Overnight, EA has announced Origin, a download and community service similar to Valve’s Steam.

More than 150 EA games are currently available on Origin, and in the months ahead, those games will be joined by exclusive limited edition copies of titles such as Alice: Madness Returns, FIFA 12, Battlefield 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

Origin will be the only place players can purchase and download Star Wars: The Old Republic online.

“Origin is a game service with two fundamental features,” said David DeMartini, senior vice president of Global Online at EA. “It’s a download service for the very best content from EA and its partners. It also offers a social function which, over time, will connect a player’s profile with friends lists and a cross-platform feed that shows what your friends are playing and where.”

Origin goes into open beta today. The client will be available here.

EA will go into greater depth on Origin at its E3 press event. Gameplanet will be reporting live from Los Angeles throughout E3, which runs from 7th-9th June (8th-10th June NZT).