I am no fan of Steam, but when it comes down to making a purchase decision between Valve's Steamworks and EA's Origin, I will pick Steam over Origin any day. At the least, Valve have shown their Customer respect and appreciation.
respect and appreciation? like not allowing their own customers resell any of their games, or by forcing them to use their "service" just to install/play many games, at least give them the option if they actually do respect and appreciate their customers.
For clarification, please keep in mind that my previous post is not a tribute to Steam; it is a comparison between Steam and Origin. If you check out the DRM discussion threads (please let me know if you need links), you will see that I am one of the most active participants and you'll also see where I stand on DRM in general and Steam in particular.
As you pointed out, the issue of lack of true ownership with a Steam game is obvious - and it is something that I have criticized repeatedly. On the the other hand though, I think Steam is a viable distribution outlet for indie developers and feature some great sales on their games with very low price on a regular basis. And last but not least, I truly believe Steam is very careful not to piss off their Customers (eg. you don't see Gabe Newell making condescending remarks about Gamers who criticized them like EA executives did).
As is, my personal stance on Steam is a very simple one: As a reasonable compromise for limiting my ownership rights, the average price I am willing to pay for Steam game is $30 or less.
As for EA's origin, although it recently launched this month, it actually is EA Online Store and Downloader revamped and renamed in order to copy and compete with Steam. As is, based on what I have seen so far, it is similar to Steam in most way. However, the biggest difference in my eyes is that Origin is owned by EA ! And as far as contrast/comparison go, I think we all know how EA compared and where they stand when it comes to developer support and Customer respect.
In conclusion, for those Customers who must buy Alice: Madness Returns at this time, I simply want to suggest another alternative - and although it is not ideal, it is a better alternative than EA Origin IMO.
Thank you for the update. I can now confirm that Origin is an option and is not mandatory. I can also confirm that Alice Madness Returns uses account ties-in DRM scheme - similar to Dragon Age 2. One must create an account and activate the game online with EA. The key code is then permanently ties into your account to restrict paying Customers from resale and gifting.
The following is taken directly from the back of the box of Alice: Madness Returns (I added the stars for emphasis):
"EA account, registration with enclosed *single-use* serial code, internet connection and acceptance of end user license agreement required to play and access bonus content (if any). Serial code is *non-transferable* once used."