EA has outlined plans to turn off online support for a raft of its games over the next few months.
The cull begins on 11th January, when EA will shut down the online service for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II for Xbox 360 and The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king for Xbox 360.
"Our licensing deal with Middle-earth Enterprises has expired, forcing us to shutdown the online services for The Lord of the Rings games," EA wrote on its website.
"We hope you have enjoyed playing these games online and appreciate your patronage. There's still time for one last epic tower rush!"
Next in-line for the virtual chop is The Sims Carnival, which will not be available from www.simscarnival.com after 16th January.
Then, on 8th February, a raft of EA Sports titles will have their online service terminated, including FIFA 07 for Xbox 360, EA Sports FIFA Manager 10 for PC, FIFA 09 Ultimate Team for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Explaining the decision, EA said, "As background information, the EA Sports games scheduled for shutdown in February and March 2011 represent roughly one per cent of all peak online players across all EA titles.
"Despite some people's perception, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these older games up and running. We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99 per cent of customers playing our more popular games.
"These decisions to retire games is never easy. The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of the games and we appreciate your ongoing patronage."