It’s becoming clear that annual sports titles are meant to last about one year — multiplayer features included.
Sony’s UK PlayStation blog let slip that MLB 14 The Show‘s servers will be taken offline June 18, about 13 months after the game launched on PlayStation 4. We’ve asked a PlayStation rep if this applies to North American servers as well.
If so, it reflects a recent trend in sports gaming of deactivating online services before a release’s second birthday. On March 1, 2K Sports announced that servers for NBA 2K14 would be disconnected by the end of the month, 16 months after the game launched on PS4 and Xbox One. The servers for NBA 2K13‘s servers were discontinued in March 2014. NBA 2K12‘s servers were taken offline in November 2012, roughly 13 months after launch.
While The Show’s deactivation might be expected of a game whose next edition arrives March 31, online services for sports titles have typically lasted longer. MLB 13 The Show‘s online support, for example, was taken out of commission in November 2014 — 20 months after the game’s launch.
Reddit users, as one might expect, are very unhappy about what this portends for online support in The Show franchise.
EA Sports, however, has given its annual franchises longer runs. According to this page, everything from Madden NFL 12, NHL 12, FIFA 12 and NBA Live 13 forward is supported. That said, EA’s last wave of server closings was announced in May 2014, so the older editions in that group could be headed for deactivation soon.
Non-annual titles like Fight Night (from Round 4 onward) and Grand Slam Tennis 2 also remain online. NCAA Football 14, the last edition of that discontinued series, still is available (though its Ultimate Team mode is no longer selling cards). Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, which will be replaced in June by Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, also is online but its downloadable courses are no longer available for purchase.
MLB 15 The Show launches March 31 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. It will be the first game in the series in which players can import an old career save file and pick up right where they left off.