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.
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.
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?