EA Ending Support For Four Free-To-Play Games Due To Dwindling Usage

by Mike Futter on Apr 15, 2015 at 04:24 AM

EA has announced that four of its free-to-play offerings will be coming to an end in 90 days. And, before you panic, Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t on the list.

The four games that are affected are Battlefield Heroes (released in 2009), Battlefield Play4Free (entered open beta in 2001), Need for Speed World (released in 2010), and FIFA World (released worldwide in May 2014 after early launch in Brazil and Russia in 2013). Development on these games is being ceased immediately, with servers going offline after the 90-day window.

“Recently, we’ve been looking closely at the types of PC free-to-play experiences that players are engaging with across the world,” writes EA Studios executive vice president Patrick Söderlund. “For instance, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a game that continues to have a very enthusiastic and growing player community, and we have plans to introduce more new story-driven game updates to our Star Wars: The Old Republic players this year.”

EA says that the four titles being sunset are “not as popular as they once were.” If you want to give one of these one more go, you have until July 14, 2015.

[Source: EA]


Our Take
Games-as-service is a double-edged sword. These titles can be lasting streams of revenue for publishers, but they also carry significant ongoing costs. Once player base is so small that expenses exceed revenue over a period of time, the choice is clear and the games are sunset. 

At least with these, three of them lived long lives. As for FIFA World, free-to-play sports titles are popular in China, but the western world hasn’t become attached to them quite yet.