These Electronic Arts Games No Longer Online on August 11

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Posted by patrickklepek (2212 posts) -
MORE LIKE ARMY OF ZERO. GET IT. Nevermind.

If a new piece of hardware breaks compatibility with old software, at least you have the ability to hook up the old hardware. When Electronic Arts closes down the online services for a bunch of games on August 11, there's no going back. SKATE, Army of Two and others are going offline.

"The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy," reads the company's support site. "The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired. But as games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles below a point--fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles--where it’s feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running."

EA is usually pretty clear about when its games are going offline. You can view a whole list of what games have moved into the dark on the same support website. Here's what's gone in just a few weeks:

In addition to these titles, EA plans to end support for both Madden NFL 10 and NHL 10 as of October 1st. If for some reason you're especially fond of the rosters in either of these two-year-old sports games, you might want to start getting as many games in as you can.

#1 Posted by patrickklepek (2212 posts) -
MORE LIKE ARMY OF ZERO. GET IT. Nevermind.

If a new piece of hardware breaks compatibility with old software, at least you have the ability to hook up the old hardware. When Electronic Arts closes down the online services for a bunch of games on August 11, there's no going back. SKATE, Army of Two and others are going offline.

"The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy," reads the company's support site. "The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired. But as games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles below a point--fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles--where it’s feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running."

EA is usually pretty clear about when its games are going offline. You can view a whole list of what games have moved into the dark on the same support website. Here's what's gone in just a few weeks:

In addition to these titles, EA plans to end support for both Madden NFL 10 and NHL 10 as of October 1st. If for some reason you're especially fond of the rosters in either of these two-year-old sports games, you might want to start getting as many games in as you can.

#2 Posted by mikecardii (236 posts) -

Don't play many EA games online.

#3 Posted by Example1013 (4807 posts) -

Wow, they were still supporting like 7 year old games. Can't say I'm surprised, given none of those are subscription games, so at this point they're just losing money.

#4 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6395 posts) -

Nothing there too shocking or controversial, I think. Certainly can't blame them.

Moderator
#5 Posted by RE_Player1 (7526 posts) -

Oh no now what are me and my Army of Two clan going to do on Friday nights? Oh no wait that never existed...

#6 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2398 posts) -

None of these are games that I expect many people to still be playing rather than the sequels. This is bound to happen and it's good of them to continue services for several years after official releases.

#7 Posted by _Horde (839 posts) -

Nothing shocking, really. Can't remember when I played any of those games online last.

#8 Posted by This_Dude (295 posts) -

Once again proving that letting EA run their own servers is a shitty experience.

#9 Posted by paulunga (2125 posts) -

The Army of Two one is kinda bizarre. It's not that old yet and the only way you should ever play Army of Two is in Co-Op.

#10 Posted by Renegadegd (75 posts) -

I hope you guys play all these games for TNT on August 11th!

#11 Posted by Bumpton (456 posts) -
@This_Dude said:
Once again proving that letting EA run their own servers is a shitty experience.

Is it though? Do you play any of these games still? Know anyone that does? I'm not trying to be a jerk, but they aren't stupid. They're probably shutting these specific ones down because hardly anyone will care.
#12 Posted by YOUNGLINK (552 posts) -

Makes sense. If you are still playing any of these games well...tough tits toots!

#13 Posted by Khann (2913 posts) -

So.. are they going to continue to do this with games that you bought an Online Pass for? What if I want to keep playing the game I paid specifically to play online?

#14 Posted by fox01313 (5089 posts) -

Remembered going back through some bargain games a few months ago & found that there were still people playing Battlefield2 online with the 360. I was just going to run through the maps to see how they looked or mess around with trying crazy things using the vehicles but was quite shocked to see people still playing it. Remember at the time it came out was quite fun but glad that they went the way they did with the explosive tech in the Bad Company games.

#15 Posted by shazb0t--defunct (65 posts) -

Well, that's disappointing. Most Wanted is a helluva lot of fun, as are a few of the others on here. 
 
Alas, the tides of time surge ever on...

#17 Posted by DG991 (1340 posts) -

I only see one PC game on there and I am wondering why. Cause it is a demo?

#18 Edited by Branthog (5597 posts) -

That's pretty fucking lame. I still hadn't gotten around to Army of Two (yes, I know it's almost a whopping three years old).

It would seem to me that it would be reasonable to require that games be supported for the life of the console. Yes, I know some matchmaking service may have to be run by the developer or something, but all the heavy load is put on users since games are usually hosted on the console.

#19 Posted by Shivoa (645 posts) -

The problem with seeing this as normal operations is that it isn't. There is no need to switch off the old 486 down the hall that is just sitting there making sure matchmaking and CD key auth is working for a title. In the modern server environment then virtual-box it onto one of your blade arrays and if the numbers are low then you haven't lost anything because the servers will be doing the other stuff you put on them. It means you have a good reason to say "sorry auth for these 6 year old games die for an evening, we had a tenfold increase in users randomly that day and we didn't expect it so didn't have the excess capacity to support it. Our bad" but to just switch off games is to remove significant value from old games (in cases of co-op led titles it removes the main component). Of course EA does this to keep costs low by pushing new titles in a franchise or to avoid paying for any techs to run basic maintenance (like moving code to VMs or running a few blades more than the currently do to deal with the small trickle traffic) but for some reason that doesn't lead them to offering the titles with lower prices at point of sale.

Hopefully people will continue to care about games and the history of them and so work out ways of unbreaking any of these games so in the future we can go back and see them as they should be.

#20 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5293 posts) -

But I haven't played those games yet! EA should cater directly to me!

#21 Posted by Sn1PeR (139 posts) -

They are shutting down '10  sports games in '11 that have only been out for two years.  This is one step closer to them simply only supporting online with the latest year sports game.  Tiger Woods 10 is still a good game -- this pisses me off.

#22 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Removing Army of Two is pretty dumb. That shouldn't even use EA servers, it's only co-op isn't it?

#23 Posted by buft (3320 posts) -
@Shivoa said:

The problem with seeing this as normal operations is that it isn't. There is no need to switch off the old 486 down the hall that is just sitting there making sure matchmaking and CD key auth is working for a title. In the modern server environment then virtual-box it onto one of your blade arrays and if the numbers are low then you haven't lost anything because the servers will be doing the other stuff you put on them. It means you have a good reason to say "sorry auth for these 6 year old games die for an evening, we had a tenfold increase in users randomly that day and we didn't expect it so didn't have the excess capacity to support it. Our bad" but to just switch off games is to remove significant value from old games (in cases of co-op led titles it removes the main component). Of course EA does this to keep costs low by pushing new titles in a franchise or to avoid paying for any techs to run basic maintenance (like moving code to VMs or running a few blades more than the currently do to deal with the small trickle traffic) but for some reason that doesn't lead them to offering the titles with lower prices at point of sale.

Hopefully people will continue to care about games and the history of them and so work out ways of unbreaking any of these games so in the future we can go back and see them as they should be.

yeah except the '10 sports games are more like 2 years and only 1 iteration behind, i mean thats fine for me but there are people who dont like to be forced to buy the next iteration for the small changes and wait several years for some major changes, now they are forced to pony up if they want to stay online. 
#24 Posted by ebe (4 posts) -

Wouldn't this just be the EA account stuff? Matchmaking should still work over XBL, shouldn't it? 
 
I seem to recall deleting my Army of Two save in an attempt to restart the campaign and having it download my progress from my EA profile instead.

#25 Posted by laserbolts (5365 posts) -
@Khann

So.. are they going to continue to do this with games that you bought an Online Pass for? What if I want to keep playing the game I paid specifically to play online?

Which one was that?
#26 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -
@Sn1PeR said:
They are shutting down '10  sports games in '11 that have only been out for two years.  This is one step closer to them simply only supporting online with the latest year sports game.  Tiger Woods 10 is still a good game -- this pisses me off.
Plus the 1% thing is bullshit, when you have titles like Madden, FIFA and Battlefield, even brand new games are going to have less than 1% of the user base.
 
(1% in this case can be many many thousands of players)
#27 Posted by Ramone (2976 posts) -

Another example of EA shitting on the people who can't afford games as soon as they're released. Their games are usually quality but their treatment of consumers is pretty bad

#28 Posted by crusader8463 (14428 posts) -

If only there was a technology available to allow a dedicated group of people to set up some kind of private server like thing to keep playing games they may enjoy long after developers stop caring to support them. Like some sort of always there server. For the dedicated bunch of fans that want to keep playing the game they paid money for.

#29 Posted by sandweed (146 posts) -
@crusader8463: System link probably still works
#30 Posted by avantegardener (1152 posts) -

Woooh, Tiger 10!

#31 Posted by reddin (418 posts) -

The biggest problem for me is that they want to run their own matchmaking stuff specifically so they can shut it down when they want you to buy the new one.
If this really was about the costs of hosting they would just use the xbox live matchmaking.

#32 Posted by Khann (2913 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

@Khann

So.. are they going to continue to do this with games that you bought an Online Pass for? What if I want to keep playing the game I paid specifically to play online?

Which one was that?

One what?

#33 Posted by GreggD (4515 posts) -

@shazb0t said:

Well, that's disappointing. Most Wanted is a helluva lot of fun, as are a few of the others on here. Alas, the tides of time surge ever on...

I tried playing it online a year ago and NOBODY was playing it.

#34 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Army of Zero... Nice joke :)

#35 Posted by SomeJerk (3389 posts) -

Didn't they just put BF2142 on Steam? :(

#36 Posted by crusader8463 (14428 posts) -
@sandweed: The chances of finding someone locally to like an older game is next to impossible, unless you have a close group of friends that are really into the same games.
#37 Posted by benjaebe (2784 posts) -

And yet I still don't care. If people aren't playing the games anymore and they're using up resources to just sit there doing nothing, I can understand the policy.

#38 Posted by ch3burashka (5247 posts) -

This is fucking bullshit. The traffic on these games is so small they can probably host them all on one server - it doesn't cost them much at all to run them. They're still on current-gen systems for god's sake, what if someone picks one of these games up used at GS and is all surprised why they can't play online? Fuck you greedy motherfuckers, EA.

#39 Posted by Infininja (881 posts) -

@sandweed said:

@crusader8463: System link probably still works

*whoosh*

@somejerk said:

Didn't they just put BF2142 on Steam? :(

2142 doesn't seem to be on Steam, neither is the demo that they're shutting down.

#40 Posted by CookieMonster (2448 posts) -
@Ygg said:
Removing Army of Two is pretty dumb. That shouldn't even use EA servers, it's only co-op isn't it?
It had online multiplayer as well, but it was pretty dull and broken.  
 
I don't think anyone is playing the sequel to army of two, let alone the original now.
#41 Posted by Dogma (988 posts) -

I would like to see the numbers of how many people play on these servers every month. I'm quite sure the number is horrificly low. It may sound harsh by EA to shut these off but if we knew the (probably) low activity these games have online we would probably agree with their choice.

#42 Posted by AriesDog (36 posts) -

The main reason I don't buy EA games is that instead of letting Xbox Live run their games' servers, like everybody else, they insist on running their own. Then a few years later, they shut 'em down.  
 
They got that concession back in the original Xbox era when they were so big they could make or break a system by becoming a third-party developer. That's no longer the case. I would love if Xbox revisited this special status and revoked it.
#43 Posted by zaglis (910 posts) -

Hah. Ironic, I recently played some Half-Life DM with 31 other strangers. Its fucking bananas and Crossfire is still fun as ever. Camp in bunker, plant trip min-...uhh. Got too carried away there.

#44 Posted by Cirdain (3151 posts) -

Please tell me there will be an extra long TNT.

#45 Edited by Jocund (125 posts) -
@Khann said:

@laserbolts said:

@Khann

So.. are they going to continue to do this with games that you bought an Online Pass for? What if I want to keep playing the game I paid specifically to play online?

Which one was that?

One what?

I think he's asking which EA game did you buy specifically for the online.  
 
Anyway, this practice is still kinda shitty, but I think it's reasonable for these games to get the axe- they are pretty old. 
#46 Posted by Maluvin (269 posts) -
@crusader8463 said:
If only there was a technology available to allow a dedicated group of people to set up some kind of private server like thing to keep playing games they may enjoy long after developers stop caring to support them. Like some sort of always there server. For the dedicated bunch of fans that want to keep playing the game they paid money for.
I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.  
 
Seriously, it's amazing people wonder why dedicated servers are such a big deal to some of us.
#47 Posted by SammydesinasNL (840 posts) -

Last chance to become a battlefield veteran with modern combat folks!

#48 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -
@Bumpton said:
@This_Dude said:
Once again proving that letting EA run their own servers is a shitty experience.
Is it though? Do you play any of these games still? Know anyone that does? I'm not trying to be a jerk, but they aren't stupid. They're probably shutting these specific ones down because hardly anyone will care.  
Compared to... well, every single other 360 game that ISN'T published by EA, yes. Microsoft only just pulled the plug on support for Xbox 1 games. Just recently! They handle the online support for all games published by default, and EA fought tooth and nail in order to get MS to let them control their own servers and services instead of letting MS do the heavy lifting (a non-issue on Sony platforms since Sony only hosts servers for first-party titles). Microsoft let them do it because getting Madden online was important to making the 360 a competitive brand.

You're right, they aren't stupid. Just a little evil. MS should implement a new rule at least: If you insist on hosting your own servers, you're not allowed to make online multiplayer achievements. 
#49 Posted by Lunar_Aura (2778 posts) -

So basically EA is warning us from their actions that any game we buy from them has an online shelf life of 2 to 3 years. Got it. I'll remember that the next time I see current and future EA online enabled titles.

EA probably lost more money losing consumer faith from this stunt as opposed to doing nothing at all.

Corporations are so fucking myopic these days. Even their greed gets in the way of their bottom line of making money. Good job, asshats.

#50 Posted by SiN13 (240 posts) -

What actual server maintence is there for this stuff? Aren't all these games peer to peer and doesn't Microsoft handle the match making side of things on their servers?

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