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Online services for Madden NFL 11, others get sacked

EA says the move is designed to free up engineering and IT staff time for more popular games.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Madden NFL 11
EA has sacked online services for Madden NFL 11, among other titles. Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts has once again announced that a wide array of its games will soon no longer be playable online.

The company has updated its Online Service Updates page to announce that Madden NFL 11 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii will lose its online playability on January 11. FIFA Soccer 11, NBA Live 10, and NHL 11 are among the other titles that will no longer be playable.

EA has several times in the past removed online services for older titles. In a statement posted to its Web site, the game publisher said that the decision to end online play comes when "the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level -- fewer than 1 percent of all peak online players across all EA titles -- where it's no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running."

EA's decision to remove online services from games are seldom met with backlash. The company has done a good job of determining which games most folks aren't playing, and has kept online those titles that are still popular.

However, GamesIndustry.biz, which was first to report on the decision, said today that EA's upcoming closure of NBA Live 10 and NBA Jam means its gamers won't have any NBA titles to play online on their consoles. NBA Elite 11 and NBA Live 13 were both cancelled, leaving no other recent NBA games for EA's users. Still, NBA console gamers will have one place to play their favored sport online: 2K Sports' NBA 2K13 currently offers online play.