EA Boots Established Gaming Communities: "Buy Our New Games"

Cynical end for many gamers

Posted by Staff
EA Boots Established Gaming Communities: "Buy Our New Games"
Electronic Arts has dealt a serious blow to its credibility as a trustworthy online gaming publisher, announcing a contrived and totally unnecessary program of closure for some of its older cost-centre online gaming portals, news that will shock and enrage those who bought titles as recently as January 2006.

It's all okay though; all you need to do is buy new EA games and you can get back online. However, as all gamers know, that isn't the point. "Servers for the games listed below will be shut down on the indicated dates," announced the world's biggest third-party publisher. "You may continue to play the games online up until these dates, but certain community programs may begin to close down prior to the shutdown dates. All of us at EA would like to thank you for your valued participation in our online gaming community and hope that your enthusiasm for these games extends to our current lineup and beyond."

As all online game players will be aware, the offer to buy into a new version of any particular game is an insult to an entirely avoidable injury. These people have dedicated hundreds of thousands of hours perfecting their games and building profile and rank. All of this is going to be snatched away, callously to benefit EA's shareholders in the tiniest of ways.

The full list of EA closures reads:

August 1, 2006 Online Service Shutdown
FIFA Soccer 2005 for PS2
FIFA Soccer 2005 for Xbox
FIFA Soccer 2005 Demo for Xbox
FIFA Soccer 2005 for PC
EA SPORTS™ Fight Night Round 2 for PS2
EA SPORTS™ Fight Night Round 2 for Xbox
NCAA® March Madness™ 2005 for PS2
NCAA® March Madness™ 2005 for Xbox
NBA LIVE 2005 for Xbox
NBA LIVE 2005 for PC
NBA LIVE 05 for PS2
NBA STREET V3 for PS2
NBA STREET V3 for Xbox
NCAA® Football 2005 for PS2
Need for Speed™ Underground 2 Demo for PC
Need for Speed™ Underground 2 for PC
Need for Speed™ Underground 2 for Xbox
NHL® 2005 for PS2
NHL® 2005 for Xbox
NHL® 2005 for PC
Total Club Manager 06 for PS2
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 2005 for PS2
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 2005 for PC
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE™ 2004-2005 for PS2
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE™ 2004-2005 for PC
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE™ 2004-2005 for Xbox

October 1, 2006 Online Service Shutdown

Madden NFL 2005 for PS2
Madden NFL 2005 for Xbox
Madden NFL 2005 for PC
NFL Street 2: Unleashed for PS2
NFL Street 2: Unleashed for Xbox


Comments

OptimusP 8 Aug 2006 10:22
1/10
Can't you sue companies for a lack of support of their products seeing the nature of their games (the online gaming aspect)?

Or did they add some quirky small print line in the end user agreement part where sueing them for lack of support isn't possible.

I don't buy EA-games...so i can't look it up.
RiseFromYourGrave 8 Aug 2006 15:16
2/10
the empire strikes again :(
more comments below our sponsor's message
Joji 8 Aug 2006 16:01
3/10
Well, can't say I'm surprised. EA are a company that love money more than they do games.

This kind of thing is the main arguement I have against some online games when everyon is taging them as the future of gaming. You buy the game, its online out of the box and you play online. To have the server switched off totally shoot their arguement down and makes them look stupid.

With so many games going online there's no guarantee which ones won't attract the gamers, but there are always losers. I can understand if the server for a certain game isn't being utilised and is shut down due to lack of popuarity, but it would be better if EA just said so.

You might as well not bother playing online.
I'll Eat Your Soul 8 Aug 2006 18:13
4/10
I'm just surprised that the communities for games with a clear future of sequels ahead of them aren't built in such a fashion that allows them to be scalable and future proof.

But then, the internet is such a new thing, you can't blame companies for not thinking of these things.

*cough*
TigerUppercut 8 Aug 2006 18:28
5/10
I'll Eat Your Soul wrote:
I'm just surprised that the communities for games with a clear future of sequels ahead of them aren't built in such a fashion that allows them to be scalable and future proof.

But then, the internet is such a new thing, you can't blame companies for not thinking of these things.

*cough*

My thoughts exactly.
It's a cynical move from EA and does nothing for its reputation.
Why even bother with an online EA game if after two years you're going to be booted?
I know people who still play a lot of Quake 3, UT etc online and these games are ages old.
The would be devastated if the plug was suddenly pulled.
Ditto 8 Aug 2006 22:29
6/10
TigerUppercut wrote:

I know people who still play a lot of Quake 3, UT etc online and these games are ages old.
The would be devastated if the plug was suddenly pulled.


Very good point. On the other hand, I think Epic Games for UT only maintain a list of UT servers rather than provide an actual server service themselves (if you see what I mean - I'll probably be corrected if I'm wrong). Do EA do a similar thing? (I'm another person who has no EA titles :p).
horngreen 8 Aug 2006 22:44
7/10
I knew this was what EA had in mind from the start. They didn't like the concept of MSs LIVE because MS controlled the servers. Well since I actually pay $50 a year to play on LIVE I can still play any game I have as long as it is not an EA game. People complained that LIVE isn't free but LIVE is WAAYYY cheaper than anything else if you have to cough up $50-60 a year for new EA games because they shut down the servers. Hell just Madden, NBA Live and Fight Night would cost almost $180 to pony up for new copies. I can still play Fever on live if I wanted to, and if I could find anyone still playing it! EA can munch my fat one.
LUPOS 8 Aug 2006 23:01
8/10
horngreen wrote:
I knew this was what EA had in mind from the start. They didn't like the concept of MSs LIVE because MS controlled the servers. Well since I actually pay $50 a year to play on LIVE I can still play any game I have as long as it is not an EA game.


BLAST! a chance to rag on sony and i missed it!

tis a damn good point though. Leaving each games onlien future in the hands of its respective developers is risky buisness. Thankfully all 3 seems to have soem form of "unified" setup goign forward but i wonder how it will be handled for the PS3.

Geting mighty close to november... cant wait to see the "live killer".
___________
PreciousRoi 10 Aug 2006 05:26
9/10
yeh, I forsee a comedy of errors surrounding the PS3 launch...
thane_jaw 10 Aug 2006 11:10
10/10
There must be somethign that will affect them, like the box on the back of xbox games saying playable online - when they're not going to be. Surely that's false advertising

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