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?