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EA Server Shutdowns

EA has updated its list of Service Updates, revealing multiplayer servers that are hitting end-of-life (thanks Polygon). They say such decisions are never easy, explaining: "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. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of the games and we appreciate your ongoing patronage." They also announce a change for their free-to-play games, saying they will all begin using the same virtual currency called "Play4Free Funds," a name which may strike users as ironic when they pay for them. There are only a few PC titles impacted: The Sims 2 for PC/MAC and TheSims2.com will shut down on January 14, FIFA Soccer 11 for PC and consoles will conclude on January 11, and FIFA Manager 11 for PC ends on January 3.

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22. No subject Dec 31, 2012, 15:42 D_K_night
 
my expectation is that 40 years from now, I dust off an EA game, and I expect to be able to play it.

I paid good money for that, and that expectation is neither whiny, entitled, nor misguided.

My Pong, Atari 2600, Odyssey, and Vectrex consoles TO THIS DAY still function.

AND NO I don't care if some of you think I won't be alive. What if I still am in 40 years.
 
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21. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 31, 2012, 15:34 WyldKat
 
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 11:53:
Sims 2 was released in 2005, 7 years ago. Do you realize a lot of games that don't retire servers, simply have their servers stop working over time because of things like "out of business" etc?

The last actual Sims 2 release was the "Fun with Pets Collection" released in 2010. In comparison, Guild Wars 1 was released in 2005 with the last expansion release in 2007. It is still going to this day despite there being a sequel out.

Many people shelled out a lot of money for Sims 2 content and bear in mind that was the first game of the series to have downloadable community created stuff from the official site through the Exchange. So this is kind of a big deal for people who, for whatever reason, are not able to or unwilling to buy Sims 3 and rebuy all the content they bought for Sims 2.

This will be the same thing to happen to Sim City 5 when EA decides everyone should be playing Sim City 6 and rebuying the expansion content that they added for Sim City 5.
 
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20. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 15:33 NKD
 
Creston wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 15:20:
"Such decisions are never easy!"

"What shall we shut down this year? Let's do this one, this one, that one, and that one. Done. Lunch, guys?"

Creston

Yeah that gives me a laugh too. I imagine these decisions are pretty much automatic. They get some printed report that shows concurrent player averages and the ones highlighted in red get shitcanned.
 
Avatar 43041
 
If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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19. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 15:20 Creston
 
"Such decisions are never easy!"

"What shall we shut down this year? Let's do this one, this one, that one, and that one. Done. Lunch, guys?"

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
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18. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 15:05 Panickd
 
Wow, remember the halcyon days of gaming when you could run your own "server" and weren't required to rely on a publisher's whims to play whatever you wanted whenever you wanted? *sigh*  
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17. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 14:55 NKD
 
Smellfinger wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 14:47:
Planned obsolescence is just a step on the path to games-as-a-service. It's one of the many early symptoms of a terminal disease.

Is it really planned though? I mean unless EA is carefully crafting their titles to get boring fast so people will have to buy new games, hmm...

Like I said, there's never any outcry from players when these things get shut down. Just people getting offended at the general principle. So what's more likely?

1) They don't care that their precious game got shut down, so they didn't speak up.
2) EA systematically had all those players disappeared into unmarked vans.
3) Those players quit playing months or years ago and give no fucks.

Ima go with 3.
 
Avatar 43041
 
If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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16. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 14:47 Smellfinger
 
Planned obsolescence is just a step on the path to games-as-a-service. It's one of the many early symptoms of a terminal disease.  
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15. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 14:46 NKD
 
NetHead wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 12:06:
EA has been doing this for ages, deliberately timing server shutdowns for games with the release of sequels and the like trying to force people to buy the new game for multiplayer.

Among EA's many actual sins, this is patently false. Even for the annual sports titles, the sequel is well-past the point where EA cares about new sales LONG before the previous version gets shut down. There is no profit in EA shutting down Madden NFL 1492 Columbus Edition if people are just going to buy a $10 used copy of Madden 13 to replace it from LameStop.

They are just now shutting down Madden 11, and Madden 13 has been out for 4 months and is available in mass quantities in the used market for a $15 discount. If your theory were true, they'd have shut down Madden 11 several months ago, and they'd be shutting down Madden 12 now, instead of a year from now.

Let's face the facts: Almost nobody plays this shit they shutdown. In every thread, its people bitching about games being shut down that they aren't playing. I almost never see anyone go "Aww shit, I was still playing." Nope, it's "I might have wanted to play this in 10 years, damn you EA!"

Lets face it, EA shovelware doesn't merit replaying 10 years down the line anyway.
 
Avatar 43041
 
If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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14. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 31, 2012, 13:32 HorrorScope
 
bhcompy wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 12:58:
Maybe it's just you. I still pull out Sim City 2000 every once in a while to have some fun, or because I want to show my son a game that's better than Minecraft.

And, of course, the problem isn't multiplayer, the problem is that you have to play on their servers for singleplayer.

That is good, I'm not against the people that really would do this in any way at all. But I also think it's fair to say the majority of buyers rarely go back to something old and if they do it's a couple games. So if Sim City is that for you, then the best news is and as I have said, they have been upfront with where they are going with the game to us. If always online, multiplayer being a bad thing, server running for 10, 20, 50 years is very important for you, then you do have a choice to make.

I will stand by that many of those things are small %'s of players, most likely even wee percentages. The always online will affect everyone but I suggest that the small amount of ISP/Server downtime, one can be stable in their own feelings to deal with that and find something else to do, other than rage. As all the biggest games are relying on online working most of the time. COD MP, WoW... as I said the biggest games.

Blue's commentators in very generalist terms come off several times as paranoid, limited in scope (very single player centric base I'm finding) and phobic. That said, there is still good stuff in those comments and there are still good opinions outside of those type responses. Meaning, I still like to chat, but there are some really fearful walls that shot up that are a little over the top, imo. "Slippery Slope" mentalities if you will.
 
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13. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 13:25 briktal
 
NetHead wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 12:06:
It is not a technical necessity, it's not to fight piracy, it's not to add value or features. It's about control so they can pull the game out from under customers now entirely forcing them to fork out for the new version if they want to keep playing.

1) I'm not sure that many people are actually playing 2 year old sports games online.

2) One of the sports games getting shut down is the newest version, so I don't know what game the evil masterminds want the players to buy.
 
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12. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 13:18 Beamer
 
All of these games still work, it's just multiplayer no longer does.

Which means it'll be interesting to see what they do with SC5. My guess is that, going forward, everything uses the same authentication server so you never lose a single player game, but given that SC5 isn't technically single player...
 
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11. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 31, 2012, 13:16 Parias
 
bhcompy wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 12:58:
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 11:53:

Sims 2 was released in 2005, 7 years ago. Do you realize a lot of games that don't retire servers, simply have their servers stop working over time because of things like "out of business" etc?

I for one would not be playing SC5 in 7 years if I were to buy it any time soon.

Maybe it's just you. I still pull out Sim City 2000 every once in a while to have some fun, or because I want to show my son a game that's better than Minecraft.

And, of course, the problem isn't multiplayer, the problem is that you have to play on their servers for singleplayer.

I echo this sentiment - I still dust off my old 7+ year old games every now and then and play through them.

The shutting down of servers would be less of an issue for me in this case if it didn't affect the singleplayer component. At the least they should come out with some kind of server emulator or something.

Case in point: Mercenaries 2. Came out to PC with no LAN play whatsoever. I finally picked it up a few years later when I learned it had co-op, and was crushed when I found out they had turned off the online servers - there was literally no way to play the game multiplayer, at all, meaning I had pretty much wasted the (admittedly small) investment put into picking it up.

Fortunately someone had coded up their own home-brew server emulator for the game - we plugged that in and were up and running in no time.

I can understand having to decommission old server infrastructure after a period of time, but for god's sake, give your customers some kind of alternative solution instead of hanging them out to dry.
 
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10. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 13:01 dj LiTh
 
Indeed, i'm enjoying SimCity4, although that depends on steam's future availability as well.  
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9. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 31, 2012, 12:58 bhcompy
 
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 11:53:

Sims 2 was released in 2005, 7 years ago. Do you realize a lot of games that don't retire servers, simply have their servers stop working over time because of things like "out of business" etc?

I for one would not be playing SC5 in 7 years if I were to buy it any time soon.

I am one not to freak out over news like this. There are so many other things in your life that have this shelf life that you miss or let slide, but a gaming server... oh this is critical stuff here folks.

The closer truth is there are lot of reasons why you won't be buying SC5. This is just another one, so now which one exactly is the one that breaks the camels back? My main reason not buying will be the one where the game isn't any good, no matter drm, always online or retiring of servers. But if this game is amazing, I can tell you those last 3 reasons will not stop me. Most games don't last me a month and I'm not even talking bad games, who's kidding who here?

We've all had our reasons 100 fold on why not to support EA, that comes prior to the turn of the millennium.

Maybe it's just you. I still pull out Sim City 2000 every once in a while to have some fun, or because I want to show my son a game that's better than Minecraft.

And, of course, the problem isn't multiplayer, the problem is that you have to play on their servers for singleplayer.
 
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8. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 31, 2012, 12:47 Styopa
 
If it was a matter of cutting costs at EA (and not just a money-grab as a new sequel is coming out), then just enable peer-to-peer support, allowing the allegedly few people who still care about the game to run their own servers?


No, I thought not.
 
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7. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 12:06 NetHead
 
EA has been doing this for ages, deliberately timing server shutdowns for games with the release of sequels and the like trying to force people to buy the new game for multiplayer.

Though now they're making even singleplayer require the "okay" from the server with the sole goal of being able to completely stop people playing the game at all once they release the sequel. No doubt with the flawed mentality of not wanting to compete with their own, older, products.

It is not a technical necessity, it's not to fight piracy, it's not to add value or features. It's about control so they can pull the game out from under customers now entirely forcing them to fork out for the new version if they want to keep playing.

This is a good example of what happens when consultants and "number crunchers" get to direct a business instead of people who actually work in and have any passion for an industry.

Normally I have sympathy for people who get ripped off since we are all ignorant about something, though I can't feel sympathy for people supporting such companies with such tactics when they do the inevitable of ripping people off.

Personally I don't pay for a single game that can be remotely deactivated, disabled or crippled whether it's by design a mistake or due to a connection problem, that includes things that require online Steam DRM and I have missed out on no games and have had no problems.

If I'm going to pay for a game, I'm gong to be damn sure I can no only play it while on the move driving around on holiday, but can also fire it up years if not a decade from now without having the added "feature" of DRM doing nothing but causing problems to me as a customer.
 
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6. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 12:04 nin
 
ASeven wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 11:24:
And people still want to buy SC5 knowing EA pulls this shit every year.

Done in one.


 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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5. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 11:54 Cutter
 
Just one more reason to not support EA.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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4. Re: More Big Picture Details Dec 31, 2012, 11:53 HorrorScope
 
ASeven wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 11:24:
And people still want to buy SC5 knowing EA pulls this shit every year.

Sims 2 was released in 2005, 7 years ago. Do you realize a lot of games that don't retire servers, simply have their servers stop working over time because of things like "out of business" etc?

I for one would not be playing SC5 in 7 years if I were to buy it any time soon.

I am one not to freak out over news like this. There are so many other things in your life that have this shelf life that you miss or let slide, but a gaming server... oh this is critical stuff here folks.

The closer truth is there are lot of reasons why you won't be buying SC5. This is just another one, so now which one exactly is the one that breaks the camels back? My main reason not buying will be the one where the game isn't any good, no matter drm, always online or retiring of servers. But if this game is amazing, I can tell you those last 3 reasons will not stop me. Most games don't last me a month and I'm not even talking bad games, who's kidding who here?

We've all had our reasons 100 fold on why not to support EA, that comes prior to the turn of the millennium.

That said in Zynga-world, the Casual Game Crowd has shown their true colors I knew they had. It's really not casual gaming, it is "fashionable gaming", the crowd you cannot count on.

Shutdown of 11 games Article:
These shutdowns might not seem like a big deal to everyone, but they were near cataclysmic for some players who pumped countless hours and dollars into these games. If you’d spent years tending your virtual aquarium only to have it disappear, you can imagine how disappointed or angry you’d be. Comments from gamers on the shutdown notices included things like “my daughter is heartbroken” and “Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime….why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet?”

This comment was edited on Dec 31, 2012, 12:02.
 
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3. Re: EA Server Shutdowns Dec 31, 2012, 11:49 Julio
 
GayBlade wrote on Dec 31, 2012, 11:30:
My thoughts exactly. Go ahead and buy Sim City 5, and a few years down the line, you won't be able to play it.

I'd bet on one year for SC5. Think of it as a really expensive rental. Good luck to those buying it, I won't
 
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62 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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