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EA shuts down servers, Online Pass games included

Monday, 19th March 2012 10:20 GMT By Alex Donaldson

The moment was inevitable: EA have quietly announced a new batch of online server shut-downs – and this time around they include games which had a paid Online Pass.

The new server closures mean that online play will be impossible in this handful of titles after 13th April. The games effected include Burnout Revenge, FIFA 10, The Godfather II, MMA, Need for Speed ProStreet and The Saboteur.

Even more casual titles like EA Sports Active and EA Create are to be hit with server closures.

The most recently released game on the list is XBLA and PSN title Spare Parts. It’ll have been out for just over 15 months when its online gets the chop.

BeefJack reports that some gamers are getting irate with EA closing servers for online pass titles such as EA MMA – a game that asked users who purchased the game second hand to pony up cash in order to pay online.

The game has been out for a mere 18 months, so some may have purchased the online pass to fight online recently – but closures like this are covered in the license agreement we all ignore and agree to when redeeming online passes.

More details, an official statement and a full list of titles that have had their online spiked can be found on the EA website.

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18 Comments

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  1. The_Red

    Another reason why Online Passes aren’t the answer. Just force retailers to give you a cut of second hand sales and everyone can have what they want.

    Gamers don’t have to suffer inferior version when getting second hand games, publishers don’t have to envy the uber lucrative second hand money that retailers get and retailers won’t have to deal with online pass crap that might hurt their second hand sales market.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. EvilGost

    “EA announce server shut-downs including Online Pass games”

    only 18 months after game launch… ridiculous…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. mickey2002

    15months for spare parts… Why don’t EA create something that just works p2p into the games they make if they really did care about the fans (LOL)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    @1 That’s just a bad excuse for online passes. You can’t lose a sale you never had in the first place. Obviously people are only buying secondhand because they aren’t interested at the price EA is offering.

    That’s the free market.

    Telling them to subvert that further certainly doesn’t serve the consumer.

    And bandwidth has never been cheaper than it is today. Online passes are just another scam meant to generate revenue without the inconvenience of making an actual product.

    Brick and mortar is a lousy way to sell your games in the digital age, but that’s between EA and their partners. Punishing the consumer for it and trying to encroach on the market is not the way to go.

    The people talking about gamers whining and feeling entitled should probably remember practices like that, lest they fail to be included. Nobody is entitled to a sale they don’t earn themselves.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. aseddon130

    I honestly don’t see the fuss regarding Online Passes, i don’t blame Developers implementing the system at all. At least this way Developers still get a few quid from piraters who wanna play online.

    Games drop in price so quickly nowadays if you wasn’t gonna buy the game at launch and maybe a few weeks later then there’s no loss at all as the game will probably be £10 cheaper brand new a few weeks later.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Garo

    with each move that EA makes I find myself disliking them more and more, I think I’m not alone with this feeling. Is this really the way to go with your world famous brand “making people and fans feel like they’re getting ripped off”?.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    EA are such a bunch of rip-off merchants.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. LOLshock94

    @7 You dont say

    #8 2 years ago
  9. The_Red

    @4
    Look, I believe that a second hand sale is a lost sale for game makers but that’s a topic for another time. What I’m trying to say is that as long as publishers see retailers making lots of money from second hand sales, they’ll want a taste of that cash.

    It may be greedy (in your opinion) or deserved (in my opinion) but as long as publishers and retailers don’t reach some kind of agreement to split that money in some way, we’re gonna end up with STUPID and disgusting online passes like Arkham City’s Catwoman and stuff like that as well as even more insulting day one DLCs.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 I respect your opinion, but it’s wishful thinking.

    If you ask EA, brick and mortar are getting rich off of used game sales. I don’t know what kind of world they’re living in, but if we’ve seen a trend over the last 10 years it’s the slow but certain death of that business.

    I’m sure that one or two chains are going to survive, but it’s still going to be on the back of a strong digital component.

    Brick and mortar takes 70% from a new sale, compared to something like 30% on Steam, but they’re still unable to make it work. First they have to rent buildings, and then they have to pay people to stand in them all day, in the hopes that someone comes by, as opposed to simply handling it from the comfort of their consoles or PCs.

    Depending on the country and its general wages, you’re looking at a business model that can’t sustain itself. In the US you can’t keep a lot of Gamestops open 24/7, like you can Steam or a Walmart, which also sells games.

    Ultimately, if used game sales generate any kind of considerable profit, then it’s obviously much needed. These businesses are dying, they aren’t about to give EA any kickbacks when they can barely make ends meet as it is.

    Nor should they. It’s not EAs sale, EA just feels entitled to it anyway. IKEA doesn’t get to charge you for buying one of their coffee tables at a flea market either.

    None of the major publishers are suffering from market conditions today, they took a hit from the crisis, but that was almost 4 years ago. None of them have been hurt by used game sales. It’s a spook, meant to mask unchecked greed and stock market prestige, just like piracy is.

    No matter how much they might want to, it’s not a company’s place to tell consumers what to do, or to manipulate the market. Sometimes they just have to cope with the real world, instead of trying to control people.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. The_Red

    @10
    And I respect yours. Also thanks for the reply and explanation :)

    I see what you mean but again, most of your reasoning is for the argument of publishers having or not having that right. Many retailers probably need the money and I’m not arguing about that fact.
    My point (here) is that regardless of what is happening to brick & mortar, regardless of how much money each side makes, regardless of how justified publishers are to want money from sales of second hand games and regardless of other businesses, ALL major publishers from EA to THQ will want a piece of second hand market. Right or wrong, that leads them to Online Passes and all kinds of day one DLC.

    Maybe asking for a future free of Online pass and similar crap is wishful thinking but from my perspective of as a consumer, the whole thing is unacceptable. Retailers giving some cut to publisher is the only solution to end the current Online Passes and day-one DLC. It’s not about having the right or not, it’s me and many other gamers wanting to put an end to the whole Online Pass / D1 DLC trend.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @11 I guess we disagree on what constitutes the symptom and what constitutes the disease.

    To me the disease is the seemingly endless greed of publishers, and online passes is just one of a number of symptoms.

    Having businesses that are already in decline (in contrast to the publishers themselves) pay them off so they’ll leave us alone, isn’t a solution. How is that going to change anything?

    You’re just moving an unfair burden somewhere else.

    Even if that could be achieved, it would only inspire them to make even more non-existent products to sell, so they could blackmail people further.

    DLC, subscription models and online passes are just symptoms of the same disease. DLC could be a great thing if publishers were dedicated to the medium and running an ethical business, instead of consistently overreaching to boost the bottom line. People would probably like buying smaller pieces for less individual costs, than bigger pieces for bigger individual costs. But in reality they’re just being milked.

    Instead of selling actual content, you’re often being sold ripped scraps or new content that’s made on so small a budget that it’s never going to live up to the quality of the base game.

    The result would be the same if you tried to sell a movie scene by scene. It’s poison for gaming as a serious medium.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Joe Musashi

    It’s not EAs sale, EA just feels entitled to it anyway.

    Then EA aren’t responsible for maintaining servers to support the sale of a product that isn’t theirs – the new seller can take care of all that.

    It cuts both ways.

    ..so they could blackmail people further.

    Oh please. Blackmail? What dramatic twaddle. Optional DLC for a luxury product is not blackmail. If your mindset is that you feel you’re being blackmailed then you’ve really lost perspective of the situation.

    JM

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    @13 What dramatic twaddle.

    I doubt you bothered to gather any sort of context on that, but we were discussing the notion of consumers pressing retailers to pay, because EA were putting unfair burdens on them.

    That would obviously be blackmail. If it somehow became practice that as soon as you incurred a loss of value or direct expense to your costumers, others would have to step in to pay, then quite arguably that would be an extraordinary cashcow for publishers, and they would be making money by pressing consumers to pressure others.

    So, blackmail.

    Trading games doesn’t present any expense to EA. If they’re selling games with online components, then that’s already part of their business model, and a part of the product that’s fully accounted for. The fact that the product changes hands doesn’t constitute any sort of loss to their business.

    It’s all their own perception based on a false sense of entitlement, and one that isn’t present in any other industry.

    The fact that they’re a bunch of snotty nosed corporate crybabies throwing toys at the free market from the comfort of their strollers isn’t a very good reason to charge consumers, simply because EA desires to interfere with their choice after they make the sale.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. The_Red

    @12
    I completely agree with the publisher being too greedy (Regardless of their rights and the 2nd hand market). Heck, it’s impossible to deny that the greed is part of the problem even if I believe they have some right here. The problem is that right now, no other solution is available. I know it may not seem like a real “solution” since it puts pressure on retailers but at least it “might” change things a little for us.

    It could be considered unfair (or not) but there is a small chance that sharing of the second hand money might at least help the Online Pass problem among other things. The crazy subscriptions and many types of DLC may very well be impossible to fix due to the said greed. (I may have made mistake by combining them all into one category but Online pass, Day one DLC and such all annoy the hell out of me) Based on my personal belief about the situations, the agreement between pubs and retailers seems acceptable.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Joe Musashi

    It’s not blackmail, DSB.

    But please, continue with this whole “Woe is me, for I am a gamer, victimised and oppressed by the evil tyranny of capitalist organisations, woe woe woe!” melodrama.

    Here’s where the whole notion of ‘entitlement’ comes from: It’s because all these so-called victims NEVER ever consider the option of doing without. No. It’s not about take it or leave it. It’s about give it to me for free. Give it to me sooner. Give it to me cheaper. At no point do these arguments consider that if you’re not prepared to pay the asking price for something then you’re not entitled to it. No. The entitlement is assumed in all cases and if anything gets in the way of that entitlement then that entity is wrong and evil.

    And that’s why “entitled gamers” is such a common phrase: because it’s a perfectly apt label.

    “Blackmail” is a ridiculous enforcement of the ‘gamer is a victim’ complex. It deserves absolutely no sympathy because gamers are not victims. They just cry like victims.

    You talk about perception but the view you present is determinedly narrow and self-serving. You have decided one entity is bad, another is a victim and you mould your rhetoric and assumptions (I very much doubt you are privvy to the actual inner workings of EA’s servers or distribution agreements between publishers and retail chains) to meet your predetermined conclusion. You’ve made your own mind up on how things work (which, surprise surprise, is only ever ‘bad’ when it’s not directly benefiting the entitled whims of the consumer.)

    JM

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DSB

    @16 Okay, so I guess you’re still not willing to get any context on that. Nevertheless, in most countries, pressuring people to make money is known by the word blackmail. Or extortion. Which is precisely the scenario that The_Red and I were discussing.

    Actually the dictionary describes it as:

    “the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.”

    I suppose you could quite easily apply that to an online pass as well. Even though that wasn’t what the word was originally being applied to.

    I’m not defending anyone’s percieved right to tell developers when to release games or how the story should go, I’m simply commenting on the conduct of publishers, and the validity (or lack of same) of the costs they incur on gamers, who merely want to do what they’ve always done.

    Publishers are suggesting that we “Pay more – for less”, or in the case of online passes, “Pay more – for nothing”. Obviously that sort of behaviour is going to provoke a response and quite a bit of loathing from gamers, who used to enjoy interacting with the industry.

    Deflecting it as “gamer entitlement” is a profoundly simplistic attempt to divert attention from the actual problem and the people who created it, while slandering the people who are rightly offended by it.

    “these so-called victims NEVER ever consider the option of doing without.”

    An astute observation of the games industry.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. NightCrawler1970

    EA was a great company in the past, but now just like Activision, just a bunch of greedy bastard and have 1 thing on there mind “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY”, just setup a server online and within a year shut down, with an excuse “oh well”…. buy a new game than you can game on….

    #18 2 years ago