The company justifies these moves by saying that when a server gets to a level of fewer than 1% of all of the peak online players across all EA titles, it just costs too much to continue to support it. EA also feels that their IT staff could be better focused on supporting servers for games that continue to pack them in, so to speak.
Perhaps the most unique thing about this round of servers being pulled is that for the first time EA is pulling the plug on a server that had an online pass as part of the game. It seems that even an online pass that is part of a gaming package is not sufficient reason for EA to delay unplugging a server; but we can’t imagine that those who purchased a used copy and then paid to buy the online pass are going to be happy about this.
The first round of shut downs is coming on March 31st and will see only iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone titles affected. The titles are: Battlefield 3: Aftershock, Fantasi Safari, and Ghost Harvest.
The second round list is far more extensive with a number of titles whose servers will be unplugged. The servers are:
- BOOM BLOX Bash Party for Wii
- Burnout Revenge for Xbox 360
- EA Create for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360
- EA Sports Active 2.0 for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360
- EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp for Wii
- FIFA 10 for PlayStation Portable and Wii
- The Godfather II for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
- MMA for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
- Need for Speed ProStreet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
- The Saboteur (loss of The Midnight Club access) for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
- Spare Parts for PlayStation 3 Xbox 360
These servers will be shutdown on April 13th; and as you can see, a number of memorable titles will be going in this round. The EA MMA title will go down as the first with an online pass to get turned off.
The Saboteur will lose The Midnight Club access, and despite the average reviews for the title, we actually found this to be one of our favorite titles. Burnout Revenge hung around on the Xbox 360 for long time as quite popular, but it will finally capitulate.
Hopefully, none of the games that you are playing will make this list, but if you hurry you can at least have a couple more weeks to finish any missing online achievements for these titles.