@mac512k: I certainly do hope that other publishers are paying attention to what happened. 'Always Online' must seem like the easy solution to games piracy. In fact probably both easy and cheap.
I've no idea what the numbers actually show, I'd imagine that information never becomes public, has this dented sales? Has it cost EA more money than projected? In the future when they try and cut back on servers to save money would queue's still be considered news worthy?
A whole bunch of this is up in the air and there are more games coming that are going to try and navigate this same route.
@the_laughing_man: That would be very disappointing. It's the obvious answer and at the start I assumed exactly that, but then when I came across the photograph she specifically ponders what happened to them. It's at that point that I thought maybe I'd missed something.