EA Closing Multiplayer Servers for 20 Games

by Alice O'Connor, Jan 04, 2010 7:50am PST

A large selection of "older EA titles" will lose multiplayer support when their servers are shut

down on Tuesday, February 2, the development giant has revealed.

The list of twenty affected titles features a number of relatively new titles such as August 2008 release Madden NFL 09--succeeded by August 2009's Madden NFL 10--and November 2008's Facebreaker, as well as some with a few more years under their belts.

"You may continue to play the games online up until these dates," EA explains, "but certain community programs may begin to close down prior to the shutdown dates."

The closures do not necessarily affect all platforms or territories. For example, NBA 07 servers will continue to run for PlayStation 3 after EA shuts down the Xbox 360 and PSP's. Meanwhile, the whole world faces an end to multiplayer NASCAR 09 on PlayStation 2 but only Europe loses the joys of racing around oval tracks on 360 and PS3 too.

This is by no means the first round of EA severs shutdowns, though with thirty-seven editions of twenty games games set to lose multiplayer it is certainly is larger than 2009's, when online support was ended for seventeen editions of eight games in April.

EA warns of servers shutdown on the back of its game boxes, though in small print and perhaps not in the clearest language. "EA may retire online features after 30 days notice posted on," reads the boilerplate warning, with season-based sports games sporting addendums similar to Madden NFL 09's "...or 30 days after the last day of the 2008-2009 NFL season."

"All of us at EA would like to thank you for your valued participation in our online gaming community," a friendly note on the announcement page reads, "and hope that your enthusiasm for these games extends to our current lineup and beyond."

The full list of editions on the chopping block follows below.

    February 2, 2010 Online Service Shutdown

    • UEFA Champions League 07 PC and x360

    • Facebreaker x360 and PS3

    • Fantasy Football 09 x360 and PS3

    • FIFA 07 PSP, PS2, PC

    • Fight Night Round 3 PS2

    • Madden 07 Xbox 360

    • Madden 08 Wii

    • Madden 08 PC

    • Madden 09 Xbox1

    • Madden 09 Wii and PSP

    • Madden 09 x360 and PS3

    • March Madness 07 x360

    • NBA 07 PSP, x360

    • NBA 08 PS2, PSP, Wii

    • NBA 09 Wii - Europe only

    • NBA Street (2007) PS3 and x360

    • NCAA Football 08 PS2

    • NCAA Football 09 PS2

    • NASCAR 08 PS2

    • NASCAR 09 PS2

    • NASCAR 09 PS3 and x360 - Europe Only

    • NFL Tour PS3 and x360

    • NHL 07 PSP and x360

    • NHL 08 PC

    • Tiger Woods 07 PC


26 Threads* | 90 Comments

  • Not that it makes it excusable (it doesn't, and this is a dick move), but this is more about internal EA problems running different online services and trying to gear up for the future than a firm plan to screw people (I'm guessing, for course...legally I'm guessing). With the recent economic times, they probably don't have the resources to run lots of different online infrastructures, and want to consolidate on what they are using for the future.

    That said, this is a totally dick move that screws over people who bought games as recently as a year ago (kids that got Madden 09 for xmas 09). That is just lame as hell. When they are trying to sell people into this online dedicated server structure that benefits play experience, this seems to directly contradict that and let the consumer conclude they'll do whatever the hell they think will make them the most money at all times, even if the customer suffers.

    But what would you expect from a company that has no clue or plan?

  • Weird that many of the PC versions seem to receive an extra year or two over the console versions. You'd think with no platform holder to pressure them they'd close the PC versions extra quickly. Maybe it's the other way around, though. Maybe the platform holders demand heavy duty hosting specs that make running servers for console games extra expensive over going with the lowest bidder on the PC.

    This does seem like the sort of thing that should get cheaper and cheaper to continue to provide as the game gets older, though. I mean, surely even a $10/month VPS could handle running the Madden 2003 server these days, and could probably handle matchmaking for all the other 2003 serieses at the same time, too.

    On the other hand, it's not like they receive anything more than goodwill by continuing to host servers, and it's not like fans of a series known for releasing a new version every year are going to be very vocal or damaging to their image if it stops working a year and a half later.