Reflection: Sony To Shut Down “Eye Of Judgement” Servers

If you’ve enjoyed playing Eye Of Judgement online, you might want to get in while the getting’s good.  Announced on their forums, the online portion of Eye of Judgement will be shut down effective September 30th.  This turns the game into a basic single player experience, which has the community a little miffed at spending money for something that has later turned out to lose a key feature of the game.

In a gaming world where so much of what can be done is online, it does bring up the question of whether online or singleplayer is the way to go.  At least in a single-player game, you don’t have to worry about your money being wasted by the plug being pulled on support for the project down the road; with online supported games, that reality always exists.  It’s certainly not an argument that multi-player gaming (or online supported ventures involving money being spent on items or improvements in a game) is a waste – to the contrary I believe that online gaming is critical to the continued growth of gaming.  What we all need to remember, though, is that gaming is a business, and supporting online content costs money.  When you put money down on something that isn’t a physical object, you run the risk of that money being wasted if the company no longer decides to support the digital item you purchased.

At least in this case, single player play is still an option, even if its a significantly reduced experience and one that I’m sure most people who paid to play the game weren’t intending to be their primary source of entertainment from said game.

What do you think? Do companies that put out online only entertainment have an obligation to indefinitely support it? Would you be willing to pay more to ensure your digital purchases were always going to be able to be used in their original context? Do you agree with the need to shut down Eye of Judgement’s servers?  Should there be legal implications for a game being initially sold with a feature that is later removed?

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  • The issue here is that Eye of Judgement is very much a niche title and sales were probably not brilliant, at best. When it comes less of a profitable venture to keep servers alive and more of a burden, the publisher has the right to pull online access for a videogame provided they give 30 days notice. It’s all in the Terms of Service of most online services.

    Like I said, in EoJ’s case it was probably too expensive for Sony to keep the servers up for a very limited audience; they might even be able to justify it with some (poor) usage figures.

    In the end, it’s entirely at their discretion and there’s no legal case against them doing it.

  • Fair enough about the 30 days notice being in the terms of service, but what about the advertising on the box? It states multiplayer as a feature. I can’t see the Terms of Service until I open the package, which makes me unable to return the game to get full value from where I purchased it. Sure, I could mail it in, but do I pay shipping? What if it’s lost in the mail? ToS in this case may be a tricky road, since in order to see it, I may even need to load the game and go online to see the most updated version.

    Just some thoughts 🙂