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Electronic Arts bringing Origin game distribution platform to Mac

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Origin from Electronic Arts will be joining Apple's Mac App Store and Valve's Steam as the latest distribution platform for video games on OS X. The company today announced the immediate launch of an alpha version of Origin, which gives testers a free copy of Bookworms from PopCap Games. That's all you'll be getting right now though, as Origin's built-in game store isn't yet functional at this early stage. But other features of EA's platform — cloud-based saves and chat, for instance — are available from day one. Still, Origin coming to Apple's desktop OS doesn't necessarily guarantee you'll be playing top-tier games like Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect on Mac; EA says individual development studios will decide whether it's worth their effort to port a game and get it running natively on OS X. In any event, if you want to get in early, now's the time. Only a "few thousand" testers from North America and the United Kingdom are being accepted in the alpha.