Migrating Your EA Games from Steam or Retail to Origin

EA Origin Logo
by Rob Williams on October 25, 2013 in Gaming

A little known fact about EA’s Origin gaming platform is that most EA titles purchased outside of the service can be registered within it. The problem: EA doesn’t offer a good list of supported titles, preferring to leave it up to gamers to figure out. Thanks to that, we’ve been compiling our own list, and welcome submissions to help it become definitive.

EA’s digital gaming platform, Origin, received a major boost to its user base in late 2011 thanks to the release of Battlefield 3. At the time, fans of the series weren’t pleased. In effect, EA was forcing them into using a gaming platform which, let’s face it, was lackluster when compared to the competition (in this case, Valve’s Steam).

A lot of gamers don’t even care for Steam, or game launchers in general. But if you’re going to be forced into using one, wouldn’t it be nice if it delivered on modern expectations? Well, since its release, Origin has gotten a lot better, but compared to Steam, many would argue that it still has a lot of catching up to do (come on, EA, at least let us make simple backups of our games!).

There is one way to improve your Origin experience just a wee bit, though: Importing EA games you’ve either bought at retail or on Steam. Granted, this is going to have limited appeal, but there are a couple of perks. Own a game that supports co-op or multiplayer, but doesn’t require online access? Do I need to say more? Or, it could simply be that you need or want to install a game out of Steam for any other reason. Fortunately, if it’s an EA title, chances are good that you’ll be able to activate it on Origin and treat it as if you purchased it there.

Origin Game's List

Inside of Origin’s main menu, an option named “Redeem Product Code” can be found. As alluded to above, if you own an EA game on disc, the code found inside the packaging could be used (or rather, tried) here. Likewise, if Steam offers you the ability to snag your CD key for a given game, you can try that as well. This is a nice perk that EA offers here, but it’s worth pointing out that Valve offers much of the same thing – there, though, non-Valve developers can get in on the action if they choose to.

While Valve offers a list of games that can be imported into Steam this way, EA leaves the bulk of the guesswork up to you – or us, which is the purpose of this article. 

But first – how to acquire a CD key from Steam? If the game supports it, a “View CD key” option will be found when right-clicking it. In the example below, we can see that Crysis 2: Maximum Edition is one such title that does.

Steam View CD Key

Unfortunately, not all EA titles in Steam will offer a CD key, but a lot do. In the event that a game doesn’t, I believe the prospect of registering that game at Origin is a lost cause. Also, some games might offer more than one key; either two codes that do the same thing but are available in two formats, or extra codes for DLC. If a game is registered on Origin, it’s wise to test out the DLC code as well if one is available.

After putting a code into Origin that it accepts, you’ll receive a prompt like this:

Registering a Game on Origin

The choice here shouldn’t be made in haste, because as far as I can tell, there’s no going back. For some games, even if the code isn’t accepted, there might be a workaround. For games released in 2008 or earlier, another website (referenced below) might be required for registration. There, you simply put in your CD key and account credentials, and if all goes well, the site will confirm the title to be added to the account. If for some reason this gets you nowhere, contact Origin customer support (and good luck).

Here is a list of EA games / DLC and their confirmed status:

Game TitleSuccessNotes
Alice: Madness ReturnsYesSuccess
Battlefield: Bad Company 2YesSuccess
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – VietnamYesSuccess
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – SPECACTYesSuccess
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxYesSuccess
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3YesSuccess
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian TwilightYesSuccess
CrysisNoOrigin Rejects Key
Crysis WarheadYesRegister on Website*
Crysis 2YesSuccess
Crysis 2: Maximum EditionYesSuccess
Dead SpaceYesSuccess
Dead Space 2YesSuccess
Dragon Age: OriginsYesSuccess
Dragon Age: Origins – AwakeningYesSuccess
FIFA Manager 09NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
FIFA Manager 10NoOrigin Rejects Key
FIFA Manager 11YesSuccess
Gatling GearsYesSuccess
Mass EffectNoOrigin Rejects Key
Mass Effect 2YesSuccess
Medal of HonorYesSuccess
Mirror’s EdgeNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Need for Speed: Hot PursuitYesSuccess
Need for Speed: SHIFTNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Need for Speed: UndercoverNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
SHIFT 2: UnleashedYesSuccess
Spore: Creepy & CuteNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
The Sims 3YesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: AmbitionsYesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: Fast LaneYesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: GenerationsYesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: High-End Loft StuffYesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: Into the FutureYesSuccess
The Sims 3: Late NightYesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: Movie StuffYesSuccess
The Sims 3: Outdoor Living StuffYesRegister on Website*
The Sims 3: World AdventureYesRegister on Website*
The Sims: MedievalYesSuccess
The Sims: Medieval – Pirates & NoblesYesSuccess
* https://activate.ea.com/applyentitlement.do

Is there a chance that non-EA games can be carried over from Steam? To test, we cross-checked our available games on Steam with those available on Origin, aaaaand, the outlook is not so good:

Non-EA Game TitleSuccessNotes
Age of Empires IIINoOrigin Rejects Key
Alan WakeNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Assassin’s Creed IIINoOrigin Rejects Key
Batman: Arkham AsylumNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Batman: Arkham CityNoOrigin Rejects Key
Bejeweled 3NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Book of Unwritten Tales: Critter ChroniclesNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Cities XL 2012NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Crusader Kings IINoOrigin Rejects Key
DarksidersNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Darksiders IINoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Dead IslandNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
DmC Devil May CryNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Euro Truck Simulator 2NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
F1 2012NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
F1 Race StarsNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Far Cry 3NoOrigin Rejects Key
Farming Simulator 2013NoOrigin Rejects Key
F.E.A.R. 3NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Giana Sisters: Twisted DreamsNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
GRID 2NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Goodbye DeponiaNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Hitman: AbsolutionNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
LEGO The Lord of the RingsNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Lord of the Rings: War in the NorthNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Metro 2033NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Metro: Last LightNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Omerta: City of GangstersNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Remember MeNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Resident Evil 6NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon CityNoOrigin Rejects Key
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Platinum!NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Saints Row: The ThirdNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Sniper Elite V2NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade EditionNoOrigin Rejects Key
Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Street Fighter X TekkenNoOrigin Rejects Key
The Walking DeadNoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
The Witcher 2: Assassins of KingsNoOrigin Rejects Key
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: BlacklistNoOrigin Rejects Key
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: ConvictionNoOrigin Rejects Key
Tomb Raider (2013)NoSteam Doesn’t Provide Key
Trials Evolution Gold EditionNoOrigin Rejects Key
Two Worlds IINoOrigin Rejects Key

This is unfortunate, and something that EA should consider fixing. It could be assumed that it’s just not possible for EA to add support for games that it doesn’t own the rights to, but remember that Steam link from earlier? If Valve can do it, we’d imagine EA should be able to, too. In fact, there are some games that are available on both services, but only Steam allows you to activate them even though they were purchased elsewhere. Age of Empires IIIDarksiders, and F.E.A.R. 3 are a couple of examples.

If people could activate more of their games on Origin, we’d have to imagine that it would be a good thing, not a bad thing.

Because the Techgage team doesn’t own every EA game available on Origin, we welcome a heads-up. Own a game we don’t? Test out the import and let us know if it works!

Article originally published on September 30, 2011. Last updated on October 25, 2013.