Origin's reputation amongst PC gamers has never been particularly high but EA is hoping to change all that in the near future.
In a recent E3 interview with GamesIndustry International, EA Vice President Andrew Wilson expressed his desire to “really re-establish Origin as a service to gamers, not as a means to drive transactions.”
During the interview, Wilson candidly admitted that while Origin was originally meant as a way to supplement and enhance the games EA offered, it soon became nothing more than a glorified online store and that he knows all too well how many gamers see it as more of an unnecessary restriction (most EA-published PC games require Origin to function) rather than an interactive companion (much like Valve’s Steam).
Wilson has promised that EA is now focusing on making Origin more of "a complementary service that enhances your game experience irrespective of where you made the transaction” and less of a restrictive hindrance. Wilson also admitted that such a shift will take time but he closed out the interview with a supportive message to all Origin users: "We get it. We understand it. We have heard, we have made some changes already in terms of how we do things, and we're looking at more changes that we'll talk about over the coming months that really are gamer-focused."
So far it seems like Origin is on the right track. The digital platform has been hosting more and more sales and promotions as of late (including a special E3 promotion that gave all Battlefield 3 players a free copy of the “Close Quarters” expansion and a 50% price-cut to the game’s Premium service) and it has even started working in a fully-fledged achievements system for select Origin titles (with more to be added in the near future).
Will Origin one day be able to fully salvage its reputation and perhaps even join the lofty likes of Steam as a popular hub of digital PC gaming? Only time and effort on EA’s part will tell at this point.