Remember the halcyon days of FIFA 11? I certainly do. Any time I can’t remember the events of two years ago, remind Tim to take me out back and sell my organs for scrap. Two years and two months is roughly equivalent to 36 sports genre years, however, which means EA have seen fit to turn the game’s servers off.
Also affected is FIFA Manager 11 – the demise of which is less shocking simply by merit of its being less good. Nonetheless, it was a game human beings bought on release in October 2010 with the expectation of playing its eight-player online mode. 2004’s The Sims 2 on both PC and Mac will also lose its online functionality, such as it is.
“The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy,” eulogised EA in a statement. “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.”
Sports games more than any other attempt to mimic real-world events, and consequently see their shelf life shortened to something like that of milk. FIFA 11 has had two sequels since its release.
An idea: a persistent online FIFA-alike with a development team dedicated to producing free weekly updates and new, premium players a la League of Legends. Could it happen?