Two years ago Valve Software’s Steam store showed up on the Mac. Now EA is following suit and bringing their Origin store to not just the Mac, but Android devices, SmartTVs, and most surprisingly, Facebook as well. An iOS version was not announced, and is not expected since Apple does not allow third-party distribution. For Android, Origin will be the first store devoted strictly to gaming. While Steam does have an application, it’s only a companion app for the Mac/PC store. In addition to the new platforms, Origin will be matching Steam with un-lockable achievements and free-to-play titles.
What this means for Mac gaming has been unclear. Since EA’s 2007 return to the Mac during the WWDC Keynote, their games have been sporadic at best, sometimes missing expansion packs or DLC available on the PC, and mostly ported using Transgaming’s Cider technology and using Transgaming’s GameTree Mac digital store. It is too early to tell if this signals an expansion of their Mac efforts or just an effort to bring distribution in-house. It is also unknown whether Origin will match Steamplay where buyers get access to both PC and Mac downloads.
For release dates, the SmartTV and Android dates are completely unknown. The Mac version will released on or before the scheduled release of SimCity in February 2013.