EA is Shutting Down The Virtual Worlds of Dozens of its Old Games

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 11:40 AM

Game studio Electronic Arts has announced that it is going to take the virtual worlds of over 50 games offline at the end of the month after its hosting service, GameSpy, announced it was shutting down. It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

I say that because at least two Star Wars games (Battlefront and Battlefront II) are part of the purge. It's always sad to watch games that were once worlds we regularly inhabited fade into insignificance, but considering some of these games have been supported for nearly a decade, that is a pretty good run. 

Our intern Cameron lamented that he "will never hear the drones from Battlefront say again, 'Roger, roger.'"

All of this reminded me of a great story from Robert Ashley's gaming podcast A Life Well Wasted, excerpted here on an episode of Snap Judgment. The story is about the end of an online world and actually features tearful missives from the players as the world shuts down. It's surprisingly poignant.


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Comments [2]


this experience goes across the range of MMORPGS...last one i experienced was in Glitch...death throes that ran the gamut of the kubler-ross stages of grief. And crazy, end-of-the-world behaviors, and lots of sad.

May. 15 2014 06:20 PM

These things can be very difficult, especially when children (and adults) cannot reconnect with their friends offline (sharing personal info is often forbidden online).

In 2008, Disney closed Virtual Magic Kingdom, and hundreds of thousands of children lost their friends forever. My own daughter's sadness remains, years later. She lost her best friend, which AFAIK lived somewhere in Scotland. It was like all her friends died at once. Haven't been to a Disney park since.

Evidence of the former players' sorrows can be seen in this painstaking recreation (just a walkthrough, not playable): http://www.vmkrevisited.com

May. 14 2014 12:31 AM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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