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EA is planning to clean house at the end of the summer. Today they revealed that they'll be shutting down multiplayer servers for several older games in their library.
"The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy. The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired," said EA. "But as games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles below a point -- fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles -- where it’s feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running."
"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."
The more cynical gamer would argue that EA's shutting down servers for these old games so they don't interfere with newer games. For example, a Madden fan might not see a need to upgrade from Madden NFL 10 to Madden 12 if he can still play the former online. Still, I don't doubt that there are IT concerns driving these decisions, too.
The list of games losing their multiplayer, and the dates of the server shutdowns, are below.
August 11, 2011 Online Service Shutdown