In the last few days, I’ve been asked the same questions so I thought I’d just make a post out of the answers.
In just over the year I’ve been working at EA Black Box, I’ve made available to many of you some great EA games. I can do this because any internally developed EA title only costs me $20 or in some cases is free if I use my points (but I usually leave those for myself). For example, I’ve given away many copies of skate.
There’s a part of EA that most gamers don’t know about. EA Partners works hard to secure publishing/distribution deals with external developers. The external developers can leverage the publishing infrastructure that EA has in place to get the game on store shelves. Usually, the IP remains property of the developer, so it’s not like EA “owns” the game. As such, EA sees less revenue on these titles compared to internally developed games.
Long story short, while the EA store does offer these EAP games and the EA logo is on the box, I receive no discount for these titles. They are full retail price, even for me. As a sign of how good EAP has been doing, they signed deals to distribute titles like Orange Box, Crysis, and Rock Band.
All of these games have been highly rated and in high demand. Unfortunately, these games are at full retail price for me, so you’re just better off buying these at Future Shop yourself. Sorry.
A special note has to be made about Mass Effect. While yes, Bioware is now an internal EA studio, I’ve been told that the formal ownership transaction does not take place until January. Even then, I’m not sure if Mass Effect will be in the EA store. If you want it before the holidays, you’ll have to buy it elsewhere.