EA periodically kills support for online multiplayer in older or less popular games, and they’ve announced the latest casualties. The Xbox 360 version of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II joins its deceased PC counterpart next week, and games like NHL 09 and EA Sports Fight Night Round 3 are slated to expire in February.
The company says on its site that decisions like this aren’t made lightly. “As background information, the EA SPORTS games scheduled for shutdown in February and March 2011 represent roughly 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles. Despite some people’s perception, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these older 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. These decisions to retire games is never easy. The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of the games and we appreciate your ongoing patronage.”
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