GameSpy Multiplayer Shutting Down in May
If you were a gamer in the 2000s, chances are that the most precious login you had wasn’t your Steam ID or your favourite forums but your GameSpy login. Now, with the rise of Steam, Origin, Uplay and all sorts of other server setups for online gaming, new games with GameSpy multiplayer are non-existent.
However, for people who still pick up older games every now and then and play a few pick-up multiplayer games, that may change in less than two months. GameSpy multiplayer servers will be shutting down on May 31st.
For those too young or too new to gaming to remember, GameSpy was a service used be developers and publisher to host online services. It’s heyday was at a point in time when there really wasn’t the same online ecosystem for gaming as there is today.
While most games nowadays don’t use GameSpy, it’s the older games that will be an issue. When GameSpy servers go offline, multiplayer for those games will go offline. At that point, publishers will have to figure out whether they’ll update games to have multiplayer without GameSpy services or just let multiplayer die.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that a big multiplayer gaming service has gone offline. Games for Windows Live also announced that it was going offline on July 1, 2014, with a number of games scrambling for solutions. If you’re a specialist in multiplayer programming, you’re probably more in demand than ever before.
GameSpy has been working with some developers and publishers to move games off of GameSpy servers and onto other solutions. Activision, Bohemia Interative (Arma) and Rockstar all say that they’ll be up and running after May 31st without issue. Some games appear to be in danger of disappearing including, Borderlands, Halo, Battlefront (1 and 2) and Saints Row 2.
The fact that online games are being shutdown shouldn’t surprise anyone. It happens every day. However, it seldom happens on this scale. It’s as if a whole generation of gaming is about to have the off switch hit. Hopefully games with a strong user base stay online. I’ll understand if they don’t.