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GameSpy's New Owners Switch off Old Games' Multiplayer Wit...
Dan
Special Text
Brisbane, Queensland
13915 posts
Following the acquisition of Gamespy from IGN back in August, new owner GLU Mobile looks to be trimming the fat, having reportedly terminated server support for several games that depended on the services for their multiplayer capability. (via Slashdot):
"Over the last month, both game publishers and gaming communities alike were surprised to find their GameSpy multiplayer support suddenly disabled by GLU Mobile, who purchased GameSpy from IGN this August. Many games, including Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Swat 4, Sniper Elite, Hidden and Dangerous 2, Wings of War, Star Wars: Battlefront are no longer able to find (and in some cases even host) multiplayer games. While games like Neverwinter Nights are still able to directly connect to servers if players know the IP address, less-fortunate gamers expressed outrage on GLU Mobile's 'Powered by GameSpy' Facebook page.
All the games in question are quite old, but it still seems to be rather poor form that they have been effectively disabled without any alternative arrangements offered by Gamespy

In most cases, it appears that Gamespy's master servers responsible for authenticating players and propagating the lists of dedicated servers are what has been disabled, rather than the dedicated servers themselves, whereas when some developers have terminated the master servers for their legacy games in the past, they have been thoughtful enough to release a patch disabling those hooks for players that want to continue.

Rebellion's Sniper Elite is one of the affected games, and the developer explains how it is not financially feasible for them to restore multiplayer capability:
"A few weeks ago, the online multiplayer servers for Sniper Elite were suddenly switched off by Glu, the third-party service we had been paying to maintain them.

For the past seven years we have run these servers at a cost to ourselves so that fans of Sniper Elite could continue to play online for free.

This decision by Glu was not taken in consultation with us and was beyond our control.

We have been talking to them since to try and get the servers turned back on. 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. We also do not have the option to take the multiplayer to a different provider. Because the game relies on Glu and Gamespy’s middleware, the entire multiplayer aspect of the game would have to be redeveloped by us, again, at the cost of many tens of thousands of pounds.

While we are not happy about the situation, as an independent developer we simply do not have the resources to pay the massive costs of new servers along with redeveloping a seven-year-old game.
This is the kind of thing we expect from console platform holders operating their tightly-controlled closed systems, and not our beloved open dedicated server model on PC.

Consider that many of today's popular PC games utilise the Gamespy API and could be similarly switched off at a whim when the company decides they're no longer worth the cycles.
12:52pm 10/12/12 Permalink
system
Internet
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12:52pm 10/12/12 Permalink
glynd
Melbourne, Victoria
852 posts
out of curiosity, which modern games use gamespy? I guess I'll have to stick with GameArena COGS for upcoming games such as UT2003. I hope the CS1.5 patch is good.
03:31pm 10/12/12 Permalink
Blackstar
1 posts
A lot of these old games have a 30 days notice clause in their licences, so an enterprising individual may be able to make a court case out of this.
05:03pm 10/12/12 Permalink
dazzalus
Perth, Western Australia
15 posts
I could be wrong but didnt borderlands have gamespy hooks?
05:20pm 10/12/12 Permalink
Naren
Sydney, New South Wales
12 posts
Is there a list of the effected games anywhere?
05:21pm 10/12/12 Permalink
eski
Perth, Western Australia
1317 posts
dazzalus- yeah thats right, although I'm not sure it still does.

RIP Flight Sim X :(
06:18pm 10/12/12 Permalink
breno
Melbourne, Victoria
104 posts
*sniff i just got back into FSX too...damn you MS for bailing out on Flight, can you do anything right these days??
06:47pm 10/12/12 Permalink
FraktuRe
Gold Coast, Queensland
4415 posts
Wow, that's a real d*** move. Way to garner favour with your userbase.
07:05pm 10/12/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21003 posts
Pretty good example of why dedicated servers are so awesome right here, and yet another reason why game devs won't go back to them. Then they'd have no way to force you to stop playing their old stuff and buy their new stuff.
07:06pm 10/12/12 Permalink
Deviouz
Melbourne, Victoria
280 posts
SWAT 4's multi is the best!
07:32pm 10/12/12 Permalink
Mitch
Western Australia
526 posts
This explains why i had issues playing MP dungeon siege 2 ( even on lan ). Had to use peerblock to block the connection to gamespy.
11:08pm 10/12/12 Permalink
Superbad
1 posts
So Glu just spent all that money to make sure no one buys a gamespy enabled game again? Good move.
11:34pm 10/12/12 Permalink
GENERAL
1 posts
AGAIN, WE ARE HELD CAPTIVE BY THE CORPORATIONS THAT OWN THE SERVER RIGHTS TO THESE GAMES.
I CAN'T BEGIN TO EXPRESS HOW UPSET I AM, AS WELL AS ALL MY COHORTS THAT HAVE SPENT COUNTLESS
HOURS TWEEKING AND MODDING OUR SERVERS. SHAME ON YOU GLU! NEEDLESS TO SAY, I WON'T BE
PURCHASING ANY GAMES THAT ARE TIED TO MOTHER SERVERS THAT CAN JUST FLICK A SWITCH AND
TURN IT OFF! I GUESS IT'S BACK TO PLAYING SINGLE PLAYER GAMES.
01:39am 12/12/12 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36614 posts
This is fascinating! I wonder if communities will spring up to support these games.
05:02pm 12/12/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21008 posts
This is fascinating! I wonder if communities will spring up to support these games.

like how when nfs:u had no LAN play so someone wrote a server app that emulated EA's auth servers and let you play over the LAN or internet if you knew the IP.
07:01pm 12/12/12 Permalink
system
Internet
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07:01pm 12/12/12 Permalink
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