EA Announces More Online Service Shutdowns

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Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

The clock is ticking on a number of older EA Sports and EA-published games. EA has announced another wave of server shutdowns that will effectively remove all online support from a stable of its once-supported games across almost every major platform--the Wii, Xbox 360, PSP, PC, and PS3, to be specific. And while the games will of course remain playable offline, these shutdowns will rob you of the chance to collect precious multiplayer achievements, trophies, and bragging rights.

As usual, the vast majority of the games receiving online service shutdowns are older sports titles that have since received their annual or bi-annual sequels. The few games that aren't sports-related included in this list are The Sims Carnival and the short-lived The Battle For Middle-Earth series. For the LOTR games specifically, this shutdown is due to a license expiration. 
 


== TEASER ==Here's the list: 

Mar 1, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09 for Wii
 
Feb 8, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
FIFA 07 for Xbox 360
FIFA 08 for PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
FIFA 09 for PC, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
FIFA 09 Ultimate Team for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
FIFA Street 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
EA Sports FIFA Manager 10 for PC
Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Madden 09 for PlayStation Portable (all regions), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
Madden 10 for PlayStation Portable (all regions), PlayStation 2 and Wii
NBA LIVE 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NBA LIVE 09 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
NCAA Basketball 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Basketball 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 07 for Xbox 360
NCAA Football 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 10 for PlayStation 2
NFL Head Coach 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NHL 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NHL 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
UEFA EURO 2008 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
2010 FIFA World Cup for PlayStation Portable and Wii
2010 FIFA World Cup Demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
 
Jan 17, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
The Sims Carnival
 
Jan 11, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II for Xbox 360
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II -- The Rise of the Witch-King for Xbox 360
 
Dec 31, 2010 Online Service Shutdown
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth for PC
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II for PC
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II -- The Rise of the Witch-king for PC
 
Presumably, EA eats the cost of supporting these games, and if people aren't playing the games there's little financial point in keeping them alive. EA notes specifically that the EA Sports games scheduled for shutdown represent around a mere 1% of activity "across all EA titles."
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

The clock is ticking on a number of older EA Sports and EA-published games. EA has announced another wave of server shutdowns that will effectively remove all online support from a stable of its once-supported games across almost every major platform--the Wii, Xbox 360, PSP, PC, and PS3, to be specific. And while the games will of course remain playable offline, these shutdowns will rob you of the chance to collect precious multiplayer achievements, trophies, and bragging rights.

As usual, the vast majority of the games receiving online service shutdowns are older sports titles that have since received their annual or bi-annual sequels. The few games that aren't sports-related included in this list are The Sims Carnival and the short-lived The Battle For Middle-Earth series. For the LOTR games specifically, this shutdown is due to a license expiration. 
 


== TEASER ==Here's the list: 

Mar 1, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09 for Wii
 
Feb 8, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
FIFA 07 for Xbox 360
FIFA 08 for PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
FIFA 09 for PC, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
FIFA 09 Ultimate Team for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
FIFA Street 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
EA Sports FIFA Manager 10 for PC
Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Madden 09 for PlayStation Portable (all regions), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
Madden 10 for PlayStation Portable (all regions), PlayStation 2 and Wii
NBA LIVE 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NBA LIVE 09 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
NCAA Basketball 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Basketball 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 07 for Xbox 360
NCAA Football 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 10 for PlayStation 2
NFL Head Coach 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NHL 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NHL 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
UEFA EURO 2008 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
2010 FIFA World Cup for PlayStation Portable and Wii
2010 FIFA World Cup Demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
 
Jan 17, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
The Sims Carnival
 
Jan 11, 2011 Online Service Shutdown
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II for Xbox 360
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II -- The Rise of the Witch-King for Xbox 360
 
Dec 31, 2010 Online Service Shutdown
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth for PC
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II for PC
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II -- The Rise of the Witch-king for PC
 
Presumably, EA eats the cost of supporting these games, and if people aren't playing the games there's little financial point in keeping them alive. EA notes specifically that the EA Sports games scheduled for shutdown represent around a mere 1% of activity "across all EA titles."
#2 Posted by Venatio (4482 posts) -

That sucks

#3 Posted by cocowawa (62 posts) -

i hold online gaming in such low regard that i'm not disappointed. then again,some of these are 4-year-old games

#4 Posted by FlamingHobo (4479 posts) -

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth was a fantastic RTS which had a great community, for the most part. It's a shame that the online component is being shutdown. Ah well, back to the LAN parties me and my friends used to have.

#5 Posted by GeekDown (1170 posts) -

Why do they even bother putting multiplayer in so many games? Seems pointless, but I guess this is just another reason why you should never buy sports games.

#6 Edited by MrCellophane (524 posts) -

As a certified achievement whore I find this kind of behaviour an outrage! What about all the poor gamers who will never get that sought-after S-rating?
 
Games should last foreeeeeeeeeeever, y'all
 
EDIT: But I totally understand EA's reasons

#7 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2485 posts) -

The Sims Carnival?  Noooooooooooooooo.

#8 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

EA is so weird with stuff like this. LOTR lasted much longer than some other games that seemed like they should definitely have survived past games like that. 
 
I just want them to stop the bullshit where buying one of their games for my family actually means buying the fucking game separately for each person thanks to that stupid online pass. This is business as usual for EA though. I'm sure it sucks for those that still play the games a lot online but most of these games have newer generations so I guess it's not that big of a deal.

#9 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

Thanks, EA... :/

#10 Posted by Foggen (837 posts) -

EA has had enough time in this generation to learn how to make games that can work on XBL without their servers.  These games may not be a big deal, but failure to make them as robust as possible is inexcusable.

#11 Posted by PirateNipple (94 posts) -

I don't understand why they can't just launch the games with multiplayer that uses the console's existing service (Live, PSN, etc.) instead of using their own EA service and forcing everyone out of multiplayer when they see the numbers drop.

#12 Posted by snetErz (120 posts) -
@PirateNipple: It's an incessant need to control all content delivery for their titles.
#13 Posted by bitcloud (646 posts) -
@PirateNipple: They host actual servers for these games and when no one plays them they shut it down. PSN and XBL have no server hosting and they do work with them as services. All EA games use servers as well.  
 
Everyone pretty much jumps onto the new version for sports games.
#14 Edited by coryrx8 (175 posts) -
@PirateNipple said:

"I don't understand why they can't just launch the games with multiplayer that uses the console's existing service (Live, PSN, etc.) instead of using their own EA service and forcing everyone out of multiplayer when they see the numbers drop. "


For their annual sports titles, the answer is obvious: you can't claim "we need to repurpose the servers" and cut older titles off if there are no servers to repurpose. EA wants you buying the latest title, not playing last year's game online for years and years.  As for why EA uses dedicated servers for the rest of their titles that don't have annual sequels, the only guess I can make is that they want to take a consistent approach to all of their online games. I figure, first, it's easier on their developers to just use a single online library, and second, people can't claim that they're being inconsistent when they lock out the older annual titles. Instead of a few games having an expiration date, this way, they all do.
#15 Posted by misterpope (379 posts) -

really? me and my friend would play BFME2 online every once and a while. I still think this is kinda crazy, personally. but go for it EA.

#16 Edited by itspizza (430 posts) -

Whooo, im glad NHL 10 didn't get shut down me and my friends still play that online

#17 Edited by TorMasturba (1095 posts) -

I'm cool with this. If the games aren't bringing them in any or enough revenue anymore then, from a business stand-point, this is a good decision.  
 
It enables them to put their money, for which they have a lot of but not an unlimited supply of, in future or current projects. From a selfish angle this will give me, and all of us, more games to play in months/years to come. 

#18 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

2 things they should do when disabling the online... 
 
-Get rid of the online achievements and round off the rest to equal 1000 GS. 
-Patch the games to get rid of the online option. If I notice an online option and there's no servers to play on, then I feel that my game is incomplete. 
 
I doubt any of this will happen, but one can dream, right?

#19 Posted by TadThuggish (906 posts) -

This is pathetic.  Remember in 2003/2004 when EA was fighting soooooo hard to run their own servers when they got to Xbox Live, instead of using the basic and proven peer-to-peer player matching Microsoft was providing? 
 
Turns out it was just general "top company" squabble and no one really gives a shit.

#20 Posted by Scotty_Gun (23 posts) -

As far as 360 is concerned, if they just did their multiplayer P2P like all the other xbox games, then they wouldn't have to eat the cost of maintenance.
#22 Posted by audiosnag (1604 posts) -

Thats a bummer. I guess I can sorta see it for older sports titles but Battle for Middle Earth II was a really great RTS.

#23 Posted by TadThuggish (906 posts) -

http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/215482948_BPDSj-L-2.jpg    

#24 Posted by DG991 (1344 posts) -

They did the same thing to Empire Earth a few years back. I hate that shit. 

#25 Posted by Tuggah (1072 posts) -

And I just ordered NFL Head Coach 09 last weekend. 
 
Seriously, I did.

#26 Posted by killawogg (222 posts) -

this is why i hate that ea has their own servers. i guess sports games i can understand but battle for middlle earth is a cool game

#27 Posted by mrcraggle (1842 posts) -

I can get games from 07 or 08 but why cut games that others are still playing? I own Fifa 09 and haven't bought any of the newer ones yet it is getting cut at the same time as games that are 3 or 4 years old. EA can be awesome sometimes but stuff like this just seems dickish as to what they'll cut in the future and their servers are absolute garbage anyway. I've had a less laggy games on p2p than on their junk.

#28 Posted by Kyodra (138 posts) -

Makes sense to cut the service for games that aren't being played, but I could see someone playing some of these still. The latest sports game can sometimes actually play worse than an earlier one, and if that happens and they cut the online for the better game it would indeed suck. 

#29 Posted by hagridore (500 posts) -

I know they would never go back to a game to patch in an alternative online setup. But shipping with a "sleeper" P2P mode that they could flick the switch on would be friendly. Not all online games need servers, EA. 
 
I miss Burnout 3 & 4's multiplayer.

#30 Posted by Rockdalf (1274 posts) -
@ch13696 said:
" 2 things they should do when disabling the online...  -Get rid of the online achievements and round off the rest to equal 1000 GS. -Patch the games to get rid of the online option. If I notice an online option and there's no servers to play on, then I feel that my game is incomplete.  I doubt any of this will happen, but one can dream, right? "
I agree with that sentiment.  However, this is one of those "we already have your monies" situation.
#31 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

My research tells me they're not shutting down The Sims Carnival: SnapCity. That game, along with The Sims Carnival: Bumper Blast, are retail PC games that as far as I can tell don't even have multiplayer components.
 
EA is actually shutting down The Sims Carnival, the service they actually named in their shutdown announcement. The Sims Carnival appears to be a portal for crappy Flash games. Its loss will not be mourned.

#32 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

Looking at EA's list of games that can no longer be played online, it has become clear to me that EA needs to stop putting multiplayer-only achievements in their games.

#33 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

I'm totally still playing Fifa 09. Not online though. Guess that means I'll never get that platinum trophy.

#34 Posted by Alphazero (1536 posts) -

This makes me never want to buy a Madden, FIFA, or NCAA game. Ever. 
 
Just FYI, EA. 
 
FYIEA, 
Alphazero

#35 Posted by WVUEers (110 posts) -

I still play NHL 09 daily, not online but I've been meaning to get around to it. I own All the NCAA games with the exception of this year, I don't really return to play the old ones online because it's already near impossible to find someone online to play.

#36 Posted by mordukai (7141 posts) -

Good! Now use them for improving the often buggy BC2. 

#37 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

Makes sense for the sport titles, so I don't really have an issue with it.

#38 Posted by AuthenticM (3700 posts) -

I am A-okay with this. People invested in sports games are invested enough to switch to the current-year game anyways. Nobody is going to cry, except for a couple of angry, irrational fanboys.

#39 Posted by AjayRaz (12418 posts) -

NHL 09?! i still didn't finish that best of 5 tourney with my cousins online. better get to that before Feb ; ;

#40 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

So lame. It's like Halo 2 being killed all over again, all the time! Heartbreaking for dedicated fans.

#41 Posted by tourgen (4432 posts) -

how long until they just offer a monthly subscription fee to stay up to date with their server shutdowns and get a yearly patch to the sports game data and binary?

#42 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

So long as they don't shut down Burnout Paradise yet, I'm good.

#43 Posted by matti00 (668 posts) -

My copy of NHL 10 is still safe!

#44 Posted by Bones8677 (3214 posts) -

Pay extra money to play on the servers that they'll eventually shut down. Great plan EA. >_>

#45 Posted by l4wd0g (1916 posts) -

Does this scare anyone else with their steam purchases?

#46 Posted by jakob187 (21645 posts) -

It's just EA trying to get rid of everything that isn't "needs a CD key to play online" like all recent sports games, etc.

#47 Posted by Korolev (1700 posts) -

I understand that EA might not want to maintain their servers. After all, they're a company with finite resources, who have to develop games for the future.  
 
But how about a compromise? EA stops the multiplayer, but then allows anyone to set up their own multiplayer server. I know it would be very hard to code the game to allow for this, and that it would encourage piracy - but the games are already 3 to 4 years old, so I don't think EA is getting much money from those titles anyway. This way, EA can stop supporting the games, while allowing the fans to keep on playing the games. 
 
Now, I know that my solution will never be accepted by EA - companies are jealous guardians of their IP after all. There's probably a whole team of lawyers at EA who would shake their head at me solemnly, saying that it can't be done, and who knows, maybe it can't be. 
 
But I just hope that all future developers will code their games with the option that would allow fans to support it after the company decides to abandon it. I mean, why not? 

#48 Posted by Rayfield (2097 posts) -

YO YOU LIKE DEM ONLINE SPORTS GAMES WE MAKE? WELL PONY UP FOR THE NEW ONE COZ WE JUST BROKE DA ONE YOU GOT YEEEAAHH
#49 Posted by captain_clayman (3319 posts) -

well at least it's all sports games.

#50 Posted by cgoodno (166 posts) -

I hope people understand that these closures represent approximately 1% of the current online peek gamers on their servers...

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