Monday, March 19, 2012

Shutting Down

EA just announce that several of their games will have their servers for multiplayer will be shut down. It is sad by itself, as it means that long time players will not be able to play on-line anymore. But it also a necessary evil to be done. It make no sense keeping a server up if it is not fully used.

Many of those games have so few players today that finding a game to play is near impossible. Others still have an active community of loyal fans, but they are not enough in number to justify the servers, or they do not spend as much money in the game to keep it alive.

Of course, I think the publishers and retailer who still have the game in stock should warn potential buyers of the fact that the game is going to not have multiplayer support anymore. And in that there is too much fail. Many retailers do not inform the fact to potential buyers, either for lack of knowledge or for pure greed. Either way, it should be mandatory to warn the potential consumer of the fact.

Also, if the game uses an on-line pass, I think the pass should grant at least a year of on-line play. So, instead of warning about the shut down of servers, they should first announce that the on-line passes not redeemed until certain date will not be validated anymore, but all users who use the pass until the date will have at least a year of play before the shutting down.

The fact is that on-line games die eventually, as new iterations of the game become available and that the game in check is abandoned by the players. If anyone think it is fair to demand the companies responsible for those games to keep servers up indefinitely, just so a few thousands can still play the game, I must disagree with you. But I think they should allow players to create their own servers after the fact, so they can keep the game alive.

In business, sometimes you need to do things that are not good for the consumers, but it is needed. So, while not not the ideal situation, it is how it is, and I think there is space to improve. So, let's ask them for it. We have nothing to lose, after all.

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