Dragon Age: Origins now free on Origin

Dragon Age: Origins is free on EA's digital distribution service until October 14.


Dragon Age: Origins is the latest to hit EA's "On the House" program. That means it's free, appropriately enough on the Origin distribution service. The offer is good until October 14, at which point it will change over to the next free game. You can grab your copy here.

The move is likely meant to build buzz around the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition. Before it was officially announced, BioWare made a point of telling fans that the third Dragon Age game would bring back aspects from the first game, which is more highly-regarded than its follow-up.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 8, 2014 10:39 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Dragon Age: Origins now free on Origin

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      October 8, 2014 10:53 AM

      Aw, hell yeah. That's awesome.

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      October 8, 2014 10:54 AM

      wow, props to EA

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      October 8, 2014 11:04 AM

      More like:
      "Next round of free EA games to try to get people interested in Origin."

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        October 8, 2014 3:11 PM


        Origin still has a very looooong way to go before it can even hope to compete against Steam, this is definitely a great series of offerings. I am also very surprised with how long they kept to the refund policy. I was certain that this policy would suddenly drop months after BF4's rocky start and the Sims 4's lackluster reviews.

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          October 8, 2014 3:59 PM

          Origin is a glorified online store for EA games. There are technically non-EA games sold there, but they are buried behind The Sims, Battlefield, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and FIFA.

          Steam is an actual PC platform for people to sell games and interact with their customers. It's an online community. It's been like this since 2007.

          Origin has had three years to mount an actual competing service, and they've done little to nothing.

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            October 8, 2014 4:19 PM

            No there are officially non-EA games sold on Origin. Origin just just not as successful at it as Steam is (for good reason).

            But you're right, Origin has a lot to do before they can even hope to even be a blip on the digital distribution radar. However things like "on the house" and their return policy are a good start. EA's return policy is leaps and bounds above Steam's... and this is EA on customer service we are talking here.

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              October 8, 2014 4:33 PM

              "There are technically non-EA games sold there, but they are buried behind The Sims, Battlefield, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and FIFA."

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                October 8, 2014 4:54 PM

                and there's nothing technically about it.

                Look, I'm not an Origin fan at all but that's not to say it hasn't been getting better or that Steam can't learn a few things from Origin.

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                  October 8, 2014 4:59 PM

                  It matters how EA organizes their store when you're a developer and you want your game to be seen. Success stories like Divinity: Original Sin could not happen on Origin. It's not because Steam has so many more users than Origin either. Origin has as been users as Steam did circa 2010. Valve simply doesn't use the storefront as a giant ad for Dota and Counter-Strike. They will promote other people's games, because there is money to be made from it and value for their customers.

                  Basically I don't even view Origin as a serious competitor because their shit is so fucked.

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                    October 8, 2014 8:45 PM

                    But that doesn't change the fact that EA does supply 3rd party titles. There is nothing technical or half true about it. Your statement is perfectly fine and I agree with it, but don't flavor the truth with words like "technically" and follow with a point that doesn't really follow.

                    Now to your core point, I agree, EA games take center stage on Origin. It's part of why I think EA has no business going being a general digital distributor.

                    Valve has only a handful of games and thus can afford to be a storefront first and a publisher second. EA does not have that luxury. They release more games per year than Valve's entire catalog. To place another publisher's game in the center of attention would be a conflict of interest. EA would never do that. I don't even think Ubisoft would have that luxury. If Valve released as many games as either publisher, they'd do the same thing to Steam. Luckily Steam will always be Valve's honeypot. The game that would be financially more important than the revenue Steam brings in would have to be one goddamn hell of a game.

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                      October 8, 2014 10:32 PM

                      I used the word technical because they aren't given equal treatment. They are relegated to the basement, so they might as well not exist.

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            October 8, 2014 5:25 PM

            You act like that's a problem...?

            A storefront for Valve games is all that Steam was for like 5 years.

            Now, the only difference between them is game library and extra community features. Everything else is the same thing with one being owned by Valve and the other EA.

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              October 8, 2014 5:37 PM

              I think it's a problem because Origin doesn't add any value for its customers.

              Steam was partially a Valve storefront in its first few years, but it very quickly started promoting other games. Audiosurf was a big indie hit on Steam in early 2008. I think it's worth noting that the original problem that Valve was trying to solve with Steam was patching their games. The genesis of the platform was creating value for customers.

              Was Origin made to fix existing problems with the PC platform? No, it was created so EA didn't have to share its sales revenue with a competitor. That user experience thing seems to be way down on the list of priorities.

              Steam has also grown was past just community features. It offers a suite of tools for developers to easily implement server browsers, matchmaking, friends list, etc. Early Access is a competitor to Kickstarter. It's a digital economy. It's a tool for discovering and installing mods.

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                October 8, 2014 6:04 PM

                I think Origin just started as a digital storefront. It's been around since 2005 or so, right around the time where Steam was basically 'that HL2/CS store.' They've just rebranded it over and over again.

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                October 8, 2014 9:03 PM

                Origin adds a centralized updater for all my EA games. It adds "one click" downloads for all my EA games. And so on and so forth. Sure, it might solve problems that have been solved by other competitors, but that's what they are, competitors.

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                  October 8, 2014 10:37 PM

                  Why does EA need its own centralized updater? Ubisoft, Acitivision, Take-Two, Namco, Capcom, Sega, Warner Brothers, and Konami all seem content with playing ball with Steam. It's only Blizzard and EA that don't sell their games on Steam.

                  Unless they can offer a truly competitive service, I think they are just hurting their customers.

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                    October 8, 2014 10:41 PM

                    Why does the Apple App Store need to exist? Why does the Windows App Store need to exist? Why does Ubuntu Software Center need to exist? All those companies could just play ball and deliver content on Steam too.

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                      October 8, 2014 10:45 PM

                      The Apple App Store exists because Apple sells proprietary hardware with its own operating system. The Windows App Store helps organize the wild west craziness of the desktop.

                      Those are solutions to real problems.

                      Origin solves nothing as far as I can see.

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                        October 8, 2014 10:47 PM

                        It helps distribute EA games under terms that EA approves of.

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                          October 8, 2014 10:54 PM

                          Successful applications tend to serve customers, not corporate executives.

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                            October 8, 2014 11:07 PM

                            Customers don't know jack shit in most cases. You having to install a trivial piece of software to play a game is not worth the energy you're putting into this. Nor is mine arguing with you.

                            But I suppose you're right, we should all just use Steam as our One True Source For Games and watch the fees to get content published rise and those costs to be pushed on to the consumer. Because we can't be bothered to have another downloader installed. Oh, wait, Valve would never do that because like Google they strictly follow the "Don't be evil" motto.


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                              October 8, 2014 11:16 PM

                              I think customers have correctly identified Origin as mediocre software and an inferior user experience to Steam.

                              My principal argument is that if EA is going to break from Steam, they should be offering a service that actually benefits their customers. They are not, and that generates ill will. It has definitely hurt games like Titanfall that now have tiny online communities.

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                                October 8, 2014 11:17 PM

                                Titanfall doesn't have a tiny community because of Origin.

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                                  October 8, 2014 11:20 PM

                                  What's your explanation for the dramatic falloff in users then? Based on the queue tiems for that game, I'd guess there are less than a 1000 people online at any given time.

                                  There's more people playing Torchlight II on Steam right now than that.

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                                    October 8, 2014 11:25 PM

                                    You're honestly suggesting that people who bought the game, installed it, and played it are no longer playing it because of the content delivery software installed along with it?

                                    I just want to make sure. If the answer is yes, then read on.

                                    It certainly couldn't be that the game has no staying power (Read: it gets boring quickly) and that because it's 100% online, if the community isn't there, there's no reason to play it. Unlike Torchlight 2 which has a complete offline gameplay experience. Come on man, you're grasping at straws here because you don't like Origin.

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                                      October 8, 2014 11:28 PM

                                      No, I'm guessing sales died off much faster than usual because it's on Origin. They probably sold half a million or so copies from PC users who saw the E3 footage and bought the game not minding that all that much that it's on Origin. I was one of those people.

                                      But what about the millions of people who don't really tune in to that and just buy the game when its on the front of the Steam store or on sale? Titanfall has no way of selling itself to those consumers.

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                                        October 9, 2014 12:15 AM

                                        I bought the game and played it on Origin for a while. I don't play it currently, nor do I have any plans to play in the future. It 100% has nothing to do with Origin why I don't play it anymore. The game got old and stale very quickly to me.

                                        But according to you I hate it because it's on Origin.

                                        I have a lot of games on Steam as well that I no longer play. Do I not play those because Steam sucks as well?

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                                          October 9, 2014 12:16 AM

                                          I never said any of the things you claim I just said.

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                          October 9, 2014 12:58 AM

                          this was the EOT moment right here folks

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                  October 8, 2014 11:03 PM

                  This exactly. I'm glad there's competition out there. No competition means no innovation.

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            October 8, 2014 9:41 PM

            It has all the other problems a 1st party seller has. There isn't enough stock or internal competition for serious fire sale pricing that appeal to lizard brain purchases to get you into their ecosystem. They are getting there, kinda. It also has the problem of bad word of mouth holding it back, just like UPlay. And so did GfWL.

            If you want to build a digital distribution platform it has to be seamless and never appear to be an intrusion. Asking for extra logins is a no-no. Trying to build it into a Facebook competitor is a no-no. Trying to get the consumer in on a Piggly-Wiggly Greenbax scheme is a no-no. Letting it eat a ton of memory is a no-no. Acting like the term "value added" is an empty marketing slogan is a no-no. All in all the mindset of "Let's see what we can get away with because the vidiots will buy it" is a no-no.

            This isn't 1990, you aren't Ted Turner, and this isn't CNN.

            I'm not accusing Origin of all of this. Just a list of swords the 1st parties giddily jumped on. Had the publishers avoided that stuff they could have built cartels that could have screwed the customer in ways they never could have imagined, but they missed that boat.

            /inane blathering

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        October 8, 2014 4:05 PM

        I'm OK with this!

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        October 8, 2014 6:27 PM

        So...free games are bad?

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        October 8, 2014 9:01 PM

        More like:
        "I complain about free stuff."

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      October 8, 2014 11:16 AM

      Nice!!! People should definitely try this game out if they haven't already!

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      October 8, 2014 4:02 PM

      one of the best modern RPGs by a wide margin

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      October 8, 2014 4:04 PM


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      October 8, 2014 4:13 PM

      Yo dawg.

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      October 8, 2014 4:16 PM

      Bejeweled 3 as well

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      October 8, 2014 4:18 PM

      Well that's cool!

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      October 8, 2014 4:31 PM

      fuck Origin

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      October 8, 2014 4:43 PM


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      October 8, 2014 5:30 PM


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      October 8, 2014 5:54 PM

      OOH YEAA!

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      October 8, 2014 5:57 PM

      I'll take every free game Origin offers--thanks!

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      October 8, 2014 5:58 PM

      Wow. Nice, I never played this.

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      October 8, 2014 6:18 PM

      I showed my son the DA3 video valcan posted the other day and he was stoked, I was gonna buy DA1 this weekend to get him familiar with the story, getting it for free is amazing timing.

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      October 8, 2014 6:33 PM

      Snooze fest of a game. Wins the mad boring dialogue fantasy tropes award

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      October 8, 2014 8:40 PM

      Picked it up. Removed from steam wishlist.

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      October 9, 2014 12:30 AM

      They should be paying me to play that horrible game again.

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        October 9, 2014 1:17 AM

        Pretty edgy there

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          October 9, 2014 1:30 AM

          To be fair, the game sucked all the dicks.

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      October 9, 2014 1:28 AM

      Not sure why you'd make DA:O free to hype up Inquisition. They're basically two different games.

      They should have made DA2 free, then people would be going into Inquisition with the lowest possible expectations, and more enjoyment out of DA:I. :^)

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      October 9, 2014 1:37 AM

      Great game, great way to hype up Origin and DA:I.

      Origin is still a POS compared to Steam, but a lack of competition would be a much, much worse thing, so I'm glad they're still trying to catch up. They just need to make the software itself less shitty.

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      October 9, 2014 5:08 AM

      I already have it but I've yet to finish it. My first playthrough was with a character that I planned out to be an healer. I love healer type of characters like the monk in Guild Wars 1 or the medic in Battlefield 2 and Team Fortress 2. Those were my main characters so I thought it'd probably enjoy that in DAO too.

      The first few missions and the tutorial weren't that bad but then, without knowing, I picked up the worst quest I think I could. Remember that village that was getting attacked by zombies and which the castle was closed off?

      Yeah, I picked that one with Morrigan and that rogue girl. The mission, when you first defend the village against the zombies, was utterly difficult. Even worse, my second latest save was back at the tutorial zone so if I wanted to evade that mission, I would lose quite a lot of progress...

      So I tried about 5-6 times, each failing because I wasn't able to keep my teammates alive and the various NPCs so I gave up the game for about a year or so. I tried it again last spring. Fortunately, I succeeded after only 3-4 tries by pausing almost every other second to constantly assess my situation and give orders accordingly.

      Then when I was finally able to get into the castle, it was just as difficult...

      So I just gave up with this healer character and created a warrior/fighter human (I don't remember the class name) and now the game is basically on easy mode. I've made far more progress than I ever hoped to accomplish with that healer so far. As for now, after hitting the first big city, I went to the dwarves first to gain their support.

Hello, Meet Lola