EA's announced that the next slew of titles to have their multiplayer turned off will include EA Sports MMA, Burnout Revenge, Need For Speed: ProStreet, Boom Blox Bash Party, Create, EA Sports Active 2.0, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp, Fifa 10 (on PSP and Wii), The Godfather II, The Saboteur, and Spare Parts. Got all that?
It's not unusual for companies to shut down the servers for old online games whose player bases have trickled down to practically nothing, but numerous sources have noted that at least one of these games—EA Sports MMA—features an online pass for multiplayer. That means that anyone who didn't buy the game new had to pay a separate fee of $10 to get online. Now that service is being shut down.
“As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level — fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles — where it’s no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running," EA said in a statement. “We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99% of customers playing our more popular games.“
That's fair, to be sure, but doesn't a line have to be drawn somewhere? A few of these titles really aren't that old, after all, and the online pass certainly alters how people feel about multiplayer as a service. MMA itself launched little more than a year ago.
Do you think EA should be able to shut down multiplayer so soon after a game's release? What about for online pass games? We're sure the 1% of players still enjoying those games will agree that they should be able to keep enjoying them. Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.