The war between Origin and Steam is getting thicker and thicker, with EA games continually vanishing from Steam store and games like Alice: Madness Returns coming on steam late it was only a question of whether EA would allow steam to sell Battlefield 3 for them, a post on the official EA forums has made it abundantly clear that Steam will probably not see Battlefield 3 any time soon, so if you want the game you will either have to buy it physically / through another digital distributor or straight from Origin.
seeson is a developer on the official EA forums and he has confirmed that EA has decided that due to steams “Restrictive terms of service” stop them from delivering patches and the proper support their customers need, since no other digital distributor has put up this issue EA has decided to leave steam out of the loop. Here is the entire post
EA offers games, including Battlefield 3, to all major digital download sites. In doing so, our goal is to not only reach the widest possible global audience with our games, but also to provide ongoing customer support, patches and great new content. We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play the game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with consumers.
For more on our policy to offer games to any major third party download service, please read here: http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/7372195.pageAdvertisement
Gamers can pre-order Battlefield 3 at Origin.com as well as over 100 digital retailers worldwide. EA offers games to all major download services. Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices.
We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers. We hope to work out an agreement where Steam can carry Battlefield 3; meanwhile, gamers can pick from the more than 100 digital retailers listed at http://www.battlefield.com/digitaldownload, or go to http://www.origin.com.
As you can see it is clear that steam will indeed not see Battlefield 3 on their digital shelves anytime soon which is pretty bad news for those who like limiting their games library to Steam, while moving to Origins just for Battlefield 3 is a bit of a hassle it will still affect the game sales because it is well known that steam is the largest digital retailer on the internet (For the PC).