EA has revealed plans to retire a slew of older games, cutting online support at various points over the course of the year for Crysis for PC, some Battlefield games, a few Need for Speeds, and more. Lords of Ultima was given the axe today.
The reason, says EA, is due to the gradual decrease in the number of gamers on older titles, resulting in what it says is "typically fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles." When this happens, the task of maintaining the games becomes unreasonable.
Three games were shut down on May 8th, and -- as mentioned -- one lost its online services today. This will be followed by a shut down of services for a massive list of games on June 30th, which you can check out for yourself on EA's website (link below).
Said EA: "The decisions to retire older EA games are 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’re constantly working to keep our games and services available for as long as possible."