EA is closing down four of its high profile free-to-play titles, all of which are tied to popular franchises like Fifa and Battlefield, the publisher has announced.
Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed World and FIFA World will only continue for another 90 days at which point they’ll be taken offline for good. Further devopment of the games has already stopped, and staff are being moved to new projects.
“In more than five years since most of these titles launched, how we play games has changed dramatically,” said Patrick Soderlund, EVP of EA Games, in a statement. “These were pioneering experiences, and we’re humbled that, over the years, so many of you joined us to enjoy the games and the community.”
The pioneer from that group is Battlefield Heroes, which was pitched at “frustrated, restricted” gamers back in 2008, gamesindustry.biz reported. Need for Speed World and Battlefield Play4Free followed, launching during the second half of 2010. At the start of 2012 EA were reporting a combined total of 25 million players across the 6 games in its “Play4Free” initiative.
With the removal of Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed World and the fairly unpopular FIFA World, the only games left on the EA free-to-play catalogue are The Old Republic, C&C: Tiberium Alliances, as well as various casual games on mobile devices, like Bejewelled Blitz and The Simpsons: Tapped Out. This leaves a definite gap in EA’s catalogue, as the more serious gamer has had their options cut down to two. It remains to be seen whether EA has plans to release new free-to-play titles to bring in a fresh market, or if they’ve decided to focus on other projects – particularly after the disastrous reception which greeted Dungeon Keeper Mobile.
Check out the trailer for one of EA’s only remaining free-to-play games, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite originally launching to a somewhat lukewarm reception and a tricky transition a from subscription-based business model to free-to-play, a raft of changes and content additions over the years means it’s actually a far more robust MMO these days than it’s often credited for being, and it’s one of the many MMOs we’ll be catching up with in the weeks and months ahead.