By Jason Venter | 01-02-2013 | 12:00PM
A new year represents the end of some old things and the beginning of different things. At Electronic Arts, that apparently means the end of service for some of its aging titles that not a lot of gamers are playing online anymore. If you’re an exception, that’s bad news for you.
“But as games get replaced with newer titles,” Electronic Arts wrote on the company’s service updates page, “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.”
Specifically, there are a number of titles that will lose online support over the coming days, starting with FIFA Manager 11 for PC on January 3, 2013. The bulk of the titles that will be seeing closure are old sports titles that will shut down on January 11, 2013. Those include the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions of NHL 11, NCAA Football 11, NBA Live 10, NBA Jam, Madden NFL 11, and FIFA Soccer 11 (as well as variations). Some of those titles are also available for Wii, which will see a similar withdrawal of support.
Not all of the titles are the obvious ones, though. You may not have known it, but The Sims 2 for PC and Mac is still online, along with a site located at TheSims2.com. That will all go away starting January 14, 2013, presumably because people have graduated to The Sims 3 (which itself is growing a bit long in the tooth despite continuing to see new expansions). Trenches II, an iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch title, is also being shut down.
“We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99% of our customers playing our more popular games,” Electronic Arts noted on its site. “We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of the games and we appreciate your ongoing patronage.”
Quite a few other titles have also seen support end. The EA site linked above includes a list of other titles that lost their online support, and by now it’s quite lengthy. Electronic Arts isn’t the only company that eventually ceases to support online modes for its past releases, either. Any time you buy such a title, you need to remember that the online components have a limited shelf life. Once enough people stop enjoying those modes, they’ll disappear and those experiences are gone forever. It’s a shame, but progress almost always has a cost.
In any event, now is the time to throw any end of the world parties that you may have had planned for your sims in The Sims 2. Admit it: you’ve been saving up confetti for years now.