Server Shutdown Syndrome: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Server Shutdown Syndrome: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Written Monday, November 07, 2011 By Lee Bradley
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“This is embarrassing and there's nothing more to be said about it... Fucking pitiful,” J Lo, X360A community member, Friday 4th November, 2011.

This is what we imagine 2K's servers are like...

Last week, 2K Sports announced that NBA 2K11’s servers were to be shut down. The announcement signalled the end of support for the game’s multiplayer, making all the online features unavailable and their associated achievements impossible to attain. The game had been on shelves for just 13 months.

Perhaps understandably, 2K11’s community went nuts. Amongst the most vocal complaints were suggestions that the publisher is forcing people to buy 2K11’s successor, NBA 2K12. Others were disappointed that the popular My Crew feature – not present in 2K12 – was due to become completely unavailable. Yet more were just angry because they could no longer play their favourite game online.

We contacted 2K to outline their commitment to online support, as well as their reasons for pulling the plug on 2K11 so early, but they didn't respond. So the question remains, how long should publishers keep a game’s dedicated servers running for?

Thanks to their roster of annual sports titles, EA also find themselves in the position of regularly shutting down multiplayer servers. While this makes them no more popular than 2K Sports, their approach is at least far more transparent. Speaking last year, the publisher said, “The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy.

“But as games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles below a point – 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.

“We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99% of customers playing our more popular games.”

Lebron James is devastated by the server news.

2K’s policy, however, is not known. All we do know is that the publisher’s support for their NBA games displays a worrying trend, with server shutdowns coming earlier and earlier. Where 2K11 lasted just 13 months, 2K10 lasted 15 and 2K9 enjoyed 21 months of support. That’s an 8 month drop over the course of three years.

EA Sports, meanwhile, typically extend support for around 2 years. It’s better, but is it good enough? Gamers pay for titles expecting online functionality; it’s built into the price of the product. Should online servers not be available forever?

Well, legally no. Every publisher’s terms and conditions state that they can discontinue server support whenever they see fit, at just 30 days’ notice. Ethically, it’s a different matter. NBA 2K11, as the most recent example, is still available from retailers and still advertises its multiplayer component on the back of the box. If you were to bring NBA 2K11 home only to find that half of it doesn’t work, you’d be justified in feeling cheated.

It’s not all horror stories, of course. Some publishers extend the life of their multiplayer servers for years and years. Microsoft continued to support Halo 2, alongside other Xbox games, for over half a decade. It was finally shut on Feb 5th 2010, 4 years into the life of the original Xbox’s successor and a couple of years into Halo 3’s lifespan. Other positive examples are harder to come by.

Ultimately, it all comes down to money. Servers are a major expense and if a game’s community has moved on to subsequent releases then publishers can save a few quid, and free up bandwidth, by shifting their focus. That’s a major reason why dedicated server support is cancelled. Yet it’s an argument that sounds increasingly hollow, complicated by the existence of online passes.

Kaaarateeeeeee chop!!

EA was the first publisher to embrace the online pass model. When they did so, they justified it by pointing to the rapidly increasing cost of online support. “We are looking at five million people a day on the EA Sports servers,” said then EA Sports President Peter Moore last year. “We have come a long way.”

“I look at the investment that we make in bringing digital experiences – building solid infrastructure, making sure servers stay up and offering customer support when needed. It all takes time, money and effort and we are at the cutting edge of that.

“Online Pass is a way for us to frankly bring more digital experiences quicker... [T]here is a cost to serve that we deserve to get paid for.”

Indeed, but despite online passes bringing in a considerable revenue stream focused on online support – money that just didn’t exist a few years ago – dedicated servers are still being shut down. Gamers should expect better treatment.

It should be noted that 2K Sports are one of increasingly few publishers that do not have an online pass system. Indeed, their record in this regard is relatively unique. They have made efforts to include everything needed to enjoy their games on the disk. NBA 2K12 was the first in the long-running series to even offer premium DLC.

Despite this, whether an online pass would have saved 2K11’s servers is beside the point. The fact remains that consumers should be able to buy a game in the knowledge that every aspect of it will be in full working order. If publishers cannot guarantee that dedicated servers will remain online forever, then they should at least indicate just how long they will be available, at the point of sale.

If, before you buy, publishers provided information indicating the earliest date on which the servers could be shut down, then consumers could buy in confidence and publishers could defend their reputations. Until that happens, buying an older multiplayer game will remain a gamble. You’ll never know whether you’re throwing half of your money straight into the bin. It’s a situation that has to change.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #1 by Pazuzu91
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 01:00:48 PM
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No NBA, no servers, just that simple eh?

Forum Posts: 1394
Comment #2 by iKiddo
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 01:06:07 PM
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13months is too early, 2 years on things like Fifa is fine.

Forum Posts: 114
Comment #3 by BADFELLA
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 01:07:16 PM
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I cant be,bother with fifa any more

Forum Posts: 438
Comment #4 by SuperSouter
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 01:10:38 PM
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I am the 1%!

Forum Posts: 109
Comment #5 by TSG Dwaggie
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 01:20:46 PM
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2K Sports. Fuck you.

If you're not gonna support your games, use Microsoft servers. How fucking hard is it to understand? Support your games, or don't release them.

Forum Posts: 242
Comment #6 by JustAFriend
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 01:43:49 PM
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they should leave all servers open, just enough to let say 100 people online at once, a small ammount is better then nothing and whats one server to big wigs like ea??

Forum Posts: 191
Comment #7 by ash356
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 02:19:11 PM
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'We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99% of customers playing our more popular games'
Lmao, just had serious deja vu to last weeks episode of South Park :')

IMO, use dedicated servers for a good few years. Then if the player numbers start to dwindle, switch to player-hosted (peer to peer) servers. There, simples. Incorporate both server types into your game, problem solved.
Player hosted servers may not be perfect, but they're still servers.
I'm no expert though, I'm running on the assumption peer to peer is of no cost to the Devs. :/

Forum Posts: 2811
Comment #8 by Worhammer
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 02:27:45 PM
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@7 My understanding is that MS makes you pay 40K up front to use their matchmaking servers, and that cost covers however long the 360 LIVE servers are available.

I am unsure of whether or not this cost is paid if you have your own dedicated servers.

Forum Posts: 220
Comment #9 by FaSCoRP
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 02:52:50 PM
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Now I understand why a person on a forum was selling NBA 2K11 and FIFA 11 so cheap!

Forum Posts: 5334
Comment #10 by Capn Doug
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 02:59:52 PM
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@8, supposedly it is much higher. I seem to recall that doing things this way isd an extra $5 profit on every game sold.

In the end, the video game business is just that: a business. Developers and publishers need to make money in order to continue to make games. Keeping servers open for unused games is a cost that makes that more difficult.

That being said, at least level with the gamers. EA does to a certain extent, but 2K doesn't. If nothing else, look no further than the fact that it is difficult to find a match before the shutdown is announced.

Forum Posts: 386
Comment #11 by chriscutis
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 03:57:51 PM
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As long as the console is still being sold in stores, all games for that console should still have their servers up. Anything less is being a greedy asshole who doesn't give a shit about customer satisfaction.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #12 by MCFC Blue Nose
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 04:38:43 PM
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People should boycott all 2K sports games, if people stopped buying them they would soon listen to their customers, EA's strategy although not ideal is to a certain point understandable, but my main gripe is that it stops me getting achievements on older games, for example FIFA 08 & 09, I can no longer get the online achievements for. That being said, EA & other companies should think about either doing offline achievements only, or don't put in as many time consuming online achievements, I for one feel cheated that I can't get those achievements now, but to be fair to EA they did give prior notice that they were shutting down these servers, Of the top of my head think it was a couple of months notice
Apologies for the long post :-)

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #13 by Achilles8249
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 06:05:47 PM
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Glad im not into sports games much, what a load of BS that theyre doing this. Its not like you can take the game back once you open it.

Forum Posts: 202
Comment #14 by HareJordan23
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 06:08:05 PM
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oh well, i gave up on nba 2k several years ago, i rather go out and play real basketball anyways

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by Ty G Live
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 07:55:21 PM
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Its not just sports game servers that are being shutdown EA has shut down both of the Army of Two servers and im pretty sure that Need for speed Undercover has been aswell the only one that really made a difference with me was Tiger 10 i used to play that online all the time

Forum Posts: 14034
Comment #16 by Spanish Assault
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 09:06:54 PM
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The "no comment" from 2k says it all...greedy bastards.

Forum Posts: 14034
Comment #17 by Spanish Assault
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 09:08:00 PM
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How hard is it to have host supported MP? No servers...done.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #18 by KinectVoiceover
Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 10:41:30 PM
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NBA is a piece of shit, anyway! Fuck this server shutdown syndrome!

Forum Posts: 237
Comment #19 by BadBoyKillah89
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 12:18:10 AM
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Nicely done. Agree 100%. EA & 2K think they're special. Dedicated servers as you can see are too much of a hassle. Even when they're up, most of the time they don't even work right (EA, I'm looking at you). P2P > Dedicated Servers
And yes, this is a way of forcing you to purchase their new products. Behavior like this is why somebody needs to step in and regulate these situations. Servers for all games should be up until the following generation consoles. It's the right thing to do. Also, why do I need a damn EA account to play their crappy games? My Xbox Live account should be the only thing I need to be able to play any online multiplayer game.

@15 The 40th Day servers are still up. The first one recently got the axe.

Forum Posts: 671
Comment #20 by pauly_27
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 02:07:33 AM
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EA using their own servers means they have you over a barrel. They are the ones who benefit the most from server shut downs, especially with their monopoly of the sports game market.

I get that you wouldn't (for example) get a game on something like FIFA World Cup 2006 now anyway even if you wanted one, but it's bad when the average consumer has to do research before they buy a game to see if that game is still playable online.

They do themselves no favors with the Games on Demand service as well. take the Lord Of The Rings game, for example - servers were shut down months ago, yet there is no mention of that in the description. Indeed, they are still selling a map pack for 800 points on the very same title!!

These companies really do need to treat us a little bit more than this, even actually listen to us on occasion as well.

Forum Posts: 4685
Comment #21 by hydrosugar
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 04:34:21 AM
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The whole discontinuing of servers wouldn't be as bad if devs STOPPED WITH THE DAMN ONLINE ACHIEVEMENTS. They are completely illogical in every way, but they continue to put them in games in droves.

Forum Posts: 3224
Comment #22 by DecadentBeaver
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 08:47:48 AM
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@21, I agree with you about the pointless online achievements. I have no internet so I have to buy games that allow me to gain most the gs. A pain, and everyone should able to get the 1000, no matter how difficult offline. Online achievements only encourage boosting. Call of Duty games manage without.

P.S. Screw EA games. I have stopped purchasing their products now. Never liked the 2K Sports range either. Coprorate greed is what it is! Fight the machine!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #23 by Hexadermo
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 09:15:38 AM
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Achievements are a big issue here. Why put online achievements in a game if they become impossible to get after a certain period of time? Another problem is that after the initial release, many people stop playing games like Crysis 2 and Space Marine and go back to FIFA, COD or Battlefield, so it's very difficult to even join a game let alone get 2000 kills with a sniper rifle when no ones playing (Sniper: Ghost Warrior, I'm looking at you!)

I do understand that the servers need to be shut down after a time but look at Battlefield 2 (2005). It still has servers and I'm pretty sure ones from BF1942 are still running.

Forum Posts: 4465
Comment #24 by TVthePunisher
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 10:38:33 AM
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What effect does this have on other 2K games? I mean, would Bioshock 2 and The Darkness ever have their servers shut down? I finished Bioshock 2 and I am going to work on the Darkness this week but...I at least know the Darkness barely has anyone playing it. Is the game on a limited lifespan? Or is it just sports games...which I never play myself but I understand plenty do.

Forum Posts: 1767
Comment #25 by dirge
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:19:43 AM
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Thirteen months is far too short a period, it should be 2 years minimum. If a game company decides to shut down the servers for good, I believe they should patch the game in a way that players are able to host games. Server shut downs are wrong, but if they have to be done then give us the simple answer of being able to host our own games.

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #26 by totallykyle101
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:36:40 AM
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Why don't they just not have online for Nba 2k games? Anyone who uses it just quits when they're losing or glitches. Problem solved.

Forum Posts: 4417
Comment #27 by bLaKgRaVy
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:54:39 AM
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Can someone explain why the servers for APF 2K8 are still online after a little over 4 years, but their yearly titles are being shut down? I'm hella sure there are more people playing NBA 2K11 than All-Pro Football 2K8. There's gotta be!

Forum Posts: 301
Comment #28 by Pakhair
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 12:30:57 PM
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1.The servers should be available for sports games for at least 2 years and for other games 4 years.

2.There should be no online achievements in sports games, people will complain less

These are not the best solutions for sure but can help though

Forum Posts: 159
Comment #29 by hotdogenigma
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 12:43:12 PM
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@5 You do realize Microsoft will charge 2K or else Microsoft would charge you more for using their resources. The whole point is that 2K can't justify keeping their servers up and running, just as EA, because of the cost outweighing the benefit.

I understand what people are saying and that's fine, it sucks but this is what's becoming of the gaming industry. Someone said they are the 1% that still plays this game, unfortunately for that person we live in a majority rules society.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #30 by PrismSub7
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 02:13:43 PM
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EA is still the most evil one here, they forced Microsoft to support third-party servers, early EA games were online on the ps2, but not on Live.

Forum Posts: 498
Comment #31 by Wehttam
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 02:36:41 PM
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They need to sort this out, its very annoying especially in this day and age of achievements.

Forum Posts: 11537
Comment #32 by Kairi
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 03:23:14 PM
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I think 13 months is too early. Servers should be open for two years at least.

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #33 by Buckster666
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 04:38:34 PM
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If companies are gonna turn off server, then they should release a title update to give us the online achievements.

Forum Posts: 333
Comment #34 by thenutman69321
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 04:59:08 PM
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If a server for any game is shut down at any point before the next generation of consoles comes out it is completely unacceptable to me. Sports game are completely transparent in their attempts to get you to buy the next years game, that's the only reason they shut them down. There are still non sports games that launched with the 360 or come out right after the launch that have servers still open.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #35 by Ty G Live
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 05:08:05 PM
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Whats up with Assassins Creed Brotherhoods online was that not any good i could never find a game on that either the online and DLC achievements are all i need to 100% that game

@19 The 40th day must just be that crap online that nobody plays it i have tried to find games online for it but have never managed to get one

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #36 by aim of kronic
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 05:42:06 PM
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dont play NBA games but is still #$%&ed up.. should be min. 2 yrs

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #37 by MrVan77Redux
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 08:45:35 PM
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2k should just go back to the old method like in the 2k6 games. 5 achievements and leave it at online

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #38 by KINGvJAMES
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 09:09:05 PM
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It is just to sell more NBA 2k12 like #27 said about APF 2k8 still up and running and have they released another one? Nope.

Forum Posts: 396
Comment #39 by Tim1601
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 @ 11:14:54 PM
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I reckon whenever they decide to shut down servers for a game, they should release a patch that allows player hosting.

Forum Posts: 100
Comment #40 by bearmod
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 02:34:33 AM
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One of my friends is gonna be ultra pissed when I tell him about this

Forum Posts: 52
Comment #41 by Coruba
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 02:49:10 AM
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To be honest I think anything less than 5 years is pretty lame. That used to be around the cycle of consoles anyway. You should be able to buy a reduced platinum release game and still play online!!

Forum Posts: 225
Comment #42 by Septic
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 05:26:48 AM
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If you guys want to play online you have to go buy nba2k12.

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #43 by Swegabe
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 07:35:58 AM
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Most outstanding article, its about time things like this is really brought up and seriously looked at.
Servers shutting down earlier along with more and more games forcing multiplayer into it, just because its the "style" these days, makes for a bad trend.
Wouldn't surprise me if, sometime in a near future, you'll have to be online all the time for the game to even work, to fight piracy or any other issues.
When that happens, a server shutting down mean a game becomes unplayable forever, but they will still be sold, no doubt.

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #44 by Sunyavadin
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 08:30:00 AM
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At least allow users to run servers.

Forum Posts: 298
Comment #45 by Paulson
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 10:17:19 AM
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I think you missed one of the HUGE points which is that the NBA might not have a 2011-2012 season! This means no roster changes, no player "dna", no week to week roster updates, and more than anything less interest in an NBA games.
Sadly, in sports games these days, a roster change at the start of a new season justifies a completely new release.

Forum Posts: 988
Comment #46 by Shred Asics 13
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 10:23:14 AM
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Will NBA 2K12 have some DLC that let's you negoiate the lockout?

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #47 by FreiZeitGeipel
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 10:55:25 AM
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Early Server shutdowns are a shame. But luckily there are some companies who seem to take different approaches. Once in a while I play a few rounds of DiRT 1, Racedriver GRID or Pro Evolution Soccer 6 online, since the servers are still up. And these are games from 2006 / 2007. Codemasters and Konami FTW.

Forum Posts: 219
Comment #48 by Suprachris
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 11:01:22 AM
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For me, servers should always be kept available for all games during a console's lifetime, or let's say 10 years for PC games. And if it's not possible for any reason, editors or developers should broadcast title updates allowing "amateur" servers to run the games for free, or change the online experience to a "self hosting" way (I don't know the exact word in English, I mean the way Gears of War 1&2's online works), so the games can still be played online, and related achievements can still be unlocked.

Forum Posts: 241
Comment #49 by Masta Mylez
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 01:21:54 PM
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@46 Great idea, I miss the NBA season already. I live in Charlotte and there are no Bobcats games ( I know its the Bobcats but the Heat came were here 2 or 3 times last year and I got to see Kobe and the Lakers )
NBA2K11 was one of my favorite sports games of all time and this sucks. I wasn't going to purchase the NBA2K12 and still am holding out, too many other games this year that tickle my fancy. I could care less about online achievements, I just want to be able to play the game online with my friends, not anymore

Forum Posts: 116
Comment #50 by gumppy12
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 01:58:25 PM
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i've always been of the opinion that if a publisher/developer wants to do online achievements that they should also put in a way to unlock it in single player. have two different ways to unlock it so that when things like this happen we can still get the achievements and they can still have their online ones as well.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #51 by thirdeblue
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 08:54:00 PM
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It seems like Microsoft needs to step in and clean this up before it gets too out of hand.

Forum Posts: 194
Comment #52 by Corpse87
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 09:25:00 PM
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@ 27 they do listen to us,but all they hear is cha ching!

Forum Posts: 261
Comment #53 by L KIRA HAYABUSA
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 12:00:43 AM
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They just need to leave ALL online servers on. I'm looking at you Madden 07!

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #54 by jnaz666
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:15:15 AM
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If companies are going to close down dedicated servers for games then they should patch the game so it supports p2p hosting. Also, the online achievements for games that no longer have servers should be patched so they can be achieved in offline multiplayer. After all, a good game will sell well regardless of achievements, but a crap game witj an easy 1000g will sell just as well.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #55 by lilasianman
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 12:31:33 PM
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I understand where companies are coming from on this but I think keeping servers up for as long as the game is out should be apart of the company's obligation to its players. If for some reason a company was planning to shut down its servers, a simple thing developers could do is make no online achievements for games that plan to shut down their servers at some point.

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #56 by Buckster666
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 01:56:14 PM
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If servers are being closed, then the companies should release a title update/patch to give us the online achievements

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #57 by KungFuLoLCat
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 08:56:26 PM
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well cod 4 is still running

Forum Posts: 2348
Comment #58 by SatNiteEduardo
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:55:36 PM
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On the one hand I can understand underutilised servers should be pulled and redirected to more popular titles eg EAs policy. BUT with online passes there is no excuse. I do not know anything about 2k and whether they use online passes but any game that has an online pass and servers that are pulled is criminal in my opinion. But people who post on here should be aware of the issue so we have a choice to buy or not to buy.

In this day and age surely a solution is to utilise some form of server space for all old titles. $hit I would even buy an online pass or an extra $10 fee if that allowed some servers to stay open.

Forum Posts: 152
Comment #59 by Mist
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 04:53:45 AM
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Maybe it's just me... but I always thought that if they shut down servers, any achievements you can't get by playing local or system link, should be automatically unlocked.

Not to abuse easy points or anything, but I'm a completionist. Having a game and knowing that I could never complete it fully, grr.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #60 by G1Bb0777
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 03:40:35 PM
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Maybe after a few years they should say that when the games servers have less than a certain number online then they should shut them down. But it shouldn't be allowed if people are still enjoying it. I think this is what happened with Halo 2, when everyone had left they shut it down.

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #61 by Guizon Maltrov
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 04:29:17 PM
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finally someone of the xboxaxhievs have spoke against that ABSURD
servers should be available FOREVER
or should be functional for at least 10 years or someting like that...

Forum Posts: 290
Comment #62 by davhuit
Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ 07:15:44 AM
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With the Online pass, they now wouldn't have any good excuse to shutdown any servers (because the Online pass is here to pay the servers cost, from what they say).

Forum Posts: 44
Comment #63 by CyberSkull
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 01:47:17 AM
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For console games, if you shut it down before the end of the console's official support, then it is too soon.

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #64 by Egg Life
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 10:57:03 AM
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Once a game is past it's prime and no one plays it online, I believe there is cause to shutdown the server.

But the real problem here is the games that add multiplayer for the sake of having multiplayer. This is followed by adding multiplayer achievements to make it popular. Which once shutdown, no one can get.

As a completionist I would like some way to get round this issue. Either by awarding the cheevs to everyone, or removing the multiplayer cheevs you havent got from your remaining score.

Also one of the most popular multiplayer games, CoD. Hasn't got a single achievement that requires online play.

Forum Posts: 325
Comment #65 by 1morey
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 03:17:45 PM
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I say let the servers up until the console it is available on is no longer produced, even if the game hasn't been played for a year or so. Heck, I know a few people who enjoyed Turning Point, but can't get on any matches since no one is online, except for those willing to help boost.

Forum Posts: 16
Comment #66 by callmeclean
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 05:49:27 PM
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@7 lol yep thats what I thought of. Although its reversed tables, its the 1% who are complaining in this case. Some of you 1%-ers who still play this game need to protest outside 2k Sports.

Forum Posts: 530
Comment #67 by Ratpelt
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 08:31:29 PM
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“Online Pass is a way for us to frankly bring more digital experiences quicker... [T]here is a cost to serve that we deserve to get paid for.”

In my (not particularly humble) opinion, companies ARE getting paid for this cost. It's called a profit margin. As has been stated many times, videogame developers are businesses, and as such they do not include multiplayer modes at a loss because they want to please gamers, they create multiplayer titles because they earn money by doing so. I find it very frustrating to read about a company's so-called legitimate claim to recuperate costs they incur by providing a service, when in fact they are only providing said service because it serves their bottom line in the first place.

Simply put, I read a statement like the one cited at the top of my post, and the message I take away from it is "We feel entitled to offload some of our costs [incurred in the pursuit of profit] onto the consumer, in order to increase the profit margin."

I take no issue with any company wanting to make money. It's what makes the world go around. My problem is that "profit" ought to be (and in most other spheres, IS) the remainder left behind when you take the price you charge for your goods or services and deduct what it cost you to provide them.

As for server shutdowns after thirteen months, that should be an issue for what, in the UK at least, is regulated by the Trading Standards authority. The same people who said "if it is anything more or anything less than the pure squeezed juice of an orange, you cannot call it orange juice" ought to take issue with the continued sale of titles with an advertised online component (with no definite or approximate date given for the cessation of those services) when the alleged multiplayer element is a fleeting, temporary thing.


Forum Posts: 615
Comment #68 by theNomad
Monday, November 14, 2011 @ 11:06:45 AM
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As great as microsoft was to keep halo 2 going for so long after the original xbox had been laid to rest, its still kinda sad you can no longer play it or any of the original xbox games online.

All I can say is when the next gen xbox comes along I so hope it shares the same servers as the current 360's live. So many games deserve to keep going on forever, especially these days when pretty much most xbox customers are online and have paid good money for the games they own.

We had a great Halo 3 play date at the end of Sept to mark the 4th year since it came out. Be great to still pop in once every now and then, maybe even celebrate a 10th year.

As for 2k, they make me sick, show some god damned support to the customers who've kept you in a job.

Forum Posts: 180
Comment #69 by PMS Green1Chaos
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 @ 01:28:49 AM
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I would like to see the racing games that EA releases stays up.Games like Need For Speed and Burnout are really good. Games like NFL and NBA should stay up as well.As far as servers go for online, thoughs should stay up too.It's unfar to the gamers that put their money and effort into buying a good game only to hear that it's online server won't be around for long.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #70 by Jakers6666
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 @ 07:38:31 AM
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I wouldn't mind EA taking down their servers to support newer games, if the servers actually worked properly

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #71 by matt27
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 05:26:05 AM
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My opinon on this matter is if the game companies want to have servers for a limited time then they shoudn't have online achievements for those games, or atleast have the achievements obtainable in a different way. For instance have certian days where the servers are up say for a weekend or something, a game in particular is tiger woods pga tour 06, I bought this game because I liked the series on ps2. I didn't think anything of it and thought I would be able to get some achievements for the game, well it turns out that all of the achievements are only obtainable throught online play so the game is basically useless to me and others who want to achieve a high gamer score. I would like to see it where all online games can be played no matter how old they are, or for there to not be online achievements.

Forum Posts: 1667
Comment #72 by Baihu1983
Thursday, November 17, 2011 @ 09:50:09 AM
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Games should keep their servers atleast until this gen is over. Sick of devs trying to force gamers to buy the same game every year.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #73 by Marshall_2k6
Saturday, November 19, 2011 @ 07:58:42 PM
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I think they should allow the user to download their own server after they shut the dedicated ones down. Sure, people could change the numbers and cheat on their end, but that's a moot point because the game is dead anyways, and it will only be them and their friends. If PC kids can rent/buy their own, I think we should be able to as well.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #74 by Bennieficial
Sunday, November 20, 2011 @ 05:48:01 PM
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Soon we'll be charged monthly to play sports games online. Oh wait...we already do that by paying for an Xbox Live subscription

Forum Posts: 25
Comment #75 by The Cats Meow 0
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 @ 06:22:52 PM
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The same shit happened to Army of Two this past summer. It had a much longer lifespan than 2K11, but I was still pissed that I had ONE week to enjoy multiplayer before they shut it down.

Why don't developers shut off the servers temporarily? Perhaps they could afford to run the servers on holidays or every other year.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #76 by xdark manateex
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 07:30:05 AM
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This should of been considered when creating online achievements. achievements online only ruin the experiance that the developers intend for you to experiance as they can take alot of the players motivation to win away, obviously depending on the achievement. Then for them to end up completely untouchable for fans who could have spent alot of hours into going for one. F**k me thats annoying. There should be no such thing.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #77 by THE FINISHER v2
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 07:29:25 PM
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They don't care about their players. Just their money. Once they get your money they turn around and ignore you. I'll never buy another 2K/EA game EVER!!!

Forum Posts: 76
Comment #78 by DeadMan XXXXXXX
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 10:59:05 PM
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There needs to be strict and enforced regulation, that's all. It's unreasonable to expect a company to keep the servers up and running when less than 1% of their total online use is on that particular game. But it's also festering horseshit that they can shut down a game in 13 months, especially when there are online achievements involved.

If I had my druthers, it'd be a minimum of two years for annual sports releases (nba, fifa, wwe smackdown, etc), and the life of the console for non-repeating titles (army of two, def jam, lord of the rings)... I can appreciate turning the lights out on a game like fifa '08 when the rosters are no longer current and it's been replaced by an '09, '10, & '11, but for one-shot story based games it should be indefinite. Grand Theft 4 is damn near four years old and their servers are still up... Take a cue from R*.

Forum Posts: 89
Comment #79 by Golden Guard
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 11:28:46 AM
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Another example of a game company supporting all of its games MP functionality is Gears of War. Epic has done a good job in that...

Gears 1... servers are still up
Gears 2... servers are still up
Gears 3... obviously they are up too

I think that shows how dedicated a company is to having satisfied players rather than making their own decisions and perhaps disregarding the player reaction to said decisions.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #80 by RIDE or COLLIDE
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 06:19:30 PM
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If any of you are old enough to remember Crimson Skies, it's servers were up until 2010, i believe. SEVEN YEARS! now, that's dedication. Now, a lot of people play sports titles, but not nearly as much as shooters. How pissed off would people be if the previous Call of Duty game's servers were shut down 2 months after the next game came out?! I know for a fact that thousands of people still play CoD4 and World @ War. Look at it this way, and it seems so unreasonable. Screw you 2K. Put your money into your customers instead of up your @$$.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #81 by tholloway93
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 03:57:04 PM
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I think if they could leave them open to just a small group at a time, say 100 or a few hundred even, because some people may go back to old games for achievement points just to find that it's no longer possible to obtain them.

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #82 by XxStuartxX 1990
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 11:56:24 AM
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i wouldnt be bothered as much if before they shut their servers down they patch the game to pvp

Forum Posts: 54
Comment #83 by LJParnell
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 03:23:42 PM
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Sorry, but I don't buy the expense of having servers - that is just smoke and mirrors. Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc. all proved that servers can be very cheap. I ran a department in a company that hosted online communities for clients and the incremental cost of another server was minimal - so minimal that we gave up trying to track the cost at the individual level - it was something like 100s of dollars - it cost us more to track the costs then the actual costs.

EA shuts down the servers for one reason only - they want us to buy their latest game - it is a marketing decision, pure and simple. Yes, they try to appeal to the 'cost' issue, but all you have to do is look around to see that this is false. Don't get me wrong, it is their company (EA and 2K) and they can legally do what they are doing. I just hate that they do it the way they do it. Can they not put in online achievements if they are going to shut it down, or send out an update for you to get it another way after the servers shut down. It is just pitiful that they really don't care about their fans.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #84 by khardiss
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 04:06:21 PM
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My question is, what "costs" to keep the servers up are they eliminating? The cost of the server? Nope, that was paid for when the game was new. The cost of the bandwidth? Nope, if I'm playing an NBA game on their servers, I'm using the same bandwidth (at least similar, probably less with the older titles) whether I'm playing the 2012 version or the 2008 version. The cost to run updates on the server? Nope, OS updates are free and can be automated so no person needs to do them. The cost of game updates? Nope, because there aren't any updates to an old game. The cost of server hardware getting old, failing, and needing to be replaced? Possibly, but as games get older and less people play them, the server can be virtualized and multiple servers can be put on a single physical server, so the other failing server can become spare parts for the running server. The cost of the electricity to run the server? Ok, you got me there, that $100-200 a year per server is definitely going to sink EA.

So, the point of this rant is simply to say "I call bullshit."

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #85 by Joewayer
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 05:08:28 PM
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So let me get this straight - EA at one point says that there are five million people using their servers but the older games get less than one percent of the traffic. Well one percent of five million is still 50,000 people. So what are they saying? 35,000 people wanting to play Madden '08 or NCAA '07 don't justify the expense? 20,000? I could understand if it was a couple of people a day but it's not or they would have said that rather than try to hide their bs with vague math.

All of these sports games really should stop trying to screw consumers out of sixty dollars every year for a few minor tweaks. We should all demand that the next generation systems sell one version of these sports games at the regular price and then let us download the following year's updates for $20 - $30 annually. They can still crap out the same disc every year for the same inflated price for the people who didn't get tthe earlier editions.

There's a reason why stores like Gamestop give you a quarter for most EA sports used games and sell them for two or three dollars. It would be nice if kids who don't have a lot of money could take advantage of that and play against each other online using a game that's three years old. I haven't bought an EA game new since they announced their password bs awhile back. I used to get at least three new games a year when they were sixty dollars each. Not anymore. Now I wait until I can buy them for six or seven dollars used and just be satisfied with playing them offline. $53.00 savings for me, a big chunk of loss for EA and a smaller loss for the stores that sell the games even though it's not their fault.

Forum Posts: 266
Comment #86 by emul8ter25
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 09:54:37 PM
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If a game is still actively being played by a sizable fanbase, any server shutdown is too soon.

I can understand why the sports franchises do this. Most of the yearly updates ad very little value to make someone want to go out and buy it. Castrating the older versions forces players into it.

Forum Posts: 253
Comment #87 by Lord of Rage
Friday, December 02, 2011 @ 07:11:47 AM
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very nice article Lee. I agree 100% with you

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #88 by Banedain
Friday, December 02, 2011 @ 03:50:09 PM
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So EA says we dont have enough money to support our online or at least switch it over to host servers ...
but we have 5million copies sold on the release for all of our sports games
so 5 mill * 60$ + 5$ for every online pass purchased for every YEARLY SPORTS GAME which is NFL, College football, Hockey,, soccer, basketball and
and not to mention any spinoffs they make like NBA Street (insert next year here) YET THEY HAVE NO MONEY!!!!!

Forum Posts: 86
Comment #89 by switzr1
Friday, December 02, 2011 @ 11:05:41 PM
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MS should step in and forbid online achievements for games that will have servers shut down. They have that power. They can control the 1000 point rule, they should also be able to control the type of achievements in games. Then, if we read that a game has no online cheevos, we can assume the server won't be up long and make the informed choice to not buy the game.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #90 by ZombieMedicX
Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 08:00:51 AM
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i believe the lesson to be; go grab a ball if you're feeling sportsy, save your 60$!

Forum Posts: 483
Comment #91 by wright3034
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 01:22:19 AM
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If you don't like the products stop buying them, this isn't new, it's on YOU the consumer to show the people that make these games that you won't buy the product if the servers aren't around for a reasonable amount of time. Then and only then will they take notice, it's simple economics, SHEESH!

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #92 by SzilardUK
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 01:30:54 AM
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This server shut down thing is bs. These companies make so much money compared to their production output that running a few servers should not be an issue for them. It is just their marketing strategy to force people to buy their newer games, which is fine. They can do it so they would be stupid not to. On the other hand you CAN do something. If you don't like it, don't buy their games.

@29: No, not everyone lives in a majority rules society. I for example live in democracy where the majority does not have the right to force me to do anything. What you're talking about is more like communism.
Anyway, in this case it is not the majority who won't let you play the game online anymore but one company..

Forum Posts: 1137
Comment #93 by jpg30
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 06:31:30 AM
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@91, that's exactly what i have done, i haven't played an E.A. game apart from the tiger woods games since 09, fifa 09 was the last sports game i played as i wasn't going to keep playing a game when they just turn the servers off, as pointed out by others why don't E.A. just have no online achievements, this way there would be no problems.

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #94 by Prinny Overlord
Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 03:04:09 AM
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To be honest, I wouldn't mind this so much if they wouldn't put in online achievements. I really hate those because there's such a limited window to get those that it punished people who have more than 3 games to play.

Forum Posts: 203
Comment #95 by Explodius
Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 03:10:24 AM
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The fact that EA hasn't implemented a system to fall back to p2p online once the servers are discontinued is the real problem.

Forum Posts: 203
Comment #96 by Explodius
Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 03:12:53 AM
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EA and 2K**

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #97 by TJ1977
Sunday, December 11, 2011 @ 07:59:18 AM
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This is why there shouldn't be any multiplayer achievements. It's not fair for people who can't play online or can't afford to buy the latest edition of a game.

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #98 by Patchy
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 10:02:07 AM
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Boycotting these companies and Titles will surely make developers sit up and take notice in my opinion.

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #99 by kingkc
Monday, December 19, 2011 @ 03:54:52 AM
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this claim that the online codes are for online support is a load of shit. We all know its to counter the profits of places like gamestop from selling used games. its all about the money, as long as people are willing to pay it they will keep doing this shit over and over and people keep doing it. all online ea games have an online pass and its not soon before all other publishers do the same if people just keep purchasing their products. same goes for COD, those stupid map packs are guaranteed revenue for the developers and literally no cost yet everybody and their mothers seems willing to dish out 15$ for 4 maps every month. back in the day for real games people used to make their own maps for games for the public for free. ie DOTA. xbox players are lacking so many features in the gaming experience its really starting to turn me off from console gaming

also if ea really wants to talk about cost, how much money do they really invest to making the next years version of sports games. they are just building off old shit and adding minimal amounts of new features, if they do at all. Really the yearly updates to games is so unnecessary to begin with, something a simple patch could do until they really make a major change to graphic quality and game physics every few years or so, its all obviously purely profit motivated. its not like they are building a new game from the physic engine upwards every year. fuck ea. they are the reason the gaming industry is going to get ruined worse than it already is.

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #100 by kingkc
Monday, December 19, 2011 @ 03:56:24 AM
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oh yeh also i forgot, wtf does my 60$ a year go towards if i still need to be paying extra money to play the games online. total bullshit

Forum Posts: 217
Comment #101 by rapture23
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 12:43:57 AM
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That's what you get for playing a basketball game.

Forum Posts: 217
Comment #102 by rapture23
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 12:57:24 AM
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J/K I'm just as outraged as some of you. More so about Halo 2 though to be honest. There shouldn't be any multiplayer at all, let alone achievements for multiplayer if the devs aren't going to support there games.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #103 by JB2The6thPower
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 @ 06:43:32 PM
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Lol at the Lebron James picture. 1st of all, i agree With #101, 2nd, this makes me feel like as soon as i Buy a game, i should tackle all online chievos 1st, lol. Looks like i Won't ever Be Buying any of their games!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #104 by bonzodak
Friday, March 20, 2015 @ 10:24:50 AM
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a bit late to the party but does anyone else think that if a games server is about to be taken down then a patch/update should be released to nullify the online achievements? it would balance out this issue with a fairly simple solution. no more games with 30 out of 50 achievements!!

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