(Image: EA)Electronic Arts (EA) announced Thursday that it’s officially replacing Origin with a new EA app. The app, which has been in development for about two years, recently left open beta to become available on select Windows systems.
The EA app—as it’s officially called—kicks Origin’s clunky interface to the curb in exchange for what appears to be a more intuitive experience. Though the app still displays ads for new games upon opening, it doesn’t appear to be nearly as ad-centric as its predecessor, which was largely a marketing client with a side of game library access. The friends list is displayed on the right instead of being tucked away at the bottom, and a list of the user’s installed games sits on the left, making boot-up less complicated than it’s been for the last decade. EA says the app will provide users with a “faster, more reliable, and more streamlined gaming experience.”
Design-wise, the EA app looks a lot like Steam. And while that’s a bit boring, who can blame EA for (albeit quite blatantly) imitating its most impressive competitor? Steam is a platform people want to hang out on, while EA—since its 2007 Store and Download Manager combo—has almost always been a platform people use only when they absolutely have to. Introducing a clearer interface like the one pictured above allows users to locate their downloaded games, browse new titles, and tinker with the download manager more easily. Maybe, just maybe, this will help EA escape its widely-hated status and move to one of gradual acceptance.
EA says the app, which is now available for download on supported Windows PCs, will automatically contain users’ local and cloud saves, as well as their existing friend lists. Users will also be able to merge their friend lists with those they’ve built on Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation.
The few of us who dare to game on Mac will have to wait a bit longer to try the EA app for ourselves. EA says Mac users will continue to boot up their games via Origin and that it has “no changes to announce” regarding the introduction of the new app on Mac. That being said, it seems a version of the EA app for Mac will eventually come: “As things evolve, we’ll have more information to share in the coming months,” EA says.