ?? It's annoying to have seperate accounts and seperate achievement list. I wish gameloft and ea start supporting gamecenter but probably wont happen...

    • Doctorossi

      My feelings, exactly.

  • Adams Immersive

    Some games have been using Origin for weeks: it’s built into Scrabble, for instance, with multiplayer and friend-list functionality. (And it uses the same login that used to be just my “EA” login, thankfully. So it wasn’t anything new I had to sign up for.)

    • Anonymous

      I've had nothing but trouble regarding my EA account, so the very idea of it being essentially the same thing but on iOS turns me right off. I had to send no less than thirteen emails to customer service for them to activate the VIP content on my copy of Bad Company 2, and I wish I could say that was my only run-in with them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OoOoOomonkey John Usher

    I'd prefer it if we just had one place for friends and achievements, like game centre.
    I really cant be bothered with crystal,gameloft,open feint etc etc.

  • http://twitter.com/sstaver Stephen Staver

    I don't see why Origin can't co-exist with GameCenter. 
    I'd prefer that all games had GameCenter integration, since it's the common service built into all iPhones. While Origin can be just for EA's network thing. But they can both be used at the same time.
    Similar to how some games have been using GameCenter and OpenFeint, although really I don't see why you'd use anything else when GameCenter provides everything right there.

  • Anonymous

    What a pain in the a$$ -- no standards anywhere.

    • Doctorossi

      I agree. One thing MS definitely did right with the Xbox Live features (cross-game invites, achievements, etc.) is make them mandatory. Anything less just leads to the mess iOS is developing.

      • Anonymous

        I'm actually surprised Apple is okay with this..

      • Vimy

        nobody says no to EA.

         i mean, imagine what would be left for osx and ios without ea, at least as far as AAA producers.

  • robotsvswizards

    I can open other EA apps from inside!! That's fantastic because I hate dealing with the hassle of the having to touch an icon to open an app on my iphone!

    But, probably my favorite thing is another username to keep track of.

    It would be so boring if playing games on line all used game center and let you use the same name and password for everything.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I hope every game implements their own version of GameCenter. It will be fantastic for the end user.

  • Blueknight1st

    Apple really needs to step up and make Game Center support mandatory so long as your game has multiplayer. If you still use a device that doesn't support Game Center then 3rd party stuff like Origin or Open Feint would still be there.

    • Anonymous

      But then Apple won't be "open" and people will complain that Steve is a dictator. What to do..

      • http://twitter.com/gregorypierce gregorypierce

        Ignore the critics and do what's best for the customer - that's what they SHOULD do. People can have their crazy extra networks, but support of Game Center should be mandatory for online stuff.

        But if they are going to do that, they need to fix the hideous - absolutely hideous way that Game Center looks.

  • Vimy

    its irrelevant,

    they are trying to re-invent the wheel, good for them, they have money to waste. Hope it works out, but ebery time they bring back the origins name, I get worried. 

    Good luck EA, I hope your idea blossums, I also hope theres more too it than what youve mentioned cause it seams a little pointless.

  • Macaroon

    What a faff.

  • https://twitter.com/BulkSlash BulkSlash

    In the past Apple have rejected apps that duplicate existing iPhone functionality. It will be interesting to see if they feel the same way about a company essentially duplicating what Game Center already does even though it's only a sub-component of a complete game...

  • Rothgarr

    Do not want

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Taylor-Barclay/100000727820513 Taylor Barclay

    NO! I want Game Center integration. And maybe it's only me, but I won't buy any games that aren't Retina and Game Center enabled any more. It's a standard.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlie-Beckstrand/644074697 Charlie Beckstrand

      It's not just you

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marshall-Pope/100000602530531 Marshall Pope

    This has been EA's metthod for years...take something that exists...try and force everyone to use their own proprietary solution as a way to bypass the standard.  On the PC side their latest hack at this is to not release their new titles on steam forcing pc users to us their own gaming service...my solution was just to skip EA titles completely on the PC...guess I will doing that on the ipad now as well.

  • oliver

    you can have free ipod touch apps at : http://ipodapps.blog.com/

  • Anonymous

    God EA is stupid. I'll be using GameCenter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/novetske Matthew Novetske

    Agreed, game center or bust. I'm not farting around with anything else. Apple should require it. I hope apple or someone will do a comparison of sales with and without game center support so the developers can see the difference it makes for them in sales. The only time I buy EA games is when they are .99 and I don't even play them much, just hopping they get gc support.

  • Gimmy Pignolo

    Good idea to add Origin to Iphone... to chat to friends added to PC version of Origin... like Steam... and other...