GameSpy's New Owner Shuts Down Classic Multiplayer

Karloff

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GameSpy's New Owner Shuts Down Classic Multiplayer



Affected titles allegedly include Star Wars: Battlefront, and Sniper Elite.

Since its acquisition by freemium game publisher Glu Mobile, GameSpy has been shutting down multiplayer servers, according to reports from frustrated gamers and developers. Among the games affected, according to a Slashdot correspondent [http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/12/07/2250252/gamespys-new-owners-begin-disabling-multiplayer-without-warning], are Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Star Wars: Battlefront, Sniper Elite, Hidden and Dangerous 2, Wings of War, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and SWAT 4. Some games are still able to directly connect if the player knows the IP address, but otherwise multiplayer has been disabled for these classic games.

According to Rebellion, maker of Sniper Elite, the decision was made without its input and it has little means of rectifying the situation. "We have been talking to [Glu Mobile/GameSpy] since to try and get the servers turned back on," said the developer in an official statement [http://sniperelitev2.com/Forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=2062]. "We have been informed that in order to do so would cost us tens of thousands of pounds a year - far in excess of how much we were paying previously." So the servers will stay off.

GameSpy has yet to comment on the closures, beyond saying - in the case of Star Wars: Battlefront - that, as LucasArts was no longer supporting the title "we're obligated to disable the service per our Agreement with them." However a look at GameSpy's Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/gamespytech] shows a lot of disgruntled gamers are out there. They really don't understand what's going on, and want their games back.

"Hi," said Michal Danyi on the GameSpot Facebook page, "Server List for Hidden and Dangerous 2 also down so it's possible pay you for again support this game? I can pay you how much will be want. or as we may be able to work out?"

But payment may well be part of the problem; as Rebellion said in its statement, the new GameSpy strategy seems to be to bludgeon these old titles with fee demands far in excess of anything the developer can pay. It might be hoping that one or two will cave and pay up, but the more likely result is that most, if not all, will accept the server closure as a fait accompli; effectively clearing out what Glu might see as the GameSpy dead wood.

Source: PC Gamer [http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/12/10/gamespy-shuts-down-multiplayer-support-for-swat-4-neverwinter-nights-and-other-classics/]


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Trivun

Stabat mater dolorosa
Dec 13, 2008
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And this is why we can't have nice things. Greed, that's all it is, and nothing more, and once again it's the gamer and small-time developer that loses out...

[small]EDIT: And something I never get to say but now have the chance to do so... FIRST![/small]
 

snekadid

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Mar 29, 2012
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Gamespy has always been garbage but this seems like a step in a suicidal direction. Now they are not only providing a poorly done service, but they are now canceling services and alienating devs and players alike which will cost them more business in the future as better services are everywhere(I can't imagine there actually being a service worse than the one gamespy delivers that actually charges money).
 

geizr

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Oct 9, 2008
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If the game developers can manage it, it may be time to move on to a different multi-player service, like Steam. In the case of some really old games that aren't being produced, updated, or managed by any company, not sure there is anything that can be done, unless someone picks the game up and decides to help gamers find their game again.

snekadid said:
Gamespy has always been garbage but this seems like a step in a suicidal direction. Now they are not only providing a poorly done service, but they are now canceling services and alienating devs and players alike which will cost them more business in the future as better services are everywhere(I can't imagine there actually being a service worse than the one gamespy delivers that actually charges money).
I agree. If I were a game developer, I think I would be thinking twice about using GameSpy to handle multi-player for my game given this kind of behavior. Not a good way to do business at all.
 

gigastar

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Sep 13, 2010
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The probable reason why theese servers were shut down is because nobody plays multiplayer on theese games anymore as all of the mentioned titles are any combination of old, unloved or succeeded.
 

Towowo

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gigastar said:
The probable reason why theese servers were shut down is because nobody plays multiplayer on theese games anymore as all of the mentioned titles are any combination of old, unloved or succeeded.
I can tell you for certain that a good amount of people do in fact play Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 online yet. They have quite a larger community dedicated to it.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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gigastar said:
The probable reason why theese servers were shut down is because nobody plays multiplayer on theese games anymore as all of the mentioned titles are any combination of old, unloved or succeeded.
Which is why there's an outcry in the first place. Nobody plays them.
 

Bvenged

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snekadid said:
Gamespy has always been garbage but this seems like a step in a suicidal direction. Now they are not only providing a poorly done service, but they are now canceling services and alienating devs and players alike which will cost them more business in the future as better services are everywhere(I can't imagine there actually being a service worse than the one gamespy delivers that actually charges money).
As crap as GameSpy was, a lot of developers back in the early millennium cut deals with GameSpy and made their software dependant of its multiplayer services. It's such a shame to see games such as Battlefront, Sniper Elite and, unbelievably, SWAT 4 (you bastards!) lose out on online play. Devastating. I hope there's some sort of contingency plan to get those games back online. While they're dated titles, they are unique and there's nothing close to them in terms of features and design in the world of gaming these days.
 

Hazzard

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Jan 25, 2012
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I'm pretty sure the Total War games are affected by this, at least ones from Medieval 2 and older, and there is a multiplayer community still playing it.
 

Oskuro

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Nov 18, 2009
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Bvenged said:
As crap as GameSpy was, a lot of developers back in the early millennium cut deals with GameSpy and made their software dependant of its multiplayer services.
Aaaaand here is the lesson. One that we will sadly eventually witness again with the current Online platforms. If you tie any part of your program to a third-party service, with no stand-alone alternative, then they will eventually pull the plug and your program will suffer.

No "ifs" here, the cost of perpetually offering a service is, in practice, infinite money. No company can support that, even if they wanted to, so all services are doomed to cease at some point in time.

Sadly, many developers/publishers know this, and just treat games as disposable products meant to be used and then discarded in favor of the newer ones, which is a shame for genuinely good games (Specially when the "replacements" fail to live up to the originals).

Today I can pick up any literary classic and read it again, or listen to some legendary music album, or re-watch some ancient movie. I hope for the day games are granted the same respect as creative endeavors, both by creators and audience.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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gigastar said:
The probable reason why theese servers were shut down is because nobody plays multiplayer on theese games anymore as all of the mentioned titles are any combination of old, unloved or succeeded.
A more accurate description would be that no one plays these games on Gamespy anymore.

I still play SWAT 4, it still has a little Gamespy logo in the server browser, can't I say I've played on a Spy owned server in years. Ditto for Halo CE.

This is a more serious problem for games with persistent worlds, which the new Gamespy is evidently trying to gouge money out of, server rental isn't tens of thousands of dollars, especially not for private users. Gamespy appear to be trying to re-focus into an Xbox Live style system of only allowing new-ish games and ignoring any kind of income from smaller/older titles.

It's going to bite them in the arse, the major publishers run their own infrastructure now, so they won't be signing deals with Gamespy. By the time they realise this someone else will have filled the gaps they're creating right now by pushing out old games, either by hacks or official patches.
 

UNHchabo

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Dec 24, 2008
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Heh... I still have a lifetime subscription to Gamespy Arcade that I haven't used in years. I won it in a tournament for Age of Empires II!
 

CCountZero

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Sep 20, 2008
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Most of these games still have Direct IP functionality, so it's not the end of the world.

It's gonna be annoying to some, sure, but I know for a fact that there's people out there working on community-developed server browsers, and indeed GameRanger already supports many of the games hit by this.

All told, I don't think this is gonna be a major hurdle for most of the people who still play these games, myself included.

What it will do, is screw anyone who was on the verge of getting into these games, and/or people who were thinking about coming back to them.

Speaking for NWN and SWAT 4, the former mostly sees players joining persistent-world games and privately hosted campaigns. (All hail the Dungeon Master feature!)
The latter will likely be hit harder given how many players still join random servers, playing with people they don't know.
 

CardinalPiggles

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Jun 24, 2010
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Well I seriously doubt GameSpy will get much business now. It looks like they are in their rights to shut these down, but doing so is very bad PR, they have to see that.
 

PhunkyPhazon

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Dec 23, 2009
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Well...at least Battlefront 2 is in the clear. Still, I get the feeling that Gamespy will be receiving a lot of hate mail for this move.
 

paketep

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Jul 14, 2008
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And that, folks, is why you should never ever ever buy games that don't support LAN and/or release public server files.

Like (oh, surprise) Call of Duty post-Kotick.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
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Another idiotic and baffling stupid decision made by those in the industry to add to the ever growing list. At this rate the list will soon be long enough to encircle the Earth.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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So that's why I couldn't get on SWAT 4's multiplayer today.

Fuck you, Glu Mobile. You pricks.