Friday, October 27th 2017

EA Forces Shut-Down of Fan-Run Servers for no Longer Supported Battlefield Games

Electronic Arts, who on their company's "vision" says that they "value being a generous company and community member", have brought about the demise of fan-run servers for some older, no longer supported Battlefield games. The games in question - Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, and Battlefield Heroes - had their multiplayer components shut down with the demise of GameSpy, and were being maintained by a fan coalition named Revive Network.

"We will get right to the point: Electronic Arts Inc.' legal team has contacted us and nicely asked us to stop distributing and using their intellectual property," the Revive Network team wrote. "As diehard fans of the franchise, we will respect these stipulations." Revive Network were distributing modified versions of the older Battlefield titles along with a launcher that allowed access to its own, rewritten server infrastructure - and this seems to be the reaon why EA sought closure. "Please stop distributing copies of our game clients and using our trademarks, logos, and artwork on your sites," EA's counsel wrote. "Your websites may easily mislead visitors to believe that you are associated or affiliated with EA-we're the only ones that get to wear the 'Official EA' dog tag."
It's one of those age-old facts: when servers for games that have a strong multiplayer experience - which may even be the games' focus - shut down, there's just no way players can actually play the game they paid for. This is an issue that has reared its head every now and then; sometimes, users themselves join up in crating fan-run servers that allow for those canned multiplayer experiences to thrive, letting users keep enjoying their spent money in ways that the companies themselves no longer see fit to support.

This time, like Blizzard has done before with World of Warcraft, EA has taken the stance of asking the managers of these unofficial servers to shut down their service. Revive Network started this revival process with Battlefield 2 in 2014, expanded its efforts to Battlefield 2142 last year, and had just created the server infrastructure for Battlefield Heroes a few months ago. Revive claimed over 900,000 registered accounts across its games, including nearly 175,000 players for the recently revived Battlefield Heroes.Sources: Revive Heroes, Ars Technica
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56 Comments on EA Forces Shut-Down of Fan-Run Servers for no Longer Supported Battlefield Games

#1
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
EA keeps on Shooting themselves in the foot like Ubisoft, Call of Duty Anyone?
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#2
StrayKAT
No one wins from this.

The EA way.
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#3
Darmok N Jalad
I wonder if we will see a revival of classic games that never had vendor-hosted servers. There are quite a few old games that, despite being graphically inferior to modern titles, were really quite fun and balanced, and players/fans could even make their own mods and multiplayer maps with no takedown issues whatsoever, and you could host your own servers with ease.

I get that making games today is a huge investment, but there should be some sort of balance that allows fans to continue to enjoy a title, especially since future titles often tweak the MP balance. With EA, even the DLC becomes unavailable over time. It just seems odd that a company is willing to essentially run their creations and effort into the ground through scheduled obsolescence.
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#4
StrayKAT
Darmok N Jalad said:
I wonder if we will see a revival of classic games that never had vendor-hosted servers. There are quite a few old games that, despite being graphically inferior to modern titles, were really quite fun and balanced, and players/fans could even make their own mods and multiplayer maps with no takedown issues whatsoever, and you could host your own servers with ease.

I get that making games today is a huge investment, but there should be some sort of balance that allows fans to continue to enjoy a title, especially since future titles often tweak the MP balance. With EA, even the DLC becomes unavailable over time. It just seems odd that a company is willing to essentially run their creations and effort into the ground through scheduled obsolescence.
It makes games more retarded than every single other entertainment industry...even at their most wasteful.
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#6
RejZoR
The only thing I buy from EA these days is Battlefield game here and there and Need for Speed. And this last one basically just because it's the frigging ONLY half decent racing game with cops and stuff. They just don't release anything good and their business practices are in the shitter for quite a while. Might come to a point I won't buy anything from them out of principle just like I don't from Ubisoft.

I mean, on one end you have dumb suit run corporations like EA and Ubisoft and on the other we have companies like CD Project Red. One values and supports the customers and fans, the other ones is desperately trying to piss everyone off. We know who this last one is in a thread talking about EA. I mean, it's not like this game was eating up into their brand new Battlefield franchise. If people wanted to play it, they would. Clearly, they are not interested and they instead prefer the old franchise. Instead of EA jumping on it and saying, hey guys, lets make a small EA branch of such community folks who would maintain old titles like this with maybe tiny help from EA here and there to up the reputation and good will among people, nope, lets take a massive dump on all of them. That tells a lot how much we're worth. I know companies exist to make money, but there are companies who liek the money and value you a a customer and there are others for which you're just a number which makes more numbers with $ in front. That's EA.
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#7
StrayKAT
RejZoR said:
The only thing I buy from EA these days is Battlefield game here and there and Need for Speed. And this last one basically just because it's the frigging ONLY half decent racing game with cops and stuff. They just don't release anything good and their business practices are in the shitter for quite a while. Might come to a point I won't buy anything from them out of principle just like I don't from Ubisoft.
I just don't like that Ubi keeps releasing a lot of open world stuff... and it has nothing to do with disliking open worlds. Rockstar and Bethesda are still fun to me. Ubi just sucks at it. They're not nearly as bad as EA though. And they still make fun smaller games. Just not AAA ones. Trials, South Park, Valiant Hearts, Child of Light.

I also wish they'd drop AC already and bring back Prince of Persia. That had way more going for it (setting wise and gameplay wise).
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#8
TheLaughingMan
I was suppose to get a special set of dog tags from EA a contest back during BFBC2 that I never got. How about you follow through on something EA.
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#9
HopelesslyFaithful
RejZoR said:
The only thing I buy from EA these days is Battlefield game here and there and Need for Speed. And this last one basically just because it's the frigging ONLY half decent racing game with cops and stuff. They just don't release anything good and their business practices are in the shitter for quite a while. Might come to a point I won't buy anything from them out of principle just like I don't from Ubisoft.

I mean, on one end you have dumb suit run corporations like EA and Ubisoft and on the other we have companies like CD Project Red. One values and supports the customers and fans, the other ones is desperately trying to piss everyone off. We know who this last one is in a thread talking about EA. I mean, it's not like this game was eating up into their brand new Battlefield franchise. If people wanted to play it, they would. Clearly, they are not interested and they instead prefer the old franchise. Instead of EA jumping on it and saying, hey guys, lets make a small EA branch of such community folks who would maintain old titles like this with maybe tiny help from EA here and there to up the reputation and good will among people, nope, lets take a massive dump on all of them. That tells a lot how much we're worth. I know companies exist to make money, but there are companies who liek the money and value you a a customer and there are others for which you're just a number which makes more numbers with $ in front. That's EA.
pretty much. I dont recall the last EA game I even bought lol. It has been ages. I refuse to buy UBISoft or any game that has 3rd party DRM or activation limits. Rockstar is another example of a game i refuse to buy since GTA4 isn't even playable without downloading work arounds, which is actually illegal according to library of congress to leave DRM unsupported.

I wanted to play GTA4 so bad but returned it for refund on steam once i realized the stupid DRM. They sell an actual broken game on steam....i hate valve as well for not taking it down and refunding all customers and keeping companies accountable! :shadedshu::banghead:
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#10
StrayKAT
HopelesslyFaithful said:
pretty much. I dont recall the last EA game I even bought lol. It has been ages. I refuse to buy UBISoft or any game that has 3rd party DRM or activation limits. Rockstar is another example of a game i refuse to buy since GTA4 isn't even playable without downloading work arounds, which is actually illegal according to library of congress to leave DRM unsupported.

I wanted to play GTA4 so bad but returned it for refund on steam once i realized the stupid DRM. They sell an actual broken game on steam....i hate valve as well for not taking it down and refunding all customers and keeping companies accountable! :shadedshu::banghead:
I have a few broken games on Steam, but if you look, there are usually workarounds. For example, Fallout 3 used the old Windows Live system.. so you've got to use a custom app to disable it.
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#11
Darmok N Jalad
HopelesslyFaithful said:
pretty much. I dont recall the last EA game I even bought lol. It has been ages. I refuse to buy UBISoft or any game that has 3rd party DRM or activation limits. Rockstar is another example of a game i refuse to buy since GTA4 isn't even playable without downloading work arounds, which is actually illegal according to library of congress to leave DRM unsupported.

I wanted to play GTA4 so bad but returned it for refund on steam once i realized the stupid DRM. They sell an actual broken game on steam....i hate valve as well for not taking it down and refunding all customers and keeping companies accountable! :shadedshu::banghead:
My last purchase was Rory McIroy PGA Tour on XboxOne. It was a joke of a game compared to previous editions. The game was buggy, a realistic career mode and other game modes went away, and they ditched August National. Yeah, they added a few courses over time for free, but this game was only a graphics upgrade. Everything else was a regression, and there hasn't been a followup to this game in over 2 years. It's the only PGA title available on the current generation of consoles. With this lack of effort, it's gotten easy to ignore EA.
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#12
Mescalamba
Well, BF4 was last thing I got from them. By looks of it, last thing forever.

They are on my blacklist. Included are also Ubisoft and Blizzard-Activision.

But its their choice and ppl choice. If ppl want crap, well go on, buy it.
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#13
hat
Enthusiast
Oh wow, a nice big FUCK YOU from me to you, EA. Sure GameSpy went down, but that was tolerable. Things don't last forever. But now you go and forcefully shut down fan run servers which appeared as a result of GameSpy shutting down. These people provided a way for people to continue enjoying the game they paid good money for and you went and killed it.

Bunch of assholes... I don't think I could ever buy another EA game ever again.
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#14
StrayKAT
Darmok N Jalad said:
My last purchase was Rory McIroy PGA Tour on XboxOne. It was a joke of a game compared to previous editions. The game was buggy, a realistic career mode and other game modes went away, and they ditched August National. Yeah, they added a few courses over time for free, but this game was only a graphics upgrade. Everything else was a regression, and there hasn't been a followup to this game in over 2 years. It's the only PGA title available on the current generation of consoles. With this lack of effort, it's gotten easy to ignore EA.
Hah.. it appears Tiger Woods even dragged EA down with him.
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#15
Melvis
The last EA game i bought from them was Bad Company 2, I dont even have a origin account lol
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#16
StrayKAT
Melvis said:
The last EA game i bought from them was Bad Company 2, I dont even have a origin account lol
I have one, just because I was a Bioware fanboy.

But it's for that reason I hate them too.
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#17
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Asshole of the year award goes too...

Honestly. Bf1942, BF2, and 2142 are old games, they are old but they are loved by the community.

Who cares if people are mislead with such old games? Its not like they made a multiplayer patcher for BC2, bf3 or bf4. People love the games and EA rather then nurture a community that grew from one of their games has decided to kill it.

Why not just block all registered and unregistered BF2 game keys to stop people trying to play their damn game?

Its not hurting game sales so why shut down something that the community made out of love and dedication?

What a bunch of wankers
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#18
Tartaros
They could have gone the Unreal 3 way: release a patch allowing creating and joining customs servers and let the community do the rest. If Epic can do it for a single game, EA can do for his entire franchise, almost a million users is not something to scoff at.
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#19
hat
Enthusiast
FreedomEclipse said:
Asshole of the year award goes too...

Honestly. Bf1942, BF2, and 2142 are old games, they are old but they are loved by the community.

Who cares if people are mislead with such old games? Its not like they made a multiplayer patcher for BC2, bf3 or bf4. People love the games and EA rather then nurture a community that grew from one of their games has decided to kill it.

Why not just block all registered and unregistered BF2 game keys to stop people trying to play their damn game?

Its not hurting game sales so why shut down something that the community made out of love and dedication?

What a bunch of wankers
Apparently the crux of the issue was that they were distributing the entire game, so you could play the game for free, never having paid anything for it. However, these are (mostly) very old games, weighing in at 10 years old or more, and I don't even see where you can buy them anymore, outside of ebay. Of course, such copies are more than likely pre owned, so it's not like EA is getting kickbacks on those sales either.

The games have run their course, there's nothing EA stands to gain from having them around anymore, and that, I think, is why EA is knocking them down. They don't want people to play them anymore. They want people to buy the new games instead. The thing is, most people playing those games likely bought the new ones already or wouldn't buy the new ones anyway because they don't like them. This isn't going to generate any sales for them, it's just a total dick move.
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#20
HopelesslyFaithful
StrayKAT said:
I have a few broken games on Steam, but if you look, there are usually workarounds. For example, Fallout 3 used the old Windows Live system.. so you've got to use a custom app to disable it.
thats my point...i refuse to buy those games that are broken.
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#21
Steevo
EA is hoping to force users to buy new games, and trying to do so in the most PR way possible so they can have some deniability, claiming its more about "official WA" than about the users experience and discouraging users from trying to play older titles.

In short, Fuck EA.
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#22
StrayKAT
hat said:
Apparently the crux of the issue was that they were distributing the entire game, so you could play the game for free, never having paid anything for it. However, these are (mostly) very old games, weighing in at 10 years old or more, and I don't even see where you can buy them anymore, outside of ebay. Of course, such copies are more than likely pre owned, so it's not like EA is getting kickbacks on those sales either.

The games have run their course, there's nothing EA stands to gain from having them around anymore, and that, I think, is why EA is knocking them down. They don't want people to play them anymore. They want people to buy the new games instead. The thing is, most people playing those games likely bought the new ones already or wouldn't buy the new ones anyway because they don't like them. This isn't going to generate any sales for them, it's just a total dick move.
They seemingly have little clue on how to capitalize on anything they own.

Maybe some exceptions, but I'm not even sure of that.
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#23
R-T-B
StrayKAT said:
They seemingly have little clue on how to capitalize on anything they own.

Maybe some exceptions, but I'm not even sure of that.
One exception:

They somehow, to this day, still have Ultima Online running and alive. Old subscribers are actually returning for things like their new client. It's terrifying, because it's so not the EA I'm used to seeing... and it's for a game from the 90s.

I think EA is just so backwards they don't know up from down at this point.
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#24
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
did nobody fawking read the notice
it wasn't even a cnd

it was a very polite notice(for ea anyway) asking them to NOT distribute the game files they made no mention or demand they cease running there servers

I don't even think the revive team members read it

the only game affected by this is heros. and thats only because the game files are not available for though other channels
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#25
Gundem
I missed the GameSpy closure. Can anyone(in a nutshell) tell me how/why EA closed GameSpy? Seems like leaving it be would have allowed all the users of these older games to continue playing them in a legal and correct manner.

I'm always so disappointed when I read stuff like this. Kick in the face to fans.
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