EA’s Origin service for Mac goes into alpha — coming in February [update]

Origin For Mac
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Origin For Mac

Valve’s Steam service and the Mac App Store must be trembling in fear right now.

Electronic Arts’ digital distribution service, Origin, is coming to the Mac, as first spotted by Destructoid. And according to EA chief operating officer Peter Moore during EA’s Jan. 30 earnings call, Origin is coming to Mac in February.

For Mac gamers, this means EA’s major releases are available for download and play on their machine, much like they would be at the Mac App Store, which only has four EA games, by the way: Real Racing 2, Monopoly, NBA Jam, and The Game of Life. It seems Electronic Arts wants a full cut of their digital-distribution revenue.

The service is going through alpha testing, and Mac owners can sign up today at the Origin website. It offers the same features as the PC version, such as cloud storage, auto-patching and friends lists — you know, the staples of any online gaming service. Those who sign up will also get a copy of PopCap Games’ Bookworm, just in case you like freebies.

Digital distribution has grown in popularity over the last few years, and it seems that some publishers want to open their own online shops. While this may help them better dictate pricing, it also means gamers may end up with three or more different download stores on their PC or Mac.