EA axes Battlefield Heroes, other free-to-play games

EA has announced the inevitable: It’s shutting down servers for a handful of its free-to-play games. At the same time, the studio is reassuring fans that this isn’t the fate that awaits all of its other titles.

Patrick Söderlund, EVP at EA Studios broke the news. After looking at how people are playing certain games (presumably how many people are playing certain games), the team has decided to shut down a few of its “older” offerings.

While we say farewell to these free-to-play titles in the next few months, we are always exploring new concepts and ways to bring great games to more players around the world.

If you are a fan of Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed: World or FIFA World, sorry. Those are the four titles on the chopping block this time around, meaning they’ll remain live and online for 90 days, but after that the servers will be taken offline.

Battlefield Heroes launched in 2009, Battlefield Play4Free and Need for Speed: World in 2011, while FIFA World officially launched internationally in May 2014, and will never make it out of beta testing.

Söderlund describes the four games as “pioneering experiences”, but points out that how we play games has changed dramatically since they hit the market.

However, there’s at least one EA F2P title that seems to be safe from the knife – for now.

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.

What we’re learning? When the F2P model works, it works well (last-published player stats for SW:TOR suggest more than a million gamers are still logging in each month) …but when it doesn’t work, it crashes, burns, and generally makes a mess. Whether that’s to do with the game itself, the business model or the type of game is yet to be fully understood.

Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of these four games, play them now. The servers will be taken offline on July 15, 2015.

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