Electronic Arts says this recent disappearance of Dragon Age 2 from Steam is the result of "restrictive terms" imposed by Valve, an explanation that has a bit of a familiar ring to it.
EA's Dragon Age 2 vanished from Steam a couple of days ago with nary a word as to why, the confusion compounded by the fact that the game is still available on other digital distribution services like Impulse, Direct2Drive and EA's own Origin. But it wasn't entirely a mystery, because it's not the first time it's happened: Crysis 2 took a powder back in mid-June and hasn't been seen since, although it remains available on other digital platforms.
And sure enough, EA has released a statement explaining the absence that sounds an awful lot like the one it put out in June. "At EA, we offer our games and content to all major download services including GameStop, Amazon, Direct2Drive and Steam," EA's David DeMartini told IGN. "Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content. No other download service has adopted this practice. Consequently some of our games have been removed by Steam. We hope to work out an agreement to keep our games on Steam."
The obvious question at this point - well, one of them - is, what's next to go? Dead Space 2? Darkspore? Bulletstorm? The dispute appears to be over EA's insistence on selling DLC directly through its games, denying Valve the cut it would normally earn by selling it through Steam, and that could mean that while most of the current catalog is safe, future releases like Mass Effect 3 or Battlefield 3 - which already appears headed for a Steamless launch - might not make it there at all.