EA Shutting Down Servers For 'Madden NFL 09' And Other Titles

Madden NFL 09

While EA looks ahead to upcoming titles like "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online" and their rumored "NBA Jam" relaunch for the Wii, the company has announced that February will see servers shut down for two dozen existing titles, including "Fight Night Round 3" and "NFL Tour," followed by "Madden NFL 09" in April.

"Servers for the games listed below will be shut down on the indicated dates," EA wrote in a post on EA.com. "You may continue to play the games online up until these dates, but certain community programs may begin to close down prior to the shutdown dates."

Coming off of a year that saw widespread layoffs and studio adjustments at EA, the move is almost certainly a cost-cutting move first and foremost, since many of the titles listed come from ongoing series whose players have moved on to newer titles. In cases like "Madden 09," however, urging owners to buy more recent installments has to be on EA's minds as well.

Here's the complete list of titles getting their servers axed, according to EA:

April 6, 2010 Online Service Shutdown

• "Madden 09" for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii and Xbox 360

February 9, 2010 Online Service Shutdown

• "FIFA 07" for PC

• "Madden 07" for Xbox 360

• "Madden 08" for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii and Xbox 360

• "NHL 08" for PC

• "Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 07" for PC

• "UEFA Champions League 07" for PC

February 2, 2010 Online Service Shutdown

• "Facebreaker" for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

• "Fantasy Football 09" for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

• "FIFA 07" for PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2

• "Fight Night Round 3" for PlayStation 2

• "March Madness 07" for Xbox 360

• "NBA LIVE 07" for PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360

• "NBA LIVE 08" for PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii

• "NBA LIVE 09" for Wii (Europe only)

• "NBA Street (2007)" for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

• "NCAA Football 08" PlayStation 2

• "NCAA Football 09" PlayStation 2

• "NASCAR 08" for PlayStation 2

• "NASCAR 09" for PlayStation 2

• "NASCAR 09" for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (Europe Only)

• "NFL Tour" for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

• "NHL 07" for PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360

• "UEFA Champions League 07" for Xbox 360

EA may not be under contractual obligations to keep "Madden 09" support online, but for a title in one of their top-selling series, I have to wonder if future buyers are going to take note of the year-and-a-half lifespan precedent they're setting. The secondary market may be a factor here, too, since discontinued support for past years' games is one more incentive for sports games to buy new, up-to-date releases.

What do you think of EA's move to shut down servers on these games? Is their decision too soon for "Madden 09"? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.