Electronic Arts announced today that its Origin social network and game distribution network can work across mobile platforms in addition to the PC.
With Origin, you can sign in on a PC and purchase games that will download over the internet to your computer. That’s the digital distribution part that competes with rival networks such as Valve’s Steam. But Origin is also a social network where you can find your friends and play with them. And that capability now extends across mobile devices such as Android phones and iPhones.
Chip Lange, senior vice president at Electronic Arts Interactive (EAi), said at the company’s event at its headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., that you can sign into Origin and it can eliminate the need to sign into other game networks for individual games. This “single sign-on” capability lets you see what your friends are doing, even if they aren’t playing the same game as you.
You can import your friends from Twitter or Facebook and communicate via Origin.
“Now we are adding a full layer of mobile to Origin,” Lange said. “It lets you find out what your friends are doing.
Lange showed how you could play a game of the mobile version of Need For Speed Shift 2, a racing game, and compete against your friend’s highest score. You can play it on an iPhone or iPad, and the scores are updated on the universal Origin leaderboard once you complete a race.
You can also play games socially. Lange showed how you can have two iPhone players play a game of FIFA soccer. Those iPhones can connect via Bluetooth wireless to an iPad, and the iPad can project the image to a big screen TV. With that kind of set-up, players can use their iPhones to play a soccer game on a big-screen TV.
Lange also said that EA is preparing to launch a version of its Risk: Factions game (which debuted on mobile) on Facebook. That game, which will feature cute items such as donkey cannons, will let you play one of three factions out to conquer the world.