EA Games has angered fans of several of its more niche or older titles by announcing that it would be closing the games' servers - meaning even those that bought an extra online pass can't play online.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a controversial subject depending on who you talk to, but the industry as a whole does seem to be turning its nose up at the time honoured tradition of doing nothing to thwart pirates while inconveniencing paying customers. Unfortunately not every developer feels the same, as EA, one of the biggest culprits for using the draconian DRM, is now going to lock gamers out from playing several games online - even after it forced them to pay for the privilege.
Granted if you bought the game new then you didn't have to pay anything extra, but you still had to pay retail price to gain access. Multiplayer is a big part of the experience, which is part of the reason a gamer buys a title. Now that's being taken away.
The affected titles are: BOOM BLOX bash Party, Burnout Revenge, The Godfather II, Fifa 10, MMA, The Saboteur, Need for Speed Pro Street, EA Sports Active, EA Create and Spare Parts. The latter three didn't have online play, but online support will be gone as of 13th April. The full list of shutdowns can be found here.
EA has commented that it has less than 1 per cent of its player base playing these games and wants to focus engineering efforts elsewhere.
Would it be that hard to throw a bone to that 1 per cent though? Perhaps offer a different way of playing online? Both sides of the argument seem valid, but it's hard to look past the fact that EA sold the games with online play. People bought them because of it. Now EA is taking that feature away.