EA is shutting down online servers for its older and less popular games, such as The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II, Sims Carnival, and a great number of sports titles for various systems. The full list and killswitch dates can be found over at Giant Bomb.
I don’t own or play any of these games; this all-consuming shutdown does not affect me.
And yet it does.
I’ve always been a single-player game kind of fella. Online gaming is something that I never thought I’d get into, and so I didn’t. A few times during college, after working out a lot of firewall kinks, I would play some Command & Conquer: Red Alert late at night with my best friend a few states away, but other than that…didn’t ever see the point. I also never had a gaming PC so-to-say or any consoles that thrived on online gaming, such as an Xbox at that time. Just a PlayStation 2, and I think you needed a special degree to get that hooked up to the Interwebz. There were, of course, a few games I would’ve loved to try playing online, namely Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal and Diablo II, but the stars were not meant to align.
So, how does server shutdowns for games I don’t even play affect me? It only makes me more bitter and cautious towards online gaming. I want games to last forever, and nowadays there’s a heavy focus on social gaming (hello, Facebook!)–and without actual people, there’s nothing to play. That kind of perspective is dangerous and insulting, especially for hardened RPG fanatics that have spent countless hours alone grinding characters to perfection. In fact, some games’ multiplayer trumps single-player campaigns in terms of length and content and love. Boo to that. I’ve dabbled in GTA IV‘s online activity and found it bland and annoying; so far, the only current online experience I’ve had that was pretty successful was in Borderlands. I purposely steer clear of online, multiplayer-heavy games, and with the constant threat of server shutdown, it seems, to me, a pointless thing to invest in.
Goodbye, EA Sports FIFA Manager 10. I hardly knew ya.