You may know of EA's Origin download service, which allows you to buy and download any PC game that is published by EA. You may also know, thanks to one of my earlier posts, that Origin was pretty much the reason Crysis 2 was pulled from the steam store.
In an interview with Industrygamers, David DeMartini EA's SVP of global online said that EA would be willing to talk to other publishers for using Origin as a download service.
"A lot of other publishers are looking at viable channels for making their content available, and we would welcome them on Origin and hope that they would see the value of what we're trying to bring with the Origin client in association with their games as well,"
Now, call me biased, but I like steam and I don't like EA's attitude towards it and the idea that EA might be trying to create something that rivals it is rather worrying. EA regularly delays games on steam or doesn't some extra content to steam users or, even worse, won't release patches on steam. I bought Need for Speed: Hot pursuit on steam a while ago but was suffering from graphical issues and slowdown that could only be solved if I used EA's download manager to get the patch.
Now, with this news of potentially working with other publishers, I worry that we'll soon see EA as the dominant PC download force. The big thing I love about Valve is that they are not publicly traded and so don't have shareholders to answer to. EA on the other hand, will be willing to get every bit of private information from you in order to sell you more stuff and make more money.
Of course, this could end up as a positive, EA could completely fail with this, or if they don't. Valve will have some competition. Some decent competition for Valve could end up with many more deals and sales on both platforms to try and outsell each other, we'll see in a few years time I suppose.