EA Sports is shutting down the servers of a number of its titles, citing dwindling player numbers as the reason for the need to shift its resources to titles that have a larger player base.
In a service announcement on its website, EA wrote:
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. But as games get replaced with newer titles, 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. 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.
The following games will have their online services shut down, which means features such as multiplayer and roster updates will no longer be available.
January 19, 2013 — Online Services Shutdown
• Trenches II for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
January 14, 2013 — Online Services Shutdown
• The Sims 2 for PC/MAC and TheSims2.com
January 11, 2013 — Online Services Shutdown
• FIFA Soccer 11 for PC, PS3, Wii & Xbox 360
• FIFA Soccer 11 Ultimate Team for PS3 & Xbox 360
• Madden NFL 11 for PS3, Wii & Xbox 360
• Madden NFL 11 Ultimate Team for PS3 & Xbox 360
• NBA JAM for PS3 & Xbox 360
• NBA LIVE 10 for PS3 & Xbox 360
• NCAA Football 11 for PS3 & Xbox 360
• NHL 11 for PS3 & Xbox 360
• NHL 11 Ultimate Team for PS3 & Xbox 360
January 3, 2013 — Online Services Shutdown
• FIFA Manager 11 for PC
Games that had their online services shut down earlier this year inclide Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, Arena Football, FIFA Street 3 and more.
Kotaku notes that the shutting down of NBA Live 10's servers marks the end of online services for any professional basketball simulation currently offered by EA. NBA Live 10 released in 2009. It was meant to be followed by a reboot of NBA Elite in 2010, but the game failed to release. EA Sports did not release an NBA game in 2011, NBA Live 13 failed to release this year as a downloadable title, and it has since been put off to next year. NBA Jam was released in 2010 but its servers are also being shut down in January 2013.