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GameSpy Servers Shutting Down in May

Image: GameSpy

The pricing section of the GameSpy Technologies website announces that on May 31, 2014, GameSpy will cease providing all hosted services for all games still using GameSpy. The news arrives after GameSpy reported back in January that it has ceased to make its software available for licensing.

"If you have any questions about how this impacts your favorite title, please contact the game's publisher for more information," the new message reads. "Thanks for a great ride!"

The GameSpy software originally made its debut as QSpy back in 1996, allowing Quake players to find servers hosting the game. Once Raven Software's Hexen II hit the scene, QSpy owner Spy Software renamed the software to GameSpy 3D. Mark Surfas licensed the software from Spy Software and created GameSpy Industries.

The GameSpy brand became quite popular, with the software stretching out beyond the PC platform and into consoles such as the Sega Dreamcast, the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. However, GameSpy Industries and IGN Entertainment merged in 2004, sold off the software as GameSpy Technologies to Glu Mobile in 2012, and then shut down the GameSpy planets in 2013.

"Ziff Davis wants to run an efficient, focused company, and managing several different sites that all cover videogames isn't exactly the model of efficiency," writes Dan Stapleton on the GameSpy website. "Even though GameSpy had its own unique voice that was separate and distinct from those of our sister sites, and there has always been value in that, it's hard to argue with that logic. Even if it does totally suck."

A large number of game publishers use GameSpy Technology for multiplayer services. Epic told Polygon that it has been phasing out GameSpy for its Unreal series of games, and will introduce its own in-house solution next week. Capcom says that several titles will be affected by the closure, while Bohemia Interactive says that the closure will affect CD authentication, matchmaking and NAT traversal in several of its games.

According to Glu Mobile, it has around 800 developers and publishers who use the GameSpy service. Some of the more recent titles affected by the closure include Dungeon Defenders on all platforms, Gotham City Impostors and Red Dead Redemption.

The news of GameSpy's closing is somewhat depressing. For those who began their gaming days playing Quake and a growing list of shooters in the 1990s, the GameSpy middleware served as an invisible backbone -- a way to play against the world. The service was unquestionably at the heart of PC gaming.

Thanks for the good times, GameSpy.