GameSpy Technology is turning off multiplayer support for all games that make use of their technology as of May 31, 2014 according to the company’s website. This brings the future of over 1,000 games across multiple platforms to the reality that Wii owners will face in a few days, that multiplayer servers such as GameSpy will not last forever.
The message posted on the GameSpy site simply stated, “Effective May 31, 2014, GameSpy will cease providing all hosted services for all games still using GameSpy. If you have any questions about how this impacts your favorite title please contact the game’s publisher for more information. Thanks for a great ride!”
GameSpy shutting down multiplayer servers will affect both small and large studios such as Ubisoft, Gearbox, Nintendo, Capcom, Activision, EA and many more. While GameSpy has not licensed their services since Jan 1, 2013, many old, but still popular games such as Borderlands, Arma: 3, Red Dead Redemption and others use the GameSpy multiplayer services. When Polygon reached out to Activision, they said that the publisher’s catalog will be unaffected by the shutdown. Epic’s line of Unreal shooters will be transitioning to an in-house solution next week.
The GameSpy multiplayer service stretches across both the traditional gaming consoles as well as PC and mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. The service originally started with the game Quake in 1997 and has been used by various publishers and developers as a way to quickly implement multiplayer functionality into games based on a licensing model. While many games still have a core audience, many game’s development teams have moved on or simply no longer exists leaving an unconfirmed amount of games without multiplayer service after May 31.
When Glu bought the GameSpy multiplayer service from IGN in August of 2012 there were issues where games suddenly found themselves without servers any longer. A great outcry from gamers brought to light that some studios has stopped paying the licensing fees and their service was turned off for lack of payment. It was discussed by some developers that in order to rebuild the multiplayer services, the cost would be in the thousands of dollars. Older games might find it easier for publishers and developers to simply let the game’s multiplayer services from GameSpy remain dormant.
Nintendo will also not be patching in any kind of support for the Nintendo Wi-Fi games that use GameSpy which follows suit of their shutdown of the Nintendo Wi-Fi service on April 8, 2014.
A complete list of those who will be affected by the GameSpy multiplayer technology turning of support can be found on the GameSpy website.