EA debuts download site; Digital River helps

Digital River may have locked in some big-time traffic with the launch of Origin, the new downloadable-game site by Electronic Arts Inc.

The Wall Street Journal described Origin as a sort of the iTunes for the videogame industry. And it's gotten a lot of industry buzz. Cnet published a hands-on review of the site, comparing it to rival service Steam from Valve Software, while Motley Fool speculated on who loses out in the deal (their take: GameSpot "just got Blockbuster'd").

Don't see Digital River mentioned? You're not looking hard enough. Click to download any of the 150 games or so currently available and watch your browser's status window. It's connecting to Digital River's servers.

All this is the fruits of Digital River's efforts three years ago to land EA as a client, which we wrote about way back when.

The real payoff could come later this year, as EA is making Origin the exclusive site for downloads of its massively multi-player online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic -- which could be really, really popular. About 1.5 million people have signed up for the beta, and one analyst predicted that the game could generate $161 million in sales, with more than $100 million of that coming from digital downloads.

Read more: EA debuts download site; Digital River helps | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

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