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Carnage at EA.com

Game cancellations and closures follow staff lay-offs

Electronic Arts' loss-making EA.com online gaming service has been culled this week, with several games being cancelled or closed down in the wake of the massive lay-offs which took place last month. First to go was Battletech 3025, an online action game based on the popular boardgame behind the Mechwarrior series. An announcement on the game's official website stated that, despite apparently attracting thousands of players to the free beta test, the game had been canned by EA. "Our Beta is now coming to a close and plans to release Multiplayer BattleTech : 3025 as a subscription-only game will not move forward as planned. On December 6, 2001, the MPBT servers will be shut down." Also shutting down is the EA Platinum subscription service and several of its games. Updates on the websites in question simply stated that "we regret to inform you that EA.com is discontinuing the EA Platinum Service as of December 7th", followed by a list of the affected titles - Air Warrior, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Web Golf, Triple Play Web Basketball and Silent Death Online. Meanwhile the single player versions of other Platinum service games such as Need For Speed Web Racing, NASCAR Web Racing and Knockout Kings Web Boxing will become free to play, although presumably the online versions are amongst the casualties. While things are certainly looking bleak for EA.com, the company was quick to point out to customers that "we still have loads of great games for you to play online at EA.com and Pogo, and even more in the works". These include Motor City Online, which is reportedly in trouble as well, and a recently announced Ultima Online add-on. The company is apparently also expecting Westwood's massively multiplayer space sim Earth & Beyond to launch some time in the spring, although this may be a little optimistic. Related Feature - EA.com decimated

Source - BattleTech 3025 website / EA.com messageboards