EA must not think the Mass Effect IP is worth much.
About two weeks ago, EA Vice President David DeMartini said that EA was unlikely to offer Steam-esque sales via its Origin service. "I just think it cheapens your intellectual property," he said. This statement is somewhat hilarious in hindsight, as Origin is now aping Steam with a promotional sale.
The North American Origin marketplace is currently celebrating Origin's anniversary with discounts to special edition releases of titles. TERA's collectors' edition is now $41.99 - down from its original price of $59.99; Mass Effect 3's Digital Deluxe edition is $47.99 (formerly $79.99); and the special editions of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 2142 can be had for $29.99 and $8.99 respectively (instead of $49.99 and $14.99).
Our friends across the pond have an even better sale going on, with a whole mess of popular titles available for just £5 across the board. For the formerly £40 Dragon Age: Origins, that's an IP devaluation of 87.5%. Other titles, like Mirror's Edge, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Darksiders aren't quite as devalued from their Origin prices - but let's not forget, said Origin prices are cheaper than their original launch prices.
That sure is a whole lot of intellectual property being devalued, right there. Yes, I think it's okay to laugh.
It's all the more surprising that this sale came so soon after DeMartini's comments. Was this a case of the left hand simply not talking to the right hand? Did the outcry over DeMartini's comments lead to a swift reversal of position for EA?
It'll be very interesting to see if EA acknowledges its about-face, or if it tries to sweep DeMartini's comments under the rug and pretend that this was its plan all along. Origin has always been at war with Eastasia, and all that.