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Glu Shutting Down Multiplayer for GameSpy-based PC Titles

By - Source: Slashdot | B 28 comments

Older PC games are now left without multiplayer support thanks to Glu Mobile switching off the GameSpy support.

Slashdot points to a recent open letter by UK game developer Rebellion explaining why the online multiplayer servers for Sniper Elite have suddenly disappeared, and why the studio can't change the situation. The letter follows numerous reports that GameSpy-based multiplayer support previously offered in numerous PC games have been disabled thanks to GameSpy's new owner, Glu Mobile.

According to the Slashdot report, GameSpy-reliant games like Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Swat 4, Sniper Elite, Hidden and Dangerous 2, Wings of War, Star Wars: Battlefront and many other older PC games can no longer find multiplayer games online. The only way some players can directly connect to servers is if they already know the IP address.

"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," Rebellion said. "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," the company added. "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."

Over on the Powered by GameSpy Facebook page, fans are venting their frustration over the new lack of multiplayer support in their favorite titles. "Good job losing anyone who still cared about you guys," wrote one Facebook user. "Facebook needs a dislike button," suggested another.

"I feel like we need to get a class action lawsuit filed over this," wrote one disgruntled gamer. "Some of these games are only a few years old and should not even qualify as 'classic'. What you are doing to these small developers and publishers is nothing short of blackmail and should be illegal. I don't know what kind of contract they had with you, but I would recommend any dev thinking about using your service invest in their own servers, or get a publisher with servers."

Rebellion said it shares the disappointment of fans who have played Sniper Elite since 2005. "This is not something we intended or wanted to happen, but unfortunately it has been beyond our control," the studio said. "We have always looked to support our fan community and we hope the past seven years of free multiplayer service have been evidence of that - we're sorry that the servers have been shut down in this way. We would like to thank all the fans who have continued to support Rebellion and Sniper Elite."

Glu Mobile, the developer of popular free-to-play games on Android and iOS, acquired GameSpy Technology from IGN Entertainment back in August 2012. The mobile developer will reportedly use the GameSpy tech, including the popular matchmaking, player statistics and leaderboards, in its mobile games. GameSpy is already integrated in Glu's Gun Bros Multiplayer on Android, launched in Q1 2012.

"Our acquisition of GameSpy brings Glu industry-recognized leadership in online, cross-platform technology infrastructure," said Niccolo de Masi, Chief Executive Officer of Glu. "GameSpy's battle-tested team will enable Glu's product roadmap to include robust and highly scalable multiplayer and social functionality."

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  • 10 Hide
    joytech22 , December 11, 2012 8:08 PM
    NOOOO Halo 1!! I'll miss you and the many hours of fun and gameplay you provided...
    Halo CE is still incredibly popular.. With some of even the newer Halo 3, 4, ODST etc levels and weapons recreated.

    I'm going to miss it a lot.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    joytech22 , December 11, 2012 8:08 PM
    NOOOO Halo 1!! I'll miss you and the many hours of fun and gameplay you provided...
    Halo CE is still incredibly popular.. With some of even the newer Halo 3, 4, ODST etc levels and weapons recreated.

    I'm going to miss it a lot.
  • -8 Hide
    kingnoobe , December 11, 2012 8:18 PM
    Honestly I'm surprised people still use that junk. I havn't use gamespy since the rogue spear days.
  • 7 Hide
    _Cubase_ , December 11, 2012 8:19 PM
    Ah those were the days, logging into GameSpy (cue robot drone voice: "Welcome to GameSpy") and looking for the closest Quake II servers, and occasionally finding one or two servers for the really old legacy games. *sniff* *sob* If anybody needs me, I will be in 165.226.453.202 drinking ports.
  • 2 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , December 11, 2012 8:33 PM
    I expect a few player-run servers to pop up for these games. Game Ranger maybe?
  • 2 Hide
    stickmansam , December 11, 2012 8:40 PM
    Don't play enough to know the IP
    Play enough that I still care
  • 4 Hide
    hate machine , December 11, 2012 8:41 PM
    I wonder if Glu was shedding money from this or they thought they could extort even more money out of these devs by dropping the service first as a shock.
  • 6 Hide
    fractalsphere , December 11, 2012 8:53 PM
    I was still using gamespy for Quake 3 games, though few and far between. Glu won't be getting any of MY business.
  • 7 Hide
    MasterMace , December 11, 2012 8:58 PM
    Don't forget Borderlands 1
  • 4 Hide
    ToastyMozart , December 11, 2012 9:30 PM
    Noo, not Halo CE!
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , December 11, 2012 9:32 PM
    to anyone interested, glu only made 79 million dollars, and lost a net of 18 million,

    in that respect, they arent exactly being greedy, but they really are so far in the red i doubt they will see the light.

  • 6 Hide
    Gundam288 , December 11, 2012 9:36 PM
    NO! NOT BATTLEFIELD 2 AND BATTLEFIELD 2142!!! the last true Battlefield games are gone now! T_T
  • 7 Hide
    whooleo , December 11, 2012 10:16 PM
    NOT STAR WARS FREAKIN BATTLEFRONT!!!!!! Love that game..... Still waiting for a third one..........
  • 4 Hide
    memadmax , December 11, 2012 10:17 PM
    GameSpy hasn't been updating its crap for years now...

    It's been a dead stick for quite sometime.
    Tried to get a good MOHAA game going but it just refused to work....

    oh well.....
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , December 11, 2012 11:34 PM
    if anything this shows the importance of releasing the server software, at least well after initial launch.
  • 0 Hide
    DirectXtreme , December 12, 2012 12:41 AM
    fractalsphereI was still using gamespy for Quake 3 games, though few and far between. Glu won't be getting any of MY business.

    So that explains why there were no servers available when I refreshed the server browser today. Damn... guess I'll have to find the IP addresses and store those servers.
  • 0 Hide
    DirectXtreme , December 12, 2012 12:51 AM
    DirectXtremeSo that explains why there were no servers available when I refreshed the server browser today. Damn... guess I'll have to find the IP addresses and store those servers.

    Nevermind... For some reason it didn't work on ioquake3 but it did on my Steam installation...
  • 0 Hide
    volkov956 , December 12, 2012 1:34 AM
    interesting time to dig up that old info regarding host file and bypassing gamespy network but I have no idea where I put it all....
  • 0 Hide
    dormantreign , December 12, 2012 2:22 AM
    This is easy, release the server software so we can set up our own servers :) 
  • 3 Hide
    signothorn , December 12, 2012 5:12 AM
    If there is a LAN option, just use Tunngle, we still use it to play Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption and we survived the WoN system going dark. 12 years later and we still have games.
  • 3 Hide
    volkov956 , December 12, 2012 5:13 AM
    there is a Gamespy Server Emulator out there by http://aluigi.altervista.org/papers.htm#gshidden for more info
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