Electronic Arts has officially launched their new store client doodad after a long period of open testing, replacing the much skewed Origin with what they call an “EA app” (its actual name is just “EA”). They say it’s faster and better. I think maybe it is? But it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s not a disaster, because it’s not like you’re using it unless you have to somehow. Just like Origin before it, the new EA app is an inconvenience you have to accept to play EA games that require it, and beyond that it’s useless. It does a steady job.
“The EA App is our fastest and lightest PC app to date” EA’s requirements. “With a new streamlined design, it’s easier to find the games and content you’re looking for and discover your new favorites. With automatic game downloads and updates background updates, you can ensure that your games are always ready to play”.
Probably? I think it feels a little faster? I’m not sure. I only open it when I need it for a game that requires it. I myself switched from Origin to the beta app because it was needed to play EA games on PC Game Pass. Sure, let’s just say it doesn’t feel significantly worse, maybe?
Visually, your game library is still displayed as rows of big box art, rather than a useful form like a straight list. My own library still includes an expired Battlefield 2042 Open Beta with a spooky gray color that I can neither install nor remove from the list (I think Origin has that option?). That doesn’t feel fast and unorganized but then what happens when I’ll just launch the app with a specific intent.
You can now also link your friends list from Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation, but I’m not sure why that would be useful in software that I’ll only launch when the game asks for it.
I can tell you that the problem that has always made Origin slow for me is still there: no matter how many times I ask it to remember my credentials, it will soon forget and log me out. Since I will only open the EA app when a game requires it, also launching and logging into my password manager to get my EA credentials is by far the biggest source of slowness.
If you judge the EA app as a launcher and as a store, it’s bland, useless, and completely forgettable. It is surpassed by its competitors in every way. You will only use if you have to. But you’re forced to use it to play most EA games (and I can’t imagine buying a non-EA game through it), so judge it like that: a disservice. unavoidable convenience. By that metric, I want the app to work basically meaningless. I want it to appear quietly when needed, and more than that, I never want to touch, see, or think about it.
It’s annoying when the app opens on its home page after I close a game because hey, no, I closed the game, that’s the only use I have for you, and that’s over. end. It’s annoying when I then close that window and my PC shows up with a pop-up saying “EA application is running and has been minimized”. I know. Shut. If we have to use it, make it as invisible and frictionless as possible. So it’s annoying when I’m asked to interact with the app, it could have forgotten my damn credentials.
This is not like 2K with their new 2K Launcher, remember. 2K last year started to include it in games that had never used it, providing no benefit while adding clutter and even break some games. With EA, hey, they’ve been mostly asking for a bad client for a decade now, this is simply the same arrangement under a new name.
Not every new game published by EA requires their customers. When EA keep releasing new games on Steam after a tumultuous eight years (during which time they put some older games on GOG), many people are still claiming Origin on Valve’s own store app. But the Steam versions of the new F1 racing game — which EA released since purchasing Codemasters — don’t require Origins at the top. And it seems Dead Space remake might not be on Steam either. I hope this continues and I also hope they release more games on non-customer-mandatory stores.