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EA Sports takes cover from Hurricane Irma, hopes to keep online services running

Orlando-area studio cleared out

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Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Hurricane Irma is west of Miami and now projected to rake the Gulf Coast of Florida, but Electronic Arts, whose EA Tiburon studio outside of Orlando makes Madden NFL and NBA Live, is taking no chances.

The studio is “taking cover,” Karen Stevens of Electronic Arts’ EA Accessible Twitter feed, said earlier this week, and hopes to be back to normal on Tuesday. Madden Ultimate Team’s twitter feed said yesterday that it would be “doing their best to keep services online during Hurricane Irma.”

More than 1.3 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders but that zone does not include the counties of the Orlando area. Still, many started getting out of the state at the end of last week.

The situation resembles Hurricane Matthew, a category 5 major hurricane that came up the Atlantic Coast of Florida in early October 2016. Matthew did not make landfall in Florida, and none of the counties in the Orlando area were under evacuation advisories or orders then, either.

Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the Tampa Bay area, which is more than 100 miles southwest of Tiburon’s Maitland, Fla. headquarters, sometime before dawn tomorrow.

As of publication time Madden Ultimate Team and online multiplayer was available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. NBA Live 18 launches on Friday, Sept. 15 (as an advance preview for EA Access owners on Xbox One).

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