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Surprise! EA's digital-distribution service Origin ditches discs

Starting April 4, Origin customers will no longer have the option to buy physical game discs as the service goes all digital.


Electronic Arts' Origin, a digital game-distribution platform aimed at taking on Valve's Steam service, has decided to nix physical discs.

Starting April 4, Origin users trying to buy physical game discs through the game-delivery platform will need to go digital or go without, EA announced recently. The move reflects current consumer demand, EA said, since 99 percent of its current Origin users only purchase digital content.

EA launched its Origin service in 2011 as an answer to the wildly popular digital-delivery platform Steam. EA at that time tried to make the service a hybrid offering, allowing customers to buy both physical and digital goods. Its main thrust, however, was digital, allowing users to buy games for Windows, OS X, and other platforms.

Despite the relatively small number of users who rely on Origin for physical games, the company has been hit with some criticism. One user who commented on the announcement said Origin's "servers are not that fast," causing him to rely on physical discs.

For its part, EA hasn't commented on that, saying only that it "will be here when you transition your gaming habits to the wonders of digital downloads."

EA shares are currently trading at $28.53, down slightly from their 52-week high of $30.56.

CNET has contacted EA for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.