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Fight Night Round 4 shutters online support after 10 years

It’s survived by Fight Night Champion, which is still supported and backward compatible

Mike Tyson stuns Muhammad Ali with an overhand left to the jaw, spittle flying from Ali’s mouth.
Tyson v. Ali in 2011’s Fight Night Champion. That game is still supported online.
Image: EA Vancouver/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Fight Night Round 4’s online user base has dwindled to the point where EA Sports is going to turn off servers in March, the company told players via email last night.

Although all offline modes of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game are still available, this effectively retires Fight Night Round 4 after a run lasting more than a decade, one of the longest for an EA Sports game with online features.

Fight Night Round 4 was published in 2009; it was the first boxing title published by EA Vancouver, which later developed 2011’s Fight Night Champion. That Xbox 360 game was made backward compatible to Xbox One in May 2018 and then joined the EA Access service the following October.

NCAA Basketball 10 and NBA Live 10, the last basketball games EA Sports published for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, ended their live services before 2013. Grand Slam Tennis 2, published in 2012, lasted until October 2017.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 and NCAA Football 14, both published in 2013, are still going with full online support. NCAA 14’s Ultimate Team auction house is still open and there is even a current ESPN Game of the Week lobby for ranked multiplayer. But Teambuilder, the customization web tool used to create and share rosters, has been offline for more than a year and its URL now redirects to Madden NFL’s official website.

Since Round 4 and Champion, EA Vancouver’s combat-sports developers have focused entirely on mixed martial arts, beginning with EA Sports UFC five years ago. (Predecessor EA Sports MMA was developed at EA Tiburon in 2010.)

In a call with investors at the end of October, Electronic Arts chief executive Andrew Wilson promised “a full slate of new EA Sports experiences” in the publisher’s coming fiscal year. That includes “new titles that we are adding to our EA Sports portfolio.” Speculation has fallen on combat sports, as the UFC series has published in even-numbered years going back to 2014.

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