The Curious Case of EA's Servers

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
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The Curious Case of EA's Servers

It's kind of crazy when you think back to all of the hoopla that Microsoft put behind getting EA Sports signed onto Xbox Live back at E3 2004. Ironically, it was Don Mattrick representing EA Sports on the stage back then, and he's now the head honcho for Microsoft's interactive entertainment division. The fact that money was spent to coerce EA into putting their wares on Xbox Live is sort of comical, as EA was already doing their thing on the PS2 with minimal fanfare.

The main sticking point was that EA wanted control over their games, which they had on the “open” Playstation platform. Microsoft's “walled garden” approach was often cited by EA executives at the time, particularly Bing Gordon, as being a roadblock to getting their games on the service. Gordon even once joked: “Didn't you say the only way we'd get The Sims on Xbox Live is if we added guns?”

Even though Gordon was just making a silly comment to annoy executives like Peter Moore and Ed Fries, EA was actually deadly serious about their concern for Microsoft's management of Xbox Live. They wanted to be able to have their servers communicate directly with gamers. They wanted to manage stats, friends lists and matchmaking, but more importantly, they wanted control over marketing directly to their users with downloadable content and third-party promotions.

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Old 11-08-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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This article makes me sick. I had no idea 2K was shutting down servers this month for 2K11. It's annoying enough that I can't play "older" games online or use the online features. I'm much more of a offline gamer but mostly because of all the issues that I have to deal with trying to play online. Bottom line it's greed. These companies know that by shutting down the servers you are forced to buy the latest game.

I have a serious issue with this. I'll use NBA 2K11 as an example. You have a game that was just released. It's a great game but the first major patch was just released. As a modern day sports gamer I know I'm going to have to wait for 2 or 3 patches before the bugs are ironed out. And these companies wonder why fewer gamers are purchasing games on launch day anymore? Yet, here I have a game that barely has one patch, no accurate rosters (because of the Lockout) and you are shutting down 2K11??? That's BS.

EA is even worse. It's to the point a $60 game is more like $120 after you buy all the add-ons and DLC. Take Tiger Woods for example. It's missing several courses that I have to purchase to make the game complete. How would a NBA gamer feel if only 15 NBA courts were on the disk of NBA 2K12 and you had to purchase the other 15? As silly as that sounds it's not that far-fetched. Features that I thought were already included in 2K12 are actually DLC that I have to pay for. But $9.99 isn't too bad. Paying an extra $60 is ridiculous. And what's worse is this DLC doesn't transfer to the next year. When TW13 comes out I have to buy an incomplete game again and start all over.

I'm sick of the greed. I rarely buy games on launch day anymore. It's to the point I wait a couple of months and buy the game used at Gamestop and return it. I use the free 3-day online trial for the game and test it out. I buy the game at Gamestop and return it within 7 days and get a full refund. That way I get my fix and I only keep the games I really want.

I'm starting to think about getting a new hobby. I'm tired of being robbed as a consumer. I used to buy these games every year but I'm getting less and paying more. I'm sick of the gloified rosters updates, the broken promises, the glitches, the online that doesn't work. It's a scam. I hate to sound synical but I know when I'm being ripped off and lately I feel like that's what's happening.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: The Curious Case of EA's Servers

The multiplayer age of gaming has ruined the awesomeness of hockey games. In EA's NHL franchise, they keep saying they're making AI improvements. This year the AI shoots more and doesn't pass between two people two inches from each other over and over again. But now we have that whole "I'm scared to go over the blue line" crap.

Online has brought out the worst of the packages. Before you could download DLC companies would put most of the things you needed in the game. Now they're so greedy they make you, like oldschool127 said, buy stuff that should be in the game, they have incomplete rosters you have to wait for, and they don't fully search out the bugs like they used to.

As a mostly single player gamer, I'm turning more to great RPG's like Mass Effect and the Elder Scrolls, instead of an equal balance I had a few years ago.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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Re: The Curious Case of EA's Servers

Originally Posted by oldschool127
I'm starting to think about getting a new hobby. I'm tired of being robbed as a consumer.
Given all the access people have to game reviews and user comments, how are the game developers to blame? I read about having to pay extra for courses in Tiger Woods, for example. But I didn't get ripped off because I decided not to buy the game, and that was one of the main reasons. That was my choice.

I've bought 3 sports games in the last 30 months and I'm completely happy with all of them. And that's because I did my homework and only bought those games I decided were worth it. No need to get a new hobby, just be a smart consumer.

The issue of shutting down servers doesn't affect me as I don't play online. I hear you, but at the same time it's pretty standard to shut servers down for one game after the next iteration is released.

Last edited by peigone; 11-10-2011 at 02:25 PM.
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