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EA Shuts Down Online Services for Classic FIFA Titles

In a move that marks the end of an era, Electronic Arts (EA) has officially discontinued online services for a range of FIFA series games, including FIFA 18, FIFA 19, FIFA 20, and FIFA 21, as of November 6th, 2023.

This shutdown means that gamers around the world will no longer be able to enjoy online modes such as Ultimate Team or engage in online matches with these versions. As fans of the FIFA series look to fill the void left by this transition, many are turning to alternative online gaming experiences.

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The Legacy

Each of these beloved FIFA editions has left a unique mark on fans of the series:

FIFA 18

Launched in 2017, FIFA 18 was a groundbreaking installment in the FIFA series, notable for the introduction of ‘Real Player Motion Technology’. This innovative feature transformed the way players moved and interacted on the pitch, delivering a level of realism previously unseen in football video games.

Alongside this, the game offered an engaging continuation of ‘The Journey‘, a story mode that allowed players to follow the career of protagonist Alex Hunter. The game also included improved dribbling mechanics and enhanced player personalities, ensuring that each football star’s playing style was as distinctive in the game as in real life.

FIFA 19

This game brought several key advancements, with the integration of the UEFA Champions League being the most significant. The addition of this prestigious tournament allowed players to guide their chosen teams to European glory, accompanied by the iconic Champions League anthem and branding.

The game also introduced ‘Timed Finishing’, a new mechanic that gave players precise control over shot accuracy, and ‘Active Touch System’, which changed how players received and struck the ball, providing closer control and increased player responsiveness.

FIFA 20

With the release of FIFA 20, EA Sports took the game back to the streets with the innovative VOLTA Football mode. This mode was a nod to the FIFA Street series and allowed players to experience the raw, authentic culture of street football.

It featured smaller teams, varied playing environments, and a focus on freestyle football. Traditional 11v11 gameplay also saw improvements with ‘Football Intelligence’, a system that offered a more authentic game flow, decisive moments, and enhanced ball physics.

FIFA 21

The most recent game facing server shutdown, FIFA 21, placed a strong emphasis on enhancing the intelligence of the gameplay with the new ‘Agile Dribbling’ mechanic, designed to empower players with the ability to more deftly handle and maneuver the ball. ‘Creative Runs’ gave players deeper control over team movement, while ‘Positioning Personality’ ensured that the player’s caliber and play style influenced their on-pitch positioning and responsiveness.

These features, combined with an expanded ‘Career Mode’ that allowed for greater management depth, ensured that FIFA 21 offered one of the most comprehensive football experiences to date.

This trend of retiring older game services is not new. Earlier in February, EA also pulled the plug on the servers for FIFA 16 and FIFA 17, further narrowing the scope of their legacy online services.

The Future Beyond FIFA

This series of shutdowns coincides with EA’s separation from the FIFA brand and the launch of their new football franchise, EA SPORTS FC. The new title is poised to carry the torch forward, building on the foundation of decades of EA’s sports game development expertise.

Embracing the Future Without Forgetting the Past

As we bid farewell to these FIFA titles and their online features, it’s a bittersweet moment for many in the gaming community. These games have offered countless hours of excitement and competition, and while they will be missed, their legacy will remain through the memories of the matches and the players who enjoyed them.

Looking ahead, EA SPORTS FC promises to usher in a new chapter for football fans. With fresh features and innovations, there’s much to anticipate. So, while we say goodbye to the old, let’s also welcome the new opportunities for fun and engagement that EA SPORTS FC is set to bring.

 

About David Molina

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Dedicated gamer and occasionally likes to write a thing or two about his favourite video games.