This week has been interesting and will likely contain a number of interesting blog postings to share some problems and the outcomes. First I will tell the storyline regarding FIFA 08, to find out how I solved the problem skip to the end titled “Solution”.
Having a week of vacation allows you to spend more time with the family and think about things with a more clear mind. On monday I was looking for a new multi-player game I could play with my children on our local LAN. The criteria usually deal with non-violent theme, moderate graphics, and of course fun. I downloaded the EA FIFA 08 Soccer Demo and was totally surprised how well done this game was produced. The options and graphics and commentary seemed to fit what I was looking for. After testing the gameplay and sharing my find with the family I proceeded to the eastore.com website to create an account and pay for a direct download license (which cost a decent 9.95 Canadian dollars). All went smoothly and I downloaded the game (which by the way ONLY gives you a license to install on 3 different Computers). When you use the direct download version, you must run the game through EA’s download manager (there is no other option other than illegal hacks). The first time I ran FIFA 08 from the download manager it kept telling me:
“The game can not start. In order to launch this game, please login to the EA Download Manager to verify your ownerhip, then try again.”
Not a good first impression! I WAS running the game from the download manager! I sent a support inquiry to EA and got back a canned response about how I cannot install the game on more than 3 different computers. Unfortunately that didn’t help, this was my first computer! The solution to this problem was to visit this link and enter in my Unlock Key. I guess you need to “activate” your unlock keys before playing. One would think that the download manager would “know” this unlock key was legit (by asking the ea website) and telling me to activate it. Anyways now I got the game working and 3 computers could play on the LAN.
Next problem was that fact that I need the game on 6 computers (I have a large family). I proceeded to purchase another license to get another 3 licenses for the other 3 computers. The EA store let me create the order but then said:
Oops! Our records show you have already purchased FIFA Soccer 08. Only 1
digital download purchase of a particular title is allowed. You will not be
charged for FIFA Soccer 08 at this time.
Ok so another inquiry sent to EA support asking how can I pay you for another license key? The reply was that I had to create “another” account on the EA store and buy it on that account. You cannot buy the same game more than once with the same account! So I bought another using another of my email addresses. Next is the most interesting part and probably what most people reading this post are interested in. Why? Just google the title of this blog and you will see!
Solution: (for Electronic Arts FIFA 08 – The connection with the other player has been lost)
After installing the 3 patches from EA when you try to play multi-player, there appears to be a defect in FFIA 08 if you connect to someone else who does NOT have this patches, you randomly get disconnected during the game play. How did I find out? I tried using the “totally useless” Direct IP options which waits for about 15 seconds for the other guy to “quickly” click connect to you. In direct IP mode you actually get an error (if you time it right) that the other end has a different version of FIFA than you! After wasting days trying to change my network and trying to patch windows XP’s tcpip.sys (due to a connection security update that sometimes creates these kinds of problems) I finally fixed the problem. Here is the BEST way to install the 3 patches (I actually DID install them on all PC’s but the install must have not properly finished or something):
– Copy all 3 extraced EXE files into you FIFA main folder (on my PC it is in: C:\Program Files\EA Sports\FIFA 08)
– Run the 1 patch and it finds FIFA 08 right away
– Run the 2 patch and it finds FIFA 08 right away
– Run the 3 patch and it finds FIFA 08 right away
Thats all folks, now NO MORE problems. I had asked EA about this issue… here is the full dialog for this one:
11/05/2008 03:44 PM
I have two copies of Fifa 08 installed on 6 computers. I have two problems
at the moment.
Problem #1 is more important and I see MANY others having the same problem
in MANY EA games on google and in your forums. I CONSTANTLY get “the
connection with the other player has been lost” style messages. Here is my
Running two players on a 1000 MB Local LAN with Netgear switch and DLink
DI604 Router that assigns Static IP addresses to these computers. I am NOT
using the internet for this, just local LAN. Only two computers seem to work
in 2 player LAN mode, the SAME computers connecting to others always get
disconnected at random internvals. We play Need for Speed Pro Street, and
MANY other games just fine with no problems. Fifa appears to be the ONLY
game giving us this problem. IS this a known defect in the software and if
so is there a fix available? I am willing to give your EA engineers remote
access into my network to investigate this further if required. I am a
software engineer myself and have lots of network and software development
experience, so I know a little about my network.
Problem #2: One compouter runs Windows 2000 which is supported by Fifa 08,
but the EA Download manager WILL NOT install saying it only runs on XP! How
can I run Fifa on my windows 2000 Box?
Response (Ashok N.)
11/05/2008 03:51 PM
Thank you for contacting Electronic Arts.
Please ensure that all firewall, or internet security programs are properly
configured for the game. You will want to configure them by adding the game
to their allowed or exceptions lists. Disabling them usually does not work
as they tend to have passive protection even when turned off, possibly
blocking connections for certain applications only. If you need assistance
with this, please contact the manufacturer of the firewall program.
If there is anything else we can help you with please let me know.
EA Online Support.