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Old Battlefield games re-killed after EA's legal warning

Battlefield Heroes

All good things must end, and all that we love will turn to ash some day. The fan-run Revive Network, a community project to support and restore online play to several defunct EA games (including Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, and most recently Battlefield Heroes) is closing its doors after receiving a warning letter from the monolithic publisher.

They had a good run of 3 years in total, with nearly a million total sign-ups to their alternative master server service, but nothing can last forever. You can see Revive’s final message to their fans, as well as the text of the shutdown request on their Heroes revival site here.

“Electronic Arts Inc.’ legal team has contacted us and nicely asked us to stop distributing and using their intellectual property,” says the final message. “As diehard fans of the franchise, we will respect these stipulations.”

While not an official cease-and-desist order – the tone of the letter requesting the shutdown was couched in gaming-themed language. [Perhaps they’ve learned from the chummy-but-not-really letter Netflix sent to the Stranger Things pop-up cafe – Ed]. EA’s demands were clear: Remove all official trademarks, logos and artwork (something that can theoretically be worked around), but also to remove all client downloads for the games – even the defunct free-to-play Battlefield Heroes.

EA’s argument for the shutdown is that people may feel misled by the site, and might erroneously think that it’s an official EA endeavour. Given that the Revive network were providing support for games that had been shut down, I’d imagine that anyone confused enough to not realise that Revive is an unofficial effort would have a higher opinion of EA than they might otherwise, but that’s just my conjecture.

I’m just hoping this doesn’t hurt community plans to restore CCG/RTS hybrid Battleforge to life. I liked that game, especially in co-op, and must admit some frustration to this day that EA shut it down. On top of all that, I can’t help but feel a new pang of regret at not just missing out on Battlefield 2142 the first time round, but also overlooking it the second. Here’s hoping it gets a third wind some day, eh?

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Dominic Tarason

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