Hurleybird tipped us off about another article on the fate of Origin. We get a lot of questions about this, so more clarification on the matter is a good thing. The Next-Gen article does a good job of outlining the structure of events and setting up a timeline. Origin began working with Electronic Arts as early as 1984 and was completely purchased by the company in 1992. The author injects a bit of commentary at that point about the negative impact of this. What the article doesn't spend much time on is how EA probably saved Origin from bankruptcy in the early 1990s and funded massive projects such as Wing Commander 3 & 4. Furthermore, Origin wasn't just dropped after Ultima Online's surprise success. For half a dozen years, EA went back and forth with them on a number of Wing Commander and Ultima projects that ultimately didn't work out. The complete story behind Origin's fate is very complex, and fans are welcome to ask questions by hitting the Discuss link below. Although the symbolic effect of closing Origin's Austin studios hit many people hard, EA continues to reevaluate Origin's classic franchises and pursue opportunities when the timing is right. The rerelease of Ultima and Privateer on the GameTap service is just a tiny glimpse at what the future holds.
You can cut straight to the Origin page here. Austin's Looking Glass Studios is also covered a few pages after that.