EA shutting down online services for least popular games

By on March 19, 2012, 1:00 PM

Electronic Arts has announced that it will shut down online servers for another round of games seeing little user activity over the next few weeks, including one that features the company's Online Pass initiative aimed at curbing second-hand game sales. The move means you'll no longer be able to use the online portion of affected titles on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, as well as their PC counterparts.

"As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level - fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles - where it's no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running," reads the official statement.

The shutdown makes sense for the publisher from a financial and logistics point of view, as its resources are better spent on the other 99% of customers playing more popular games, but it is likely to irritate those who've paid money for an Online Pass to access the very same services that are being axed. In total, eleven games are going down on April 13. The full list, from EA's own website, includes:

  • Boom Blox Bash Party for Wii
  • Burnout Revenge for Xbox 360
  • EA Create for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360
  • EA Sports Active 2.0 for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360
  • EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp for Wii
  • FIFA 10 for PlayStation Portable and Wii
  • The Godfather II for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • EA Sports MMA for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • Need for Speed: ProStreet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • The Saboteur (loss of The Midnight Club access) for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • Spare Parts for PlayStation 3 Xbox 360

The newest game on the list is Xbox Live Arcade title Spare Parts, which came out as recently as January 2011. EA Create, EA Sports Active 2.0, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp, and EA Sports MMA were all released between October and November of 2010 while the rest are 2009 or older titles.

EA Sports MMA is the first game featuring EA's Online Pass to be shut down. The service lets new game owners enter a code for "premium" features and content, while those buying send-hand need to pay $10 to access the same content. Although EA Sports MMA was a high profile attempt to outdo THQ's UFC Undisputed, it wasn't exactly a sales success, and its promised sequel never materialized.

In other words, it hasn't been replaced with something new and the fact that some users may have bought an online pass less than a year and a half ago isn't stopping EA from axing online support for the game.

The company is also closing down the servers for its mobile games  Battlefield 3: Aftershock, which only launched this February and promptly pulled from the Apple App Store, Fantasi Safari, and Ghost Harvest.




User Comments: 27

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bugejakurt said:

EA has already shut-down BFME II online without any notice the past year and I was very disappointed with this decision!

Zilpha Zilpha said:

EA will be shutting down more than that if they don't watch themselves.

ramonsterns said:

I hope they shut down "EA", that's not very popular either.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

If EA won't pay to support these games, they should at least allow pc gamers to use P2P

Zilpha Zilpha said:

If EA won't pay to support these games, they should at least allow pc gamers to use P2P

They don't even want people to play their games (i.e. stuffing Origin down our throats, trying to curb sales of second-hand games, etc.) - you think they will let people play their games... on their own dime?

Ha!

I used to really love EA, but I have no idea what they have become now.

Guest said:

More reason to avoid EA published games. It's hard though when they publish the amount of games they do.

I mean SSX is a really fun game. Then you got Mass Effect 3.

They are great games definitely worth the money, I just don't like the publisher.

I don't buy any DLC, but if a game comes out that I will enjoy I will buy it regardless of the publisher.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

bugejakurt said:

EA has already shut-down BFME II online without any notice the past year and I was very disappointed with this decision!

That's actually one area where EA had not much choice. Their license for The Lord of the Rings gaming rights expired.

TekGun TekGun said:

If only they would lose the license for FIFA.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh no, their shutting down "Need For Speed : Pro street" for the Playstation 3, this isn't going to make my Brother to happy, he's a crack head for the online play for that game.

I know it might be a little of going out of ones way, but like I will recommend to my Brother, people could do some research and see if "Gamespy" supports any discontinued official game servers. For I own an older Playstation 2 Slim, it has online capabilities and I play it on Gamespy quite often. I noticed they have a Playstation 3 section, never hurts to take a look.

yRaz yRaz said:

At least NFS ProStreet was a horrible game. Worst $30 I've ever spent. Should have put that on the "regretted tech purchase"

lipe123 said:

Ea should just shut down itself! I haven't seen anything decent from them in YEARS!

Guest said:

The only thing EA is good for is shutting down it's competition, gutting it and infusing the poison into the game companies they swallow. They're the vampires of the gaming industry and we need to drive a stake through EA's heart. I personally will never buy any EA games again.

treetops treetops said:

I like how blizzard still supports diablo 1 and warcraft 2, even though I believe they were made in like 1996. I was pretty sad when I saw they were working with ea on d3.

edit

wow I am amazed they have the gull to shut down games for the newest generation of consoles.

Aboutto said:

We do LAN parties 4-5 times a year and purposely avoid ea games because of this crap, at least and system link or p2p before you yank your servers!!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

How about EA, for at least the PC counterparts, give us dedicated servers? I mean, I can load up unreal tournament 2004 and still find 1000's of servers running and usually a fair few players, I can jump onto CoD 2/MW and they still have massive community's.

Why not, release a pack for the games that allow users to install dedicated servers? Then you can shutdown your servers and make gamers happy?

EA, you really have disappointed me recently...

Butch said:

So EA's greed shows shines through again. PLEASE people, stop buying their games until they change their business model. If we don't, this kind of crap will continue and only get worse and other publishers will see the EA is getting away with this crap and start doing the same things. Please?

Guest said:

what is the problem with origin and EA. I have no problem with origin and EA. Whatever everyone of say i enjoyed EA games most. You should say all this to Activision which gives you old games with new names and makes millions of money

ramonsterns said:

butch said:

So EA's greed shows shines through again. PLEASE people, stop buying their games until they change their business model. If we don't, this kind of crap will continue and only get worse and other publishers will see the EA is getting away with this crap and start doing the same things. Please?

It's useless, the people that oppose you or simply don't care outnumber those who do. Boycotts should have happened when Modern Warfare 2 came out. Ever since then Publishers get away with $60 price tag and stupidly priced DLC, and now it's too late.

Guest said:

well thats a good opinion

Guest said:

EA will only grow stronger and continue to force feed us their formula on their terms until we all submit. Resistance is futile.

Butch said:

ramonsterns said:

butch said:

So EA's greed shows shines through again. PLEASE people, stop buying their games until they change their business model. If we don't, this kind of crap will continue and only get worse and other publishers will see the EA is getting away with this crap and start doing the same things. Please?

It's useless, the people that oppose you or simply don't care outnumber those who do. Boycotts should have happened when Modern Warfare 2 came out. Ever since then Publishers get away with $60 price tag and stupidly priced DLC, and now it's too late.

I think you are right. Too many sheep ready to eat big publisher crap. Oh well, I am pinning some hope on the Indie game devs and the Kickstarter business model. If a Kickstarter funded title is actually released (and its good) we may see a whole new business model for the gaming industry were good developers can go when they are fed up with being forced to make bad games by guys in expensive suites that never play games...It gives me a little hope...

Guest said:

The buisness model that will eventually reign supreme and rule the gaming landscape is pay per play(think coin operated arcade cabinates). Think I'm off? We'll see. It's certainly not what I want, but I can't see it going any other way. Timeline for this eventual transition I'd say is anywhere from 3 - 10 years.

ramonsterns said:

Guest said:

The buisness model that will eventually reign supreme and rule the gaming landscape is pay per play(think coin operated arcade cabinates). Think I'm off? We'll see. It's certainly not what I want, but I can't see it going any other way. Timeline for this eventual transition I'd say is anywhere from 3 - 10 years.

You're several years behind. Micro transactions is king right now.

Guest said:

Wasn't refering to micros bud. I'm talking about any and every gaming experience to be had... anywhere.

Guest said:

Dont have a clue why you guys are complaining, Activision is far worse.

cookiedude cookiedude said:

Is this legal? They are removing functionality that the customer paid for, it's like buying a car and 2 years down the line having the sales rep that sold you it come along and take away one of the seats!! Sony ran into legal hot water in a similar way when they removed the option from the PS3 to install a 3rd party OS, I can see someone taking EA to task on this.

stan4 said:

LOL we all know it's all about the money, let's put our hope on independent game developers since big companies are ruled by greedy people that don't play games and are limited by release dates (a product a year) and only motivated by profit.

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