In brief: Electronic Arts is preparing to shut down the online component of several games over the coming months and some of your favorites may be on the list. Additional titles will no doubt be added to the list as we inch closer to 2023.
According to EA's Online Service Update database, Dragon Age Origins (multiplayer screenshots server), Army of Two: The 40th Day and Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel will go dark by the end of October. In November, gamers will lose online play in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PS3 and Xbox 360), Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (Xbox 360, including the Kane's Wrath expansion), Mercenaries 2 (PS3 and Xbox 360) and Onrush. December will see Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings (for Luna+) and Super Mega Baseball 3 (for Luna+) go away.
The hits keep coming in 2023 as Gatling Gears, Mirror's Edge, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition and Shank 2 are all heading to the chopping block in January. Some games like NBA Jam: On Fire Edition have achievements tied to online play. Once those servers shut down, it will be impossible to nab those awards.
Games with online components open up a whole new world of possibilities that are often taken for granted.
It wasn't all that long ago that online play didn't exist. Multiplayer gaming meant gathering around a single TV with friends or family and either sharing the same view or playing in split-screen mode. PC gamers had the luxury of LAN parties, but that involved lugging heavy equipment around and spending hours linking things up and getting everyone up to speed with the same versions of the games you wanted to play. It was a huge hassle, but also loads of fun.
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Early attempts at multiplayer console gaming through platforms like XBAND for the SNES and Sega Genesis had the right idea but were simply too early to market as the infrastructure to support network play wasn't mature enough. These days, you'd be hard pressed to find a quality game that doesn't have some sort of multiplayer component.