More game server related shenanigans causing gamer ire have followed EA's announcement
that they're about to close down a huge stack of game servers for many of their Sports range titles - including ones as recently released as Madden 09.
There's a lot of speculation about why they're doing this - is it just to 'encourage' people to upgrade? Kill the second hand market for these games? As the services are closed it's hard to accurately gauge how many people are using them. I have read that they do state on the box that the game is only supported online for a year after purchase, so in their defence, it's not like they didn't make it clear about what was going to happen (in fact in many cases some of these games have been online more than a year).
One thing is for sure though - it show another clear advantage of the dedicated server model. Games like Quake - which you played way back when it was released in 1996 - are still playable today, often with vastly improved, community-provided services and features.