Early in June, a funny thing happened. "Crysis 2," published by EA, suddenly disappeared from the Steam store. There was no explanation as to why the game had mysteriously vanished, and the only explanation came from an intentionally vague comment from EA, stating that Valve had booted the game from the service. This week, if you're a "Dragon Age 2" – also published by EA – fan, there's a chance you're looking forward to the new "Legacy" downloadable-content.
Well, bad news: now "Dragon Age 2" has vanished from Steam, as well.
When "Crysis 2" disappeared, many of us assumed it had something to do with Origin. EA's very own online store and obvious Steam competitor, Origin seemed like the explanation for Valve's odd choice to pull the game from their virtual shelves. Now that "Dragon Age 2" has fallen off the marketplace, but remained on a number of other digital distribution platforms, EA has finally given some insight into exactly what's went wrong.
"Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content," EA senior vice-president of global e-commerce, David DeMartini told IGN. "No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam."
EA had previously stated that one of Valve's policies had led to the dismissal of "Crysis 2," but now it seems that downloadable-content, in particular, is causing the rift. The policy doesn't seem to affect older EA titles, either. "Dragon Age 2" contains an in-game store, where Legacy can be downloaded directly, and it appears likely that this isn't sitting well with Valve.
Hopefully Steam can present their side of the argument, but at this point, they're being awfully quiet. If downloadable-content is an issue, I wouldn't expect to see "Battlefield 3" offered on Steam any time soon.