This Weekend Review : Dragon Age II and Steam At Game Store

Saturday, August 13th 2011. | Games News

This week those who were excited about the new Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II and wanted to log into Steam in order to buy both the original game and the additional content must have been a little upset and surprised to see that the game was no longer there.As a result they needed to use another service to get both Dragon Age II and the DLC, which is not hard given the number of possible outlets, including Electronic Arts’ own Origin, Impulse, GamersGate and Direct2Drive.

Those who already own the game on Steam can still run it and then get the Legacy content from inside it. The news that one of the biggest games of the year is no longer on Steam is not surprising, after the Crysis 2 incident that also took place between Valve and Electronic Arts, but the fact that EA is introducing ways of getting additional content inside some of its biggest games might mean that, at some point in the future, digital distribution services might become just glorified torrent equivalents.

If the trend holds and Steam and its competitors do not come up with a new strategy, publishers might choose to give those who buy a title from them access to a torrent image that can be quickly downloaded with limited impact on their servers, while deploying always on DRM solutions to make sure that piracy is not an issue (all of this is taking place on the PC).

From that point on all patches can be delivered via in game downloads and all extra content can be bought from the just downloaded title, with no need to pay for middle men, install other software or interact with anyone else than the publisher.

Unfortunately until that point we will see a more fragmented market where players will have less options than in the last few years when it comes to where and how they can get their favorite games.

And, worse still, we might get to see more situations where a game suddenly disappears from one service and the only explanation is a commercial dispute.

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