Tech Seriousmenu

Origin Digital Distribution

Discover new games with Origin

Formerly known as the Electronic Arts Download Manager, Origin is EA's digital game distribution client. Origin supports a complete range of downloading and community features, and is available to both computer and mobile technology users. The Origin client offers exclusive access to the EA game library, which includes some of the most popular titles in the gaming world.

The Origin client was first released in 2005 as the EA Downloader. The following year, EA upgraded the service to include specialized content including game previews and trailers, and rebranded it as EA Link, which became the combination EA Store and EA Download Manager interface in 2007. After purchasing Origin Systems, a video game developer with a number of successful game franchises dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, the EA Download Manager was re-launched under the Origin name in 2011.

Origin Features

Origin's principal feature is the Origin Store, from which users can browse dozens of available game titles and make game purchases. When a user purchases a game, the game is made available in the user's account profile for immediate download through the Origin client. Users are permitted to download a game as many times, and to as many different devices, as they wish.

The service also offers users the ability to add games to their online accounts. This is done by typing in the purchase key from an optical disc "hard copy" of the game in question. Users can then download the game as though they purchased it online. This option is available for game titles published in 2009 and beyond.

Additional Origin features include:

  • User profiles. Users can create detailed profiles which display their significant gaming achievements and provide information on gaming preferences. Additional information to help users find each other through the client's community features can also be filled in on an optional basis.
  • Online gameplay. Origin users can join multiplayer games online, and can also stream games live through the site's SwitchTV connection.
  • Networking. Origin users also have the ability to chat in real time with other online users, both during and outside of online gameplay. This feature is designed for easy streamlining through the Origin In Game overlay; running Origin In Game does not affect ongoing game play.
  • Game sharing and community integration. Origin users are also permitted to share their game libraries with other users, and the site is fully integrated with major social media and gaming networks, including Facebook log in capability, the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and the Nintendo Network.

Origin-Enabled Titles

Origin offers several of EA's most popular games for sale, including titles in the Battlefield, Crysis, Dead Space, FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, SimCity and Syndicate franchises. New titles are added to the site on an ongoing basis, so be sure to check the Origin store regularly to see what's available.

The Origin client is available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X users. However, the downloading and system access processes differ for PC and Mac users.

Origin's User Network

Origin is one of the leading digital game distribution platforms in the world. Electronic Arts estimates that the Origin client has been downloaded by approximately 10 million users. However, it is important to note that Electronic Arts works to keep its community current, and reserves the right to terminate accounts which have remained inactive for a period of 24 months or longer. Users who have purchased "premium games" through the Origin network are exempt from account cancelation. Accounts may be kept current simply by logging into the Origin system; it is not necessary to continually purchase new game titles in order to keep your account active.

Games