As expected, Electronic Arts will continue to more closely tie its games to the Origin digital distribution platform going forward. The latest news is that the upcoming release of Mass Effect 3 for the PC in both the physical and digital versions will require Origin. In addition, if you want to play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer you will require a constant Internet connection.
While Origin will be required, this has not ruled out the possibility of a Steam release. While at least initially there will not be a Steam digital offering, that might change. Of course once again the topic of Steam’s set of restrictive terms of service that dictate how developers may interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content is the issue here.
While Origin users will not be restricted to how many PCs they can install the game on, without a connection to Origin it is actually pointless. Mass Effect 3 is still slated for release on March 6th for those in North America, and March 9th for those in Europe. It is hard to say how much tying the game to Origin will hurt sales for the PC version; but since the console release will drive sales we are not sure that EA actually cares that much. Origin is here and we had better get used to it.
Also, the Digital Deluxe version of PC release of Mass Effect 3 is still exclusive to Origin buyers only.