EA to Shut Down Over 50 Online Games

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Games developer EA have announced the servers to over 50 of its older games titles will be shut down to create room for new releases.

A number of high profile games including Crysis 2, Battlefield, Need For Speed, FIFA, Madden and Star Wars: Battlefront will have their online support removed at the end of June.
Many gamers are disappointed that these once ground-breaking titles are being removed and restricted without any option for additional support.

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GameSpy

The changes were almost certainly prompted after hosting service GameSpy announced it was to cease operations at the end of May. With the prospect of an additional support burden on EA, the company appear to have taken a decision to clear out some older games and free up resources for new titles.
Online gaming service GameSpy is used by many different publishers to provide multiplayer services for games. Earlier this year its parent company IGN Entertainment announced it would be closing the GameSpy servers and to focus primarily on its own website.

Removal of Multiplayer

Although the games will still be ‘playable’ many of them will have their functions heavily stripped back. Titles like Battlefield and Star Wars, which pioneered online human to human gaming, will have the online multiplayer aspects cut out, leaving the games without the selling point that made them popular in the first place.
It’s believed that a small number of the titles will be spared from the axe if 3rd party support is found to host the servers and provide a multiplayer service. However only Star Wars: Battlefront has had any serious interest to continue the service.

EA History

A release from EA outlined the drop in interaction with the older games was the main reason for the axe being swung.
“As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level – typically fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles – where it’s no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running”

Some enthusiasts are worried that without protecting these pioneering games, EA are erasing an important part of gaming history. Is it really a case of burning books or just clearing the way for the new generation?

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Danny Young

Features Editor

5 comments

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  1. Andy Davis 13 May, 2014 at 12:37

    This is not new news! You make it sound like they have never done it before and is going to affect loads of people, but this is an ongoing process that they do quite often. Shutting down the servers of games that are seriously out of date and probably hardly ever played anymore is just logical! Its either that or they buy extra servers and charge more for the new games!!! I know which I would prefer.

  2. kalum hume 13 May, 2014 at 18:25

    once again EA manage to make EVERYONE hate them the 3 most disliked company america and im sure it’s not far off that in the rest of the world :P i understand that the games are old but once in a while i do still play them 

  3. Deon 20 July, 2014 at 23:01

    As usual with many of these type of games, controversy has already erupted over whether players who purchase the DLC packs have an unfair advantage over those who haven’t.
    A lot of the contests take place throughout the end of the week however presently there are several exceptions.

    The Web host may shut down the offending virtual server to protect the interests of its other clients.

  4. Ian 22 November, 2014 at 15:13

    This is why every game should have a solid and strong single player component with a good AI. This way your money isn`t totally wasted. You cannot rely on selfish business` keeping the servers open forever, cos they won`t. Same goes for all those popular games out right now.

  5. Anonymous 13 December, 2014 at 01:28

    There is far TOO MUCH emphasis placed on always online, server connections for multiplayer and most of games content being kept on those servers! NOT EVERYONE wants to always play with gangs of strangers, or have this overpowering need to feel connected. If games were made properly as they used to be, all of a games content would be on the disks you bought or on your hard drtive from a download. Then whenever they wanted to close down those expensive servers other people could continue to play their favourite older games without hindrance.
    That is such an obvious solution to please everyone. People could still link up their own networks and play together when they wanted to then as well.
    In all fairness, when a company wanted to close their servers down to make way for more profitable new games, they should first warn people as they do now, but then make a final big download patch like any other major update to make those who wanted it have the rest of the complete files to become standalone completely playable independent games.
    They could leave the necessary completion patch up on one of their other servers used by a current game, not to run the old game, but just so that it was accessible to people who had already bought their games to keep.
    That wouldn’t cost the devs much at all and everyone would be happy. It would also avoid some of the great older games from disappearing altogether as well and keep the best ones for posterity!

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