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New Gamespy owners shutting down game servers left and right

Saturday, 8th December 2012 19:12 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The new owners of Gamespy, Glu, have pulled the plug on servers attached to older games such as Neverwinter Nights, Sniper Elite, and Star Wars: Battlefront.

According to a detailed report on PCGamesN, Glu – which purchased the Gamespy middleware tech from IGN back in August for $2.7 million – is shutting down the servers despite the middleware being required to operate the game online.

Sniper Elite developer Rebellion, explained on its forums why multiplayer support for the game suddenly ceased without warning.

“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,” reads a statement from producer Steve Hart. “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.”

Gamespy, when asked by users on Facebook why support for Sniper Elite was dropped, replied the following: “Neither Namco or Rebellion want to continue support for the game – I’d check with them on why they don’t.”

Other games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Wings of War, Battlestations: Midway, Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring, Swat 4, and Star Wars: Battlefront have also been the recipient of vanishing server support.

Glu’s reply regarding dropped server support for Star Wars: Battlefront was met with the following statement: “Lucas Arts no longer supports this title and as we’re a service provider to them we have disabled the game.”

Read over the user complaints and questions regarding the deactivated servers on Gamespy’s Facebook page here.

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10 Comments

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  1. TheWulf

    This is one of the reasons I’m really glad we have Steamworks. As much as people bitch, it’s still the best option, and with Valve being privately owned they can choose to be as ethical as they want with how long they keep servers active. And it does seem like they’re in this for the long haul.

    And unlike almost all other options, Steamworks actually works. I’ve had hell setting up non-Steamworks games for online play due to my security. But everything seems so much more agreeable when it’s a game on Steam, because their engineers actually know how to do that properly.

    So… yeah. I’m kind of glad that Gamespy is dead. It means that no one else can misguidedly choose to roll it into their software.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. CyberMarco

    Can someone explain me what type of servers exist (dedicated etc) and how they work? Thanks again!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    @2 I just find it pretty crappy they aren’t giving the gamers notice. From what I have read, it seems like all of sudden – Boom – no servers, no notice on the site, or its boards. Nothing.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    Have Glu made any sort of justification for what appears to be a gigantic jump in the cost of Gamespy services?

    Clearly its gone from something manageable to something ridiculous (tens of thousands per year to maintain a few servers? How many servers are we talking here?)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. tonyt3rry

    its a shame to see game server support on games not long from being a new release, could this be fixed by having peer to peer or even people actually buying servers?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Hunam

    In most cases it’s not really the servers you play on, it’s the back end, the master server that is gone. That’s the server that tells you about all the other severs and connects you to them.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. NeoSquall

    Just… wow.
    I didn’t know GameSpy was sold, and to such a greedy company for crying out loud.

    Well, I guess I will uninstall any GameSpy software left in my pc then.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Springchicken

    Sniper Elite was primarily a single player experience, but NeverWinter Nights, Star Wars Battlefront and SWAT 4 were multiplayer games first and foremost. So now there’s no way to take them online? Oof. And I still would like to play SWAT 4 occasionally. :(

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Vkins

    Yeah, great. I played SWAT 4 a long time and I even fired it up every now and then in the past weeks and months. Thanks, new company!

    They seem to be just as bad as EA; they also shut down many servers. On 360, that is. :(

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Hondo

    @TheWulf: Are you serious? I’ve created an account just to show the huge irony that is to praise DRM like Steamworks when it can easily shut down all your games (multiplayer or not) without notice. And you know why? Because you’ve allowed to give them such liberty when you agreed with their terms and services (which you probably didn’t read).

    And what happens when they go under? You loose all your games. And don’t think they will just release a patch to all the games. It doesn’t work that way. When a company reaches that state, they don’t have money to do a patch, much less pay for servers to allow people to download a Steam DRM-free version. And do you think that just because Steam is a success now, it can never go bankrupt or be bought by some other company in the future? Guess what, people thought that SEGA would always be a major company within the console wars, and that Rover would still be making cars, Compaq, Pan Am, etc… Do I still need to go on?

    Keep asking for more games to be tied with that Steam crap. I wish you to be affected with the consequences of such request in a couple of years.

    P.S: This is for all those Steam(works) fanboys, not just you.

    #10 2 years ago