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Next Origin Update Adds Group Chat, Animated GIFs, & More

Today we start rolling out a new update to Origin that adds group chat, tweaks to Origin In Game (OIG), loads of optimizations, and more. Those of you who already opted-in to Origin beta updates will be prompted to update to version 9.3 later today when you sign in to Origin. The rest of the Origin community will receive the update in the weeks to come. A quick reminder: if you’d like to try out the latest update, opting in to Origin betas is simple (and free).

The biggest new feature we're adding to Origin is group chat. You're no longer limited to just one-on-one conversations with your buddies on Origin—you can now invite up to 63 other friends into a chat session and type away. Got some downtime between Battlefield 3 matches? Waiting for that one guy to select his class and kit in Mass Effect 3? Now you can keep up with the latest news by swapping stories with your gamer friends in group chat.

Another feature we've added, based on your requests, is the ability to upload custom box art for non-Origin games. And yes, you can even use animated GIFs (like this one) to add some amusing flair to your My Games library.

We've also made a few changes to Origin In Game. Let’s say you like using OIG for most of your games, but on your machine, Crysis 3 runs better without it. You can now disable OIG for specific games by right-clicking on them and selecting "Game Properties" in your My Games library. Just remember if you later want to broadcast your gameplay or check Achievements in-game, you'll need to turn it back on. Additionally, the browser in Origin In Game now has tabs, so you can easily switch between different sites during your game. Hunting for achievements in Mass Effect 3 and need to consult multiple wikis? You can do that now. We won't tell.

Speaking of Achievements, you can now make your Achievements and Origin Point total visible on your profile; just select Account & Privacy from the Origin menu, go to Privacy Settings, and check "Allow users to view my Achievements and Origin Points." Your pals don't believe that you finished Dead Space 3 in Classic mode? Point them to your Epic Tier 4 Engineer Achievement.

In addition to all that, we've made some overall improvements to our service such as more efficient auto-patching and faster download speeds. Plus, you now can easily see whether a friend is currently broadcasting gameplay or not on your Friends List—in case you want to know whether you'll be on camera or not before jumping into a BF3 match.

We hope you enjoy the new Origin update. Your feedback and suggestions for future updates are always welcome—just drop us a note in the comments section. Full release notes below:

  • Added an all-new group chat feature

  • Added messaging on your friends list that shows when a friend is broadcasting gameplay

  • Added tabs and keyboard shortcuts to the Origin In Game browser

  • You can now disable Origin In Game for individual games purchased through Origin

  • Added the ability to upload custom box art for non-Origin games, including animated GIFs

  • Added the ability to check installation progress for certain games from your web browser

  • Added a security question notification (for those who haven’t set one yet) to help protect your account

  • You can now make your Origin Points and achievement totals from BF3, ME3, and DS3 visible on your Origin profile for friends to see

  • Improved error handling for when you run out of disk space while downloading paid DLC

  • You can now uninstall games through Origin for Mac

  • Improved user feedback survey for PC; enabled user feedback survey for Mac

  • More efficient auto-patching (now only the changed parts of a file get downloaded)

  • Faster game download performance