When a game is released these days it generally contains some sort of online play. For many games they’ll enjoy a long period of activity and prosperity as thousands of gamers battle it out online to assert their dominance. Over time, however, those numbers eventually dwindle, and for the companies that maintain the online servers for the game they’ll eventually be forced to either pay for a game nobody plays or to shut it down in general.
EA announced yesterday that several such games are indeed having their online services shut down. On January 3rd, FIFA Manager 11 for the PC is being shut down, and on the 11th FIFA Soccer 11, Madden NFL 11, and NHL 11 are all being shut down, as well as their respective Ultimate Team counterparts, as well as NBA JAM, NCAA Football 11, and NBA Live 10. The NBA Live 10 is interesting, because it’s the last NBA game that EA has released, having cancelled their last 3 iterations due to problems of one sort or another.
Also cancelled is Trenches II (January 19th) for the iOS, and The Sims 2 (January 14th). According to EA the reasons why games like this end up having their online services cancelled is because of money. When a game has less than 1% of all peak online players across all titles, it’s considered to be a waste of resources to keep maintaining those services that the vast majority of people don’t even use. I can’t exactly blame them, especially when most of these games are old sports titles.