It’s in the Game: EA Slapped with Class Action Suit for Shutting Down EA Sports Games Early

There might not be another company more reviled in the U.S. than Electronic Arts, the games publisher that was chosen by Consumerist voters as "Worst Company In America" for two years in a row. To its credit, EA acknowledged the unwanted award and vowed to do a better job, though angry gamers are still finding reason to despise and, in some cases, even sue the company, with the latest lawsuit focused on online play.

Justin Bassett is spearheading a federal class action lawsuit against EA claiming he was duped by the company's promise of online play. In the lawsuit, Bassett says he purchased several sports titles for the Xbox 360 for around $60 based on EA's representation that online play would be available indefinitely or at least a reasonable time after a game's release.

Madden 10

"Had plaintiff known at the time that he would not be able to play the products online for a certain amount of time, he would not have purchased the products or paid the price he paid for the products[...]Despite knowing that it did not intend to allocate resources for online play for the products indefinitely or for a reasonable time from the release date, EA engaged in a widespread marketing and advertising campaign to portray the products as being for indefinite online play or, at a minimum, a reasonable time from the release date," Bassett alleges in his lawsuit.

Some of the games mentioned in the lawsuit include FIFA Soccer 2011 for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360; EA Sports Madden NFL 10 for Xbox 360; EA Sports NCAA Football 10; EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour; EA Sports NHL 90; EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 90; and EA Sports NHL 08.

Bassett isn't really suggesting that EA keep its servers up and running for older titles forever, but for those who don't purchase a new version of a game each and every year, a "reasonable time" would be nice, whatever that might be. Equally important is that EA should disclaim exactly how long it plans to maintain online play for a particular title.