By Joseph Leray
As if the holiday season and the New Year weren’t enough to remind us of the inescapable creep of time, Electronic Arts has announced that it will be scuttling the servers of its older sports titles later this month.
In a statement on their website, EA explains that “fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles” are still playing games like "FIFA 11," "Madden 11," and "NHL 11" -- games for which the online multiplayer servers will be shut down on the 11th. “It’s no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running,” the statement continues.
Here’s the full list:
January 19, 2013 -- Online Services Shutdown
● Trenches II for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
January 14, 2013 -- Online Services Shutdown
● The Sims 2 for PC/MAC and TheSims2.com
January 11, 2013 -- Online Services Shutdown
● FIFA Soccer 11 for PC, PS3, Wii & Xbox 360
● FIFA Soccer 11 Ultimate Team for PS3 & Xbox 360
● Madden NFL 11 for PS3, Wii & Xbox 360
● Madden NFL 11 Ultimate Team for PS3 & Xbox 360
● NBA JAM for PS3 & Xbox 360
● NBA LIVE 10 for PS3 & Xbox 360
● NCAA Football 11 for PS3 & Xbox 360
● NHL 11 for PS3 & Xbox 360
● NHL 11 Ultimate Team for PS3 & Xbox 360
January 3, 2013 -- Online Services Shutdown
● FIFA Manager 11 for PC
This is of course annoying for those that still play these games regularly, but it’s all the more galling given that online multiplayer server costs are subsidized by programs like Xbox Live Gold and EA’s own Online Pass. Of course, it’s unreasonable to expect that every game will stay online forever, but the planned obsolescence of popular games -- FIFA and Madden now have an effective shelf-life of two years, apparently -- is sure to take a bite out of any goodwill and cheer Electronic Arts might have tried to cultivate recently.