Sierra Shutting Down 21 Game Servers

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Sierra Shutting Down 21 Game Servers


Sierra [http://www.sierra.com/] has announced the upcoming closure of 21 game servers, ending support for a range of older titles including Empire Earth, Homeworld, Star Trek: Armada and Tribes 2.

The shutdown will take place November 1, according to an announcement on the official rough [http://forums.vgames.com/ann.jspa?annID=332] on the label. On the other hand, most of the games in the list are getting on in years, and in the support forums for many of them the news went entirely unnoticed.

The full list includes:
Alien vs Predator 2
Arcanum
Caesar IV
Dark Reign 2
Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom
Empire Earth
Empire Earth 2
Empire Earth: Age of Conquest
Ground Control
Ground Control2
Homeworld
Homeworld: Cataclysm
Nolf 2
Red Baron
Sanity
Star Trek: Armada
SWAT3: EE
SWAT3: GOTY
The Incredible Machine
Tribes 2
Vampire




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donbueck

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Sad to see Homeworld on that kind of list. I still play that game to this day. The only other game that comes close, in my mind, is SoaSE.
 

mark_n_b

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It always was an inevitability, I am sure any consumers for whom these servers are important are important centres of their gaming lives are getting a little certificate of appreciation, a nice Sierra cap and a coupon for a free half year of WoW for being such dedicated Sierra clientele.
 

Theo Samaritan

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Was going to happen eventually, and to be fair alot of the people I know who play half of those titles online doso via hamachi.
 

Conqueror Kenny

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I don't have any of those so it doesn't bother me. Besides if they are shutting them down, there can't many that actually play it.
 

ReverseEngineered

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Apr 30, 2008
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I expected to see more of an outburst from people saying, "They can't do that! People paid for the game and now they can't play it!"

The truth is, these games are all quite old. I doubt that any of them see any significant traffic anymore. There eventually comes a time where it's just not worth supporting these games anymore. Consumers have to expect that any program which requires publisher support (e.g. any online game where the servers are exclusively owned by the publisher) will eventually see the day where it is no longer supported.

On the other hand, I have seen some games (such as an old favorite of mine, Subspace), which had significant populations when the servers were shut down. I think publishers who wish to keep server ownership private should be required to release public server software when they announce end-of-life. That way, the community can continue where the company has decided to leave off. Virgin Interactive didn't do that for Subspace, leaving the community running unlicensed software in a very gray legal area. To the community's dedication, they managed to create a new client and server from scratch, moving them considerably further away from blatant copyright infringment.

Similarly, my view of "use it or lose it" extends to all copyright, patent, and other such competitive protections. Those protections are there to allow you to reap a reasonably-compelling benefit from your hard work, not to ensure your entire economic future or to give you sole control over the eventuality of your work's use. If the work you have done never gets to benefit society (either through its licensed use or through its addition to the public domain), it doesn't deserve the protections that copyrights and patents were designed for.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Truth be told I have a copy of Tribes2 and havn't been able to play it on Sierra servers forever, only Gamespy Arcade.
 

TOGSolid

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donbueck post=7.73510.797820 said:
Sad to see Homeworld on that kind of list. I still play that game to this day. The only other game that comes close, in my mind, is SoaSE.
Urr...Homeworld 2? Lol
conqueror Kenny post=7.73510.797853 said:
I don't have any of those so it doesn't bother me. Besides if they are shutting them down, there can't many that actually play it.
You're doing yourself a disservice, a lot of those are really excellent games.
 

SimuLord

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Aug 20, 2008
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Oh, so I won't be able to participate in the "Caesar's Challenge"? Ummm...yawn?

As for Empire Earth and its sequel, those games were effectively obsoleted the moment Age of Empires 3 came out, if not by Rise of Nations.
 

KSarty

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Yeah, it happens. I still play Tiberian Sun on Westwood Online and I'm surprised at how long EA has kept the server running. Like someone said however, you can still play the game with your friends or other people in the community through Hamachi, so the game isn't actually losing its online capability completely.
 

Anton P. Nym

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Heh, I had no idea that The Incredible Machine was still going. That killed a lot of my time back in the day. Never did play it online though.

-- Steve
 

Andy Chalk

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Homeworld is still one of the finest RTS titles ever released, and well worth a play if you can pick it up in a bargain bin somewhere. Runs great on XP, too. (Not sure about Vista.)
 

minignu

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Damn. I still occasionally play Ground Control with some friends online. Shame to see it go...

Aren't some of these relatively recent? Or am I just getting old?
 

dekkarax

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KSarty post=7.73510.800192 said:
Yeah, it happens. I still play Tiberian Sun on Westwood Online and I'm surprised at how long EA has kept the server running. Like someone said however, you can still play the game with your friends or other people in the community through Hamachi, so the game isn't actually losing its online capability completely.
actually, the old C&C servers are run by a fan company
 

The Rogue Wolf

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ElArabDeMagnifico post=7.73510.802557 said:
Anyone willing to host dedicated servers?

(Or buy Sierra?)
I think we're getting towards the point where the cost is the same for either option.

I understand why a company would pull support for very old games, but as ReverseEngineered pointed out, there's no harm in releasing a utility to allow public servers to take over the load. Heck, it might even get them some extra sales.