Game studio Electronic Arts has announced that it is going to take the virtual worlds of over 50 games offline at the end of the month after its hosting service, GameSpy, announced it was shutting down. It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
I say that because at least two Star Wars games (Battlefront and Battlefront II) are part of the purge. It's always sad to watch games that were once worlds we regularly inhabited fade into insignificance, but considering some of these games have been supported for nearly a decade, that is a pretty good run.
Our intern Cameron lamented that he "will never hear the drones from Battlefront say again, 'Roger, roger.'"
All of this reminded me of a great story from Robert Ashley's gaming podcast A Life Well Wasted, excerpted here on an episode of Snap Judgment. The story is about the end of an online world and actually features tearful missives from the players as the world shuts down. It's surprisingly poignant.