EA taking more games offline

Back in January, Neowin got word that EA would be shutting down servers for many online games. This included games such as Madden '09 being discontinued this coming April 6th--a move that dissappointed many avid online gamers. Now, EA has posted a new batch of games that it will cease online support for.

Although many users have complained about EA's decision to shut down many game servers, EA feels that it's for the best. In their service update, EA claims that the games being shut down in March and April only "represent less than 0.3% of all peak online players across all EA titles." In addition, EA defends their actions with the following statement:

"Despite some people's perception, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these older games up and running. We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99.7% of customers playing our more popular games. These decisions to retire games is never easy. The EA 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."

User's don't necessarily understand the cost of keeping these types of servers running. By shutting them down, EA is able to focus their money and resources on future game development and support--something most gamers would probably prefer. Here's the list:

March 16, 2010 Online Service Shutdown
Def Jam for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Godfather for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Lord of the Rings: Conquest for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for PC
Need for Speed: Carbon for PlayStation Portable
Need for Speed: ProStreet for PlayStation Portable
Simpsons for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

April 15, 2010 Online Service Shutdown
Burnout 3: Takedown for PlayStation 2
Army of Two for PlayStation 3 (Asia only)

Additionally, the shutdown of Xbox LIVE for Original Xbox consoles and games (scheduled for April 15, 2010) will retire online services for the following titles:
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for Xbox
Burnout 3: Takedown for Xbox
Madden NFL 09 for Xbox

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This is just one of the reasons why I NEVER purchase EA games. Hell, even Sierra kept up the NASCAR Racing 2003 servers for some years after they lost the NASCAR rights to EA who then butchered it.

EA sucks.

DKAngel said,
would be nice of them to release server software for them and a patch for the games to do lan instead

Nice but unlikely since they reuse a lot of the server software. Release it for one game and then all games, including the ones you have to pay monthly for will have free servers floating around. No reason to pay after that.

TRC said,
I haven't trusted EA since Motor City Online.

If a non-MMO game doesn't have a compelling *offline* component, I won't buy it. Period. If I want online gaming, I'll buy an online-only game (such as Guild Wars: Prophecies or Champions Online). I own several games from EA; however, I don't play any of them online (that includes Burnout Paradise for PC). Like it or not, MMOs and online-only games are the ONLY such online games that are going to keep their dedicated servers up. C&C Generals/Zero Hour supports both online and LAN/Internet play without dedicated servers; however, I don't play that online, either.

Starcraft: Anthology? While it supports BattleNet (where I actually do have an account), I bought the original Starcraft BattleChest (which Anthology is the updated version of) because of LAN (not BattleNet) play (I got into Starcraft because of the LAN play, but stayed there because of the single-player and skirmish).

So, it's not an EA-only issue, but an issue with dedicated server-based gaming *as a whole* that I've never trusted.

PGHammer said,

Like it or not, MMOs and online-only games are the ONLY such online games that are going to keep their dedicated servers up.

Unfortunately thats not even 100%.

I have a copy of Asheron's Call 2 which is entirely useless to me as Turbine closed the servers 2-3 years ago. Ncsoft closed Tabula Rasa almost a year ago leaving my friend with an expensive collectors edition of a coaster.

It's unfortunate, but for me I am less inclined to to try any new MMOs especially because they are online only, and you have to buy the game then pay monthly and then who knows when they will pull the plug. How long will Star Trek online be around? Aion Online?

Like others said, it would be a great idea if at least when these companies take the games offline they could at least provide dedicated server software for the players to make their own servers.

PGHammer said,
If a non-MMO game doesn't have a compelling *offline* component, I won't buy it. Period. If I want online gaming, I'll buy an online-only game

What ticks me off is developers that force you to pay for the online portion of a game when you don't even want to play it. If online mode was DLC then I'd be perfectly happy, but don't take resources and time away from the single player game to make an online mode I don't want and make me pay for it on top of it. It's like they're making all solo gamers subsidize the online portion for everyone else. This should be one of the problems DLC is supposed to solve, but instead they use it to nickle and dime you to death. Sorry, I mean $5 and $10 you to death.

Ash said,

Unfortunately thats not even 100%.

I have a copy of Asheron's Call 2 which is entirely useless to me as Turbine closed the servers 2-3 years ago. Ncsoft closed Tabula Rasa almost a year ago leaving my friend with an expensive collectors edition of a coaster.

It's unfortunate, but for me I am less inclined to to try any new MMOs especially because they are online only, and you have to buy the game then pay monthly and then who knows when they will pull the plug. How long will Star Trek online be around? Aion Online?

Like others said, it would be a great idea if at least when these companies take the games offline they could at least provide dedicated server software for the players to make their own servers.


if a game only has a few 100 active players, a server costing more then 100-150USD a month is a rip off, and if they cant afford to pay for a few servers that cost 100-250USD a month, its a terrible company who doesnt support its players.

There are Open-Source games with allot less money to spare and doing a better job at keeping the dedicated servers that are needed online.........

Enemy Territory a fine example, the Q3 server is the best, just needs a heartbeat server, rest is provided by the community. and an heartbeat server barely costs anything, small effort to let games support a similiar mechanism or system.

but hey, this is EA we're talking about, i havent bought an EA title in years and wont ever. They ruined Westwood (Generals sucks, RA3 sucks, CnC3 sucks, its all terrible compared to the high quality Westwood itself produced) and for that reason alone, i will NEVER buy an EA title.

Edited by Diacon, Mar 4 2010, 2:28pm :

If there is a strong community perhaps they can host their own. For example age of empires2 is long gone from microsofts zone, but there's alot o people still playing it now on another server, voobly

*Looks at his collection of PC, PS3, and PSP games*

I don't own a single game from EA. Awesomesauce.

The only time I see that logo though is during the start of Rock Band 2, but they just publish the game for Harmonix :D

Some surprising entires here, but I guess if the people aren't playing, may as well get rid of them.

Actually now that I think about this list, it's not that surprising. Most of these games are pretty terrible.

virtorio said,
Some surprising entires here, but I guess if the people aren't playing, may as well get rid of them.

Actually now that I think about this list, it's not that surprising. Most of these games are pretty terrible.


EA has done the same with Red Alert 2 when they sold out Westwood, a few months after transfer, they stopped the RA2 servers... while it still had several 100k of players......

nub said,
PC gaming FTW. Can still play 10 year old games online

You mean old PC gaming. Whatever control you have now expect to be mostly all gone within a few years. There are PC games in this list above.

virtorio said,

You mean old PC gaming. Whatever control you have now expect to be mostly all gone within a few years. There are PC games in this list above.

If people want to keep playing the PC versions of the game, someone will program a server for it. Basically the same way you can play the original world of warcraft on private servers.

I wont be buying brand new games anymore from EA, i'm going to sit and wait to see if sales where high enough because if they aren't EA will shut the online servers down.

Lost my business EA, well done.

Perhaps it's just me, but when I pay for a game that includes on-line play via their server, part of my cost is for the use of that server. If they decide to take away 50% of my game, give me a 50% of my money back.

Rohdekill said,
Perhaps it's just me, but when I pay for a game that includes on-line play via their server, part of my cost is for the use of that server. If they decide to take away 50% of my game, give me a 50% of my money back.

+1 This is the worst type of screwing. I can't imagine what would happen to Valve if they tried it.

Rohdekill said,
Perhaps it's just me, but when I pay for a game that includes on-line play via their server, part of my cost is for the use of that server. If they decide to take away 50% of my game, give me a 50% of my money back.

This.

I would understand it if they lowered the prices. A friend of mine paid around $70 for LOTR: Conquest when it was released! Now that it's going for $20, I wouldn't mind buying it to play it Online... Considering that it's the closest game to Star Wars: Battlefront. :(

Edited by Jabneh, Feb 18 2010, 12:33am :

... and they are still marketing the multi-player aspect to games. Great... another empty marketing promise.

Avangelon said,
That's stupid. Some of those games are barely a yr old. I just bought merc 2 on sale for pc too.

Mercenaries 2 predates *Windows XP* (in fact, the original Mercenaries dates back to Windows 98!). You just lagged in purchasing it (is it perhaps one of those budget titles from the "EA Classics" line?).

PGHammer said,

Mercenaries 2 predates *Windows XP* (in fact, the original Mercenaries dates back to Windows 98!). You just lagged in purchasing it (is it perhaps one of those budget titles from the "EA Classics" line?).

Mercenaries 2 was released in 2008.

PGHammer said,

Mercenaries 2 predates *Windows XP* (in fact, the original Mercenaries dates back to Windows 98!). You just lagged in purchasing it (is it perhaps one of those budget titles from the "EA Classics" line?).


Mercenaries came out in 2005

carmatic said,
wow, im surprised that they kept some of them going for as long as they did... i mean like, ps2 and xbox games?

are you serious? StarCraft was released back in 1997, and guess what, after 13 years the GAME IS STILL PLAYABLE ONLINE

EA sucks, Blizzard rules.

nonick said,

are you serious? StarCraft was released back in 1997, and guess what, after 13 years the GAME IS STILL PLAYABLE ONLINE

EA sucks, Blizzard rules.


Maybe because starcraft basically is the national sport of korea (north or south? cant remember :P)

while the games shut down probably had a maximum of 50 players total...

it's not like ea are the only ones who have shut down servers... sigh

Some of the games on here are still quite fresh in my memory. Simpsons for PS3 and XBOX360, Need for Speed Carbon, Mercenaries 2.

I didn't like EA before all this they've been a rubbish game company for a long time but this just makes me even more wary about them. I already try not to buy there products whenever possible but its becoming more and more difficult with them buying out every other publisher within eye shot.

Vice said,
Some of the games on here are still quite fresh in my memory. Simpsons for PS3 and XBOX360, Need for Speed Carbon, Mercenaries 2.

I didn't like EA before all this they've been a rubbish game company for a long time but this just makes me even more wary about them. I already try not to buy there products whenever possible but its becoming more and more difficult with them buying out every other publisher within eye shot.

let's just say EA are the opposite of Blizzard atleast in their strategy not to mention quality

Vice said,
Some of the games on here are still quite fresh in my memory. Simpsons for PS3 and XBOX360, Need for Speed Carbon, Mercenaries 2.

I didn't like EA before all this they've been a rubbish game company for a long time but this just makes me even more wary about them. I already try not to buy there products whenever possible but its becoming more and more difficult with them buying out every other publisher within eye shot.

Same here. Don't buy EA games but it is hard when they buy every other game studio.

It does state that the games being shut down are played by only 0.3% of EA's total online gaming population. These servers would be much more useful being recycled for upcoming games that will be much more popular. They're going to be blowing a heck of a lot of money running servers for long since dead games, the numbers given suggest that the communities for these games are long dead; so while some people will be ****ed, its for the greater good.