EA shutting down servers to games that require an online pass

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#1 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

Let me clarify since the title wouldn't allow me to put in an extra word. Some of these games require an online pass in order to play multiplayer. Either way, I'm curious what everyone thinks about this? This is in no way shitting on EA. I know there's been a lot of shit-talking on EA, but this is a discussion about online passes in general. What does everyone think?

http://gamingbolt.com/ea-closing-online-servers-for-games-which-requires-online-pass

#2 Posted by Shivoa (613 posts) -

Being as almost all games use P2P online multiplayer in the modern era, it's a really shitty thing to shut down your matchmaking servers for games to 'save running costs' and so force the games into a non-functional online mode. Especially in a world where we do not have guaranteed LAN play (or entering in your mate's IP to directly set up a match you arrange through an IM or real-world matchmaking alternative).

And EA love it, a lot.

With so many claims that they're forced to, the long tail has died and so these games cost too much to keep running servers for. Only with VMs and operating a company with a lot of server and backbone expertise, that's all a total load of crap. Unless they back their talk up with actual figures and money I will call them on it, they are either incredibly incompetent or bare faced liars. I'm no server guru but I've run my fair share of them and have enough of an understanding of what it technically required to know when I'm smelling muck.

And games where they implement a paid (for rental or second purchasers) lock on the online component, they really shouldn't try and pull a fast one and turn off servers. It seems like they took a lot of money from people to pay for a server to matchmake up until the protocols they build the connections on get turned off and they'd have to patch archaic code to upgrade them to stay running (which is a step further than I expect of anyone). The clear winner (from that list, as the article mentions) of 'scumbag move of the day' is the removal of MMA matchmaking 18 months after launch. I've been a primarily PC gamer for most of my life, so we got rid of the idea of game ownership (right to resale) ages ago (CD keys locked online play out of the gate in the '90s; our very own online pass, only these ones you couldn't pay $10 to avoid if you purchased used) but there is also the open system and the work of people with a lot of love for classics and a desire to stop our history dying that prevents the death of companies who run servers from stopping us playing old games. If Steam broken tomorrow then PC gamers would make sure every game up there has a Steam cache available on some illegal website and a crack for the Steam DRM so the lack of servers wouldn't keep us from the games be purchased. Consoles and their closed platforms don't have that freedom of justified disobedience (illegal but moral activity of preserving the things people paid for) so switching off servers does kill game functionality dead.

Worst case you can run an old 1U box to manage the tiny demands from the old game's matchmaking server, a smart company would have their VMs tuned up so they can run many of these really low load servers on one set of hardware.

#3 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

The MMA one is particularly shady.

#4 Posted by Kidavenger (3512 posts) -

I don't understand why EA doesn't just run a single server for these old games perpetually, the cost of running a single server that is already setup is almost nothing (it's not like they would need to upgrade hardware or perform significant maintenance on a server for a game not many people are playing) and certainly less than the amount of bad press they get each time they shut one down.

#5 Posted by SuperCycle (332 posts) -

I'm concerned about future games having DLC shut out. EA seems to have it that if you bought DLC for the Saboteur, you won't be able to access it anymore because it requires an internet connect, which disturbs me. Not that I enjoyed the Saboteur, but it makes me think about games that I do enjoy playing, What if I won't be able to access Dragon Age or Mass effect DLC because they think the games aren't popular enough to support? Or games like Dead Space 2, I bought DLC for that. Will I be able to play through these games entirely in 10 years? in 5? When will the content that I purchased for these games expire?

#6 Posted by adoggz (2046 posts) -

if i dont have the online pass i cant play the game online, if the servers are shut down i cant play the game online. i dont see what the deal is.

#7 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (930 posts) -

As long as its not possible to purchase a online pass for the games on accident then fine with it. If there aren't even enough people getting online passes to keep the servers live money wise I have no issue not having them still up.

#8 Posted by Solh0und (1759 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

The MMA one is particularly shady.

I agree since I just started to play it recently.

#9 Posted by vinsanity09 (210 posts) -
@adoggz said:

if i dont have the online pass i cant play the game online, if the servers are shut down i cant play the game online. i dont see what the deal is.

yeah but let's say that you're a casual gamer and you don't know about the servers shutting down. You pay for the game, you pay for an online pass and one week later, you can't play online anymore. You don't think that's a little wrong?
#10 Posted by fox01313 (5064 posts) -

Makes me wonder about the future when EA starts looking at the single player ones like Kingdoms of Amalur, would people just not get the extra content then or do you think they'll just leave these open?

Too bad about Burnout Revenge, such a fun game & still a favorite of mine over Burnout Paradise on how crazy it got.

#11 Posted by adoggz (2046 posts) -

@vinsanity09 said:

@adoggz said:

if i dont have the online pass i cant play the game online, if the servers are shut down i cant play the game online. i dont see what the deal is.

yeah but let's say that you're a casual gamer and you don't know about the servers shutting down. You pay for the game, you pay for an online pass and one week later, you can't play online anymore. You don't think that's a little wrong?

servers get shutdown when a game is dead. So that person was basically unable to play online anyway.

#12 Posted by vinsanity09 (210 posts) -
@adoggz: Ahh now I see your point. But still, if you can pay for it, they shouldn't shut them down after only 1 and a half year (talking about the MMA game).
#13 Posted by Korwin (2831 posts) -

It will be fun the day that EA shuts off the authentication servers for Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age, there will be lawsuits out the ass.

#14 Edited by KaOtoko (2 posts) -

@korwin: Sadly, no - I disagree. Most gamers will have moved on by then and the handful who are still playing it will be ignored. There will be media hype, EA will be publicly disgraced (again), but if they even get sued it'll be swept under the rug and put down to a minority, whereas they're too busy spending that cash on a perceived majority.

They recently shut down 3 facebook games that people had invested money into. I wonder how many will get anything back.

#15 Edited by CrunchbiteJr (113 posts) -

@kaotoko said:

@korwin: Sadly, no - I disagree. Most gamers will have moved on by then and the handful who are still playing it will be ignored. There will be media hype, EA will be publicly disgraced (again), but if they even get sued it'll be swept under the rug and put down to a minority, whereas they're too busy spending that cash on a perceived majority.

They recently shut down 3 facebook games that people had invested money into. I wonder how many will get anything back.

Invested is such an interesting term to use. Personally I'd say you spend money on a microtransaction, it's a purchase not an investment. A company would be expected to protect an investment but EA (and most companies) would see that purchase as ending their role in your game the second they deliver whatever you paid for.

#16 Posted by Marino (4604 posts) -

@kaotoko said:

@korwin: Sadly, no - I disagree. Most gamers will have moved on by then and the handful who are still playing it will be ignored. There will be media hype, EA will be publicly disgraced (again), but if they even get sued it'll be swept under the rug and put down to a minority, whereas they're too busy spending that cash on a perceived majority.

They recently shut down 3 facebook games that people had invested money into. I wonder how many will get anything back.

Please don't bump super old posts.

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