EA server shutdowns condemn Battlefield 1942 to multiplayer history
Another round of PC servers is on EA’s chopping block, including Battlefield 1942 and Command & Conquer: Generals. 30 June will be the last day you can play any of these EA titles online without finding elaborate work-around solutions.
EA’s stance on these server closures is always “as games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level – typically fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles,” and therefore any behind-the-scenes maintenance is no longer worth it. Looking through the cold eyes of business that’s probably accurate, but from an archival perspective that sees individual games as part of the history of the medium, it’s disastrous.
There has to be a better way of dealing with the dwindling server populations on a classic game like Battlefield 1942 that can satisfy both the publisher and the remaining player-base (or just fond gaming historians) than just closing everything down. I’m not sure what that solution might be, but the current method is pretty troubling. It turns games into disposable ephemera that somehow lose all meaning after their “peak” years are over. This doesn’t seem to be an ideal state of affairs.
Unfortunately, unless some kind of third-party group interested in preserving gaming’s history pops up with substantial funding, this is probably going to just keep on happening.
Here are the PC games about to lose their online capabilities:
- Battlefield 1942 for PC and Mac (including The Road to Rome and Secret Weapons of WW2 expansions)
- Battlefield 2 for PC (including Special Forces expansion)
- Battlefield 2142 for PC and Mac (including Northern Strike expansion)
- Battlefield Vietnam for PC
- Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars for PC and Mac (including Kane’s Wrath expansion)
- Command & Conquer: Generals for PC and Mac (including Zero Hour expansion)
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 for PC and Mac
- Crysis 2 for PC
- Crysis for PC
- Crysis Wars for PC
- EA Sports 06 for PC
- F1 2002 for PC
- Global Operations for PC
- James Bond: Nightfire for PC
- Master of Orion III for PC
- Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for PC and Mac (including Breakthrough and Spearhead expansions)
- NASCAR Sim Racing for PC
- NASCAR Thunder 2003 for PC
- NASCAR Thunder 2004 for PC
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 for PC
- Neverwinter Nights 2 for PC and Mac
- Neverwinter Nights for PC, Mac and Linux (including Hordes of the Underdark and Shadows of Undrentide expansions)
- Star Wars: Battlefront for PC and PlayStation 2
- Star Wars: Battlefront II for PC and PlayStation 2