Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.

Publisher Electronic Arts tried selling both digital and physical games through its Origin service, but most customers heavily favored one of those options.

EA announced today that it is dropping physical games from its distribution network. Starting Friday, Origin customers will only have the option to download software. The Battlefield 4 publisher explained that only around one out of  every 100 customers ever used Origin to buy a packaged disc.

“What does this mean for you? If you’re among 99 percent of our users, absolutely nothing,” Origin spokesperson Craig Harris wrote in a blog. “Your shopping experience hasn’t changed one single bit. But if you’re that 1 percent who still desires a physical collection, we want to let you know that Origin won’t be able to fulfill that need beginning April 4. We’ll still be here when you transition your gaming habits to the wonders of digital downloads.”

Origin is EA’s attempt to have control over the digital distribution of its games. The company previously used services like Valve’s Steam to sell its PC titles online, but EA figured it had big enough properties to justify its own service.


GamesBeat Summit 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in Los Angeles this May 22-23. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.

Register Here

In 2011, EA introduced Origin and started pulling some of its games off of Steam and other services. By selling its own games, EA no longer at to share sales revenue with Valve. In late 2011, EA released Battlefield 3, which required Origin. EA has mandated an Origin install for all of its PC games ever since.

Ubisoft’s Uplay service, which is its digital-distribution network, still sells physical games for consoles, but it is digital only for PC.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.