EA’s Latest Shutdowns Barely Touch PC

By John Walker on July 13th, 2011 at 1:30 pm.

Driving off into the sunset.

EA’s latest wave of games having their internets switched off only grazes the PC this time. Beyond the demo for Battlefield 2142, the only PC title in there is 2005’s Need For Speed: Most Wanted. The full list is below, with the PC games in bold. Thanks to Eurogamer, from whom I’m wantonly stolen the list.

August 11, 2011

Army of Two for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Army of Two Demo for Xbox 360
Battlefield 2142 Demo for PC
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for Xbox 360
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Demo for Xbox 360
Medal of Honor Airborne for PlayStation Portable
Medal of Honor Heroes 2 for PlayStation Portable and Wii
NASCAR 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (North America)
NCAA Basketball 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NCAA Football 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Need for Speed Most Wanted for PC and Xbox 360
Need for Speed Undercover for PlayStation Portable
Skate for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 Demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

October 1, 2011

Madden NFL 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
NHL 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

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72 Comments »

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  1. Faceless says:

    Huh? Switched off? As in, their multiplayer is no longer available?

    • Azradesh says:

      Yes

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I can understand that it costs them money to keep them running online, but it’s a bit silly, isn’t it?

    • Kdansky says:

      It costs them money* if you don’t buy the new version of all their sports games every year, yes.

      *Defined as: They have less of it than they’d like to have.

    • Premium User Badge

      Daiv says:

      @Kdansky: Defined as: They have money hats, you have money. Clearly their need for money hats outweighs your need for money.

    • Dominic White says:

      Running a matchmaking server (note that the EA servers generally aren’t hosting the games themselves) requires almost no computational power or bandwidth, especially if it’s for an unpopular title. A dozen Battlefield 2142 Demo (or equivalent) server apps could be run on a single quad-core machine, and maintained by a staff of one.

      It’s not even penny-pinching. It’s just EA trying to force people off less popular games and onto more popular ones.

    • briktal says:

      How many people are actually affected?

    • Frank says:

      Yeah: what Dominic said. By shutting off two-year-old games*, they kill the market for second-hand games (or do they do this already with console magic?) and dissuade people from waiting for a price drop on direct purchases. Being a sports+videogames fan must be expensive.

      * I looked up the Tiger Woods one — June 2009. The rest are probably of similar vintage…?

  2. Rii says:

    On the one hand, EA can eat a bag of dicks. On the other, that EA even offers multiplayer demos in this day and age is both unusual and commendable.

  3. gallardo1 says:

    a patch will be released to allow dedicated servers…. hahahaha

    • squareking says:

      Honestly, though — why can’t this be the default action when a dev decides to nix a server?

  4. Calneon says:

    They’re shutting down games 1 year old? (NHL 10/NFL 10). I guess they really want people to buy the new one every year.

    • Dakia says:

      I seem to remember that they have been doing this for a few years. That is one of the main reasons that I refuse to by the “annual” games (ie NCAA, Madden, etc).

    • briktal says:

      Two years old. The 2012 version of those games will be released in a few months.

  5. Ginger Yellow says:

    And this, Microsoft, is why we don’t want a “unified experience across the Xbox and PC platforms”. Some of these games are only two years old. Madden and NHL 10 are my most recent versions of those games, and now I can’t play them online. Thanks.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Likewise. I bought Madden 10. I generally only buy the big sports franchises once every 3-4 years, but that’s ridiculous, killing a game that’s two years old just to leverage your current product.

      At least they haven’t killed Burnout Paradise yet.

  6. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    EA barely release any sports games for PC these days, and as they seem to be the ones that largely get the bullet in shutdowns…

    Thank Jordan for 2K.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      Oh c’mon, who wants to play sports games these days anyway?
      Wasn’t that one of games-types that constantly decreases in popularity?

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      drewski says:

      Perhaps, but only because they tend to release games that are only incrementally different from previous editions. New markets, like Codies’ F1 game, or big franchise overhauls, like FIFA a few years ago or NBA 2K11, still sell really well.

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      Daiv says:

      They’re not contemporary.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Cinek: Madden and FIFA every year are two of the biggest selling games on Earth. So no, popularity not really at issue there. (Assuming I understood what was, to be blunt, a poorly worded post.)

  7. Premium User Badge

    emotionengine says:

    Well, must get my lazy ass off the couch and play the EFFING CRAP out of that Battlefield 2142 Demo, then.

  8. zipdrive says:

    Had I bought any of these games I’d be seriously furious. As it is, I’m only greatly annoyed.

    Maybe EA can label their multiplayer games with “Best Before” stickers.

    • Walsh says:

      Had you bought the demo for Battlefield 2142? If folks are this frothy over a goddamn demo….

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Yes, he’s ONLY talking about the demo and not the other 14 games on the list.

      Obviously.

  9. Bostec says:

    Fuck EA, 750 millions dollors for a company about plants and zombies and yet most somalia’s can’t buy any bread or grow the fucking stuff to make it. Capitalism at its worst.

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      c-Row says:

      *gets himself some popcorn*

    • Gaytard Fondue says:

      Oh yeah, I can totally see the connection between those 2 events.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Here we go again. If you care enough to complain about it, bloody do something about it. Give to charities. Fly out there and help. But don’t bitch about it in a post about something completely unrelated.

    • Bostec says:

      I’ll probably moan and bitch in the reply’s but i’m going to shut up. Keep em’ to myself.

    • Unaco says:

      “I’ll probably moan and bitch in the reply’s but i’m going to shut up. Keep em’ to myself”

      You should likely have done that originally, really.

    • Bostec says:

      Yeah i’ll fly out tomorrow I think, Theres a can of peas and maybe a can of beans in the back of the cupboard I can give, not past the sell by date, not to shabby. Teddy you changed my life, Give him a medal but not a can of peas or anything like that, I need em’ you know? Wait! I don’t need them, they need them, what am I thinking?

    • magnus says:

      ‘Fuck EA, 750 millions dollors for a company about plants and zombies and yet most somalia’s can’t buy any bread or grow the fucking stuff to make it. Capitalism at its worst.’
      That sure was a lousy quote, comrade. Shouldn’t you be making bread for them rather than posting about EA, or at the very least thinking up a working alternative to Capitalism?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve here. Trolling, are we?

    • arienette says:

      Capitalism, Ho!

    • Bostec says:

      Yeah magnus I was thinking about communism. It sounded good on paper, I mean really good. It was beautiful, I read it over and over but i’m still not quite sure, I have a friend, Boris? he isn’t sure either and theres Cookie-qau-do, shes from North Korea, she suggested otherwise. I just don’t know anymore. Some help would be lovely.

    • Bostec says:

      Oh Teddy, I expected more then a trolling comment, how embrassasing, even I went beetroot red at it. With this EA thing, 50 million? yeah I would say salute, but 750 million? don’t you object to that? somewhere in that small moral conscience of yours? but then you think back and back and its been what humans do best. Greed really is good. I will say no more on the matter. Good day to you.

    • phenom_x8 says:

      Somalia’s event occur because all of us just act like this, especially when someone tried to remind us with something much more important and we just asked about their credibility to bring the matter rather than actually doing something (and looks like I have done the same here). Sigh, its surely the end of the world already near!

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      People! Don’t tell Bostec the price of a B-2 Spirit. He’ll go into a seizure.

    • Heliocentric says:

      EA have developed games using the ritualised sacrifice of crops ever since they ran out of guys from westwood and bullfrog who carried divine blood to sacrifice.

    • bonjovi says:

      EA is responsible for starvation everywhere!

    • Jad says:

      As I like to do whenever this argument pops up, I’d like to turn the conversation away from either attacking the big company or attacking the commenter angry at the big company, and talk about our favorite charities that are doing good around the world.

      Mine is the Genocide Intervention Network. Working to build a permanent anti-genocide constituency, they are not just focused one genocide, like Darfur, and fade when that one problem goes away, but are against genocide everywhere.

      Also, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, who are doing good work around the world. Lastly, of course, your local soup kitchen/homeless shelter.

      Whats your favorite charity?

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      MSF here too.

    • phenom_x8 says:

      @jad
      My favourite was helping someone around us when they need it, such as giving some coin to the beggar (a lots of them here,believe me), taught local children about our religion (some kind of sunday school in christian but we held it every afternoon,we are try to be religious here too), sharing some foods with our unwealthy neighbour, and maybe spare some coin in our nearest praying sanctuary. I’m not too often giving money towards big organization, because if we would like to open our eyes a little, there are a lots of people we can help (with our money or by our own hands) around the neighbourhood

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      taught local children about our religion (some kind of sunday school in christian but we held it every afternoon,we are try to be religious here too)

      What the left hand gives, the right hand takes away.

  10. Coins says:

    And this is why I don’t want Origin.

  11. Milky1985 says:

    When they switch off servers do we get our “EA online pass” for said game back, since it was meant to pay for the servers and all and we migth not be done with them yet!

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Oh, you silly Milky you. Surely you don’t expect EA to be consistent in its reasoning, do you?

    • Deano2099 says:

      Actually these are the last few games without the online pass system. Will be interesting what happens next year (and specifically when EA stops selling the online pass – even their most ardent defenders can see the right someone has to be pissed off if they buy a pass and the servers get shut down a month later).

  12. IDtenT says:

    They’re only shutting down personal servers and stuff. /care

  13. yhalothar says:

    Well, it’s hard to shut down games with dedicated servers, innit?

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Not really, you just kill the master server list. Then the only way people can connect to your dedicated servers is by directly connecting using IP address (or saved in favourites which is the same thing just you don’t need to think about it) as the server browser is empty. In most cases someone can set up a new master server list but to get clients to use it isn’t always as easy as getting the servers to announce themselves to it.

  14. Gpig says:

    I feel like when I finally get a good enough graphics card to get Burnout Paradise for the PC the servers will be shut down.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    I can understand turning off games which are many years old, but some of the sports games on that list are barely 2 years old. And Army of Two was released in 2008.

    What’s the point in buying a game when a significant part of it is going to stop working a matter of months down the line?

    • DarkByke says:

      I agree. I never buy sports games because there’s always going to be a new one the next year! Wouldn’t they have figured out by now a way to import auto-updates into the games? Add new teams/players/etc. and you could even make that a paid DLC if someone wanted to update to the latest version..

    • Fierce says:

      DarkByke;

      How exactly does what you suggested make EA as much money as possible?

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      drewski says:

      Big Murray – presumably the enjoyment you’ll get from it until those parts of the game are turned off, and the ongoing enjoyment you’ll get from the parts of the game that *aren’t* switched off for eternity.

      Think of multiplayer as a limited time bonus for early adopters in EA’s model. If that doesn’t work for you, don’t buy EA games.

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    shoptroll says:

    This is pretty standard for EA. It completely sucks though. I mean, it can’t take a ton of server power to keep a handful of master servers up and running. Stuff them in a couple of virtual machines or something.

    It’s going to be awesome if they ever try doing this with Origin. Oh wait, this is the same company that killed your license after a year if you hadn’t downloaded the game you purchase digitally from the EA Store.

  17. Kefren says:

    This is why the only multiplayer games I buy include LAN.

    And probably why the only multiplayer games I play are AvP 1 and 2, and Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3!

  18. YourMessageHere says:

    Dear EA:

    If it’s so expensive that you have to stop them, why not try not using these servers in the first place? Why not stop having master servers or whatever these are and just do what used to happen, and let people do what they want with their games? It’s cheaper for you and everything. You could put the money into innovation or new IP or something, and thus people might feel a positive incentive for buying your new games, rather than a disincentive to continue with what they have. Critics might also approve. Think what that will do to your metacritic ratings!

    • Starky says:

      How about because all of those games are on console (and NFS probably uses the same code as the console version), and they REQUIRE a master server.

      You cannot do online games on consoles without a master server.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Only for matchmaking though. And can’t that be done through Xbox Live anyway, isn’t that meant to be what we’re paying for (via XBL gold subs)

  19. InternetBatman says:

    This is so dumb, why not have p2p matchmaking and skip the central server altogether. Since they don’t do something that would lower overall maintenance costs I’m sure it relates vaguely to DRM.

  20. Leelad says:

    Doesn’t that make “Army of Two” completely pointless?