Battlefield 1942 Confirmed Among EA’s GameSpy Casualties

By Alice O'Connor on May 12th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Bail out!

With the shutdown of GameSpy multiplayer services looming at the end of the month, EA have revealed quite what they plan to do. Not much, really. 24 games, including Battlefields 1942 through 2142, Star Wars: Battlefront, the two Neverwinter Nights, and a few Command & Conquers, will lose official online multiplayer and services support when GameSpy goes away. Unofficial tools and ways will keep some of them playable still, but not at all of them.

Here’s the PC list of casualties:

Battlefield 1942
Battlefield 2
Battlefield 2142
Battlefield Vietnam
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Command & Conquer: Generals
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Crysis
Crysis 2
Crysis Wars
EA Sports 06
F1 2002
Global Operations
James Bond: Nightfire
Master of Orion III
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
NASCAR Sim Racing
NASCAR Thunder 2003
NASCAR Thunder 2004
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights 2
Star Wars: Battlefront
Star Wars: Battlefront II

“Since GameSpy’s announcement, our teams have been working to evaluate options to keep services up and running. Unfortunately, due to technical challenges and concerns about the player experience, we do not have a solution at this time,” EA say in the announcement. They do hint that they “are still investigating community-supported options to preserve online functionality,” but they say “significant technical hurdles remain” and won’t confirm anything.

No official multiplayer means people will need to hit the underground, sneaking through dark digital corridors. A number of the affected will still work if players use tools like GameRanger, which supports a fair few of the affected, and the likes of Hamachi can connect players in games with LAN support.

Those which aren’t supported by GameRanger and don’t have LAN play, including Crysis 2, will seemingly be dead. While I don’t particularly imagine many are still playing Crysis 2, it did only come out three years ago. And, you know, digital conservation and all that.

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70 Comments »

  1. Major Seventy Six says:

    Hopefully a modder will find a way to patch it

    • mortarman says:

      bf1942 will have new master server see this link

      http://forum.bf1942.sk/gamespy

      we will not go quietly into the night we will not vanish without a fight
      We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! from ea!
      we are one community all bf1942 fans! we have to set aside our differences and work as one to save bf1942!

      please share this info all over the internet we wont let bf1942 die
      if your a bf1942 server admin
      name your server go to forum.bf1942.sk/gamespy

      i hope that will raise some eyebrows

      i hope ax simple schindler’s list moongamers and many more servers that are well known will name the server this way for the next 2 weeks

      this new master server will fix the freeze of death! on update list

      if you care for the old battlefields and they do close bf2 bf2142 don’t buy into that pay to win cod clone bf3 bf4 crap and

      join the new master server on bf1942 show you do care for the real battlefields and let ea keep it shit

  2. razgon says:

    Battlefront 2 is one of the games that I actually still play once in a while – I’d be sad to see its MP go.

    • Vin_Howard says:

      I’ll still be able to play the Project Reality mod (a better BF then EA’s Dice will EVER make) for BF2, right? Right?!

      • Bastimoo says:

        and Forgotten Hope 2, right? After all these years those are still the two “games” I play and enjoy most regulary

  3. Deano2099 says:

    Gave me a weird sense of deja vu so looked it up and turned out it wasn’t that – GameSpy discontinued support for Neverwinter Nights 1 in March last year and alternatives are already in place.

    In some ways Red Alert 3 is the biggest shame in that list, not for it’s competitive play, but for it’s co-op centric campaign. Barely remembered these days, but remains an interesting curio that was pretty neat and hasn’t really been done since (except Dawn of War 2 but that has the same issue). If you didn’t play it – you always had two people on your side in the campaign – if you didn’t have a partner, it was done by the AI.

    • Aphadon says:

      The official multiplayer server for Neverwinter Nights 2 was also shut down at the same time as NWN1 last year, so at least these two games aren’t really impacted by the situation at the end of the month.

  4. sabasNL says:

    Normally I stay polite but…

    Battlefield 1942
    Battlefield 2
    Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
    Command & Conquer: Generals
    Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
    Crysis 2
    Star Wars: Battlefront II

    SERIOUSLY, EA!? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!??

    • Lexx87 says:

      Have to agree with that, some pretty key games there. I mean Red Alert 3 as well? That’s a bit mental.

      • HiFiHair says:

        Crysis 2 was only 3 years old in March. I have no particular fondness for it’s multiplayer, but it’s a concerning precedent that it would have such a short lifespan.

        • d3vilsadvocate says:

          What’s really amazing is the fact that Battlefield 2 was on sale on steam not more than a week ago.

          Now THAT’s what I call mala fide in its purest shape and form…

          • sabasNL says:

            Exactly, and SW Battlefront II was on sale too! The people who bought those games during the sales will soon be left without the multiplayer aspect of it. While this is somewhat acceptable in the case of SW Battlefront 2, Battlefield 2 really depends on GameSpy for it’s (still active!) international community.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            Yeah I can’t help but do some EA bashing in this case. Even though I don’t own BF2, to me it looks like a blatant attempt at forcing people to buy BF4 instead. The fact that they would put these primarily multiplayer games on sale a month and a half before it is disabled entirely is extremely shady too, it wreaks of one final cash in and is the sort of thing the industry should be doing more to stop (we are seeing more and more of these dubious business practices that are borderline criminal with little to no repercussions for the companies in question).

            I can understand not every game deserves or needs to be reworked but in the case of something like BF2 which still has a big enough playerbase of people who dislike where they went with BF3 and 4, they really should do something about it. Crysis 2 as well is quite modern and as someone pointed out it sets a horrible precedent that companies are willing and able to abandon games that new. The shut down of GFWL could give some similar scenarios in a couple of months.
            Best case scenario, the community finds workarounds for these games to make them playable again, at which point people should torrent the fuck out of these games as a fuck you to EA for being such dicks, AGAIN.

        • Stompopolos says:

          It’s a precedent only on PC. EA shuts down servers for it’s sports games very quickly. We’ll be seeing the shutdown of the servers for FIFA, Madden, NBA Live and NHL 2013 at the end of this year or at the start of next year, most likely.

    • Kollega says:

      It’s amazing how EA can put millions of dollars, hundreds of man-hours, and innumerable other things into developing a game… and then just crumple it up and toss it in the trash bin. I still remember the enormous marketing push for Red Alert 3, and how the game itself just sort of fizzled out due to lack of attention post-release. And now it’s not even going to have official multiplayer support, despite one of the innovative features touted for it being three fully co-op enabled campaigns. I just… ugh.

    • FhnuZoag says:

      Why is everyone blaming EA for this? They used Gamespy as a platform. Gamespy folded. And now they face a time consuming and difficult task of recoding the relevant games to use a different multiplayer framework and providing hosting when it’s not clear the player base size is sustainable enough to keep those games going in any case. It’s not clear that they should divert resources to this, from working on current games that millions of people play. A lot of other developers and publishers are going to look at their player numbers, and make the exact same decision EA did.

      Ultimately only Gamespy could have seen this coming, and could have put in place the method to broadly prevent it, by releasing the necessary details on their server structures. If Steam goes away tomorrow, will you again blame EA if you can’t download your games off it?

      • derbefrier says:

        exactly people are so ready to hate on EA they forgo any common business sense and ignore whos really at fault so they can join the hate EA circle jerk. Its unfortunate but its not really reasonable to expect them to spend the time and resouces to re code 10 year old games that only a handfull of people might still play every once and a while.

      • Pixieking says:

        “Why is everyone blaming EA for this? They used Gamespy as a platform. Gamespy folded.”

        I think it’s actually an interesting question to ask, if EA weren’t so mardy at Valve, would this be as bad as it is? That is, do people think that EA would move a fair portion of their multiplayer games to Steamworks? Considering that some of these games are well-respected (almost revered), and not that old, I do think that EA are putting their foot in it from a PR perspective.

        Compare-and-contrast EA’s reluctance here with 2K moving Civ 4 and Relic moving CoH1 to Steamworks. Certainly the latter two developers both have experience in the coding of Steamworks games (Civ 5 and CoH2) which makes it easier, but I really do think that if EA weren’t so anti-Steam, they’d acknowledge that Steamworks is the most reliable multiplayer system now on PC.

        (Note: I said reliable in the sense of not going to be shut-down during the lifetimes of any game currently out. Not best. :p )

      • Moraven says:

        Exactly. I am not sure why there is all this EA hate. All of the titles are GameSpy related closures which they have no direct control over.

        GameRanger is great but you still lose out on Ladders, matchmaking, scoreboards, etc, which some people like.

        GameRanger in a way is pretty much like EA’s Battlelog, giving you external server browser. All you need is code to interact with the game to connect you and not being reliant on built in server browsers. I hope more games do this and we start to see multiple player hosted server browsers that act as nodes and talk to each other, track stats, etc. Decentralize the server matchmaking system but still keep features like matchmaking, ranks, ladders, etc.

        • Continuity says:

          Yes well clearly you live in a world where EA is too poor to buy up Gamespy so that their games _that they are still selling_ continue to work. The rest of us live in a world where EA just doesn’t give a shit.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Consider they are still selling these games (as a poster above said they actually put BF2 and Battlefront 2 on sale on steam mere weeks ago), knowing that they are not doing anything to enable the multiplayer of these games after the Gamespy shutdown. I fail to see how you cannot understand the negative backlash here, if they can see fit to keep making money from these games, most people see fit that they can at least make them fully playable and are rightly pissed off that they are refusing .

      • sabasNL says:

        Gamespy is gone- That’s a fact, and I do get your point. But Electronic Arts, as the publisher / maker of these titles, should support these games. Other publishers, including SEGA, Activision, 2K, amongst others, have integrated Steamworks into their games, which keeps the multiplayer aspect of their games alive. THAT is how you treat your customers and quality products.

        Some of the titles listed above shouldn’t be shut down:
        Crysis 2 is just over 3 years old. Absolutely unacceptable.
        Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 is 5 years old, but it’s the last game in the C&C franchise due to EA cancelling other projects.
        Battlefield 1942 was given away by the Origin branch of EA and is being actively played today. To my knowledge, playing the vanilla game through other services (e.g. GameRanger) is not possible.
        Battlefield 2 was one sale very recently and still has an active community. Just like BF1942, to my knowledge, it’s not possible to play the vanilla game through other services.
        SW Battlefront 2 was on sale very recently and can not be played without GameSpy.
        Command & Conquer Tiberium Wars 3 still has a very active community. It’s still represented in some E-sports leagues as many RTS fans deem it as the last real C&C,

        C&C Generals and BF2142 are two favourites of mine, but the first has almost completely moved to GameRanger, while the latter is (nearly) dead. I still don’t like how EA abandoned them though.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        It is an interesting discussion though. How old is too old for a game where it can be forgiven support when a 3rd party service shuts down?.

        What about the case of GFWL, which will see discontinued support for a number of games, despite the fact that the gaming community as a whole universally pleaded with companies not to use the service because it is shit, in that case companies made the wrong choice, everyone was proven right, its not unreasonable for people to expect these companies to rectify their mistakes.

        Also these games were released using 3rd party online services and EA refused to include things like LAN support because “mumble…..piracy……something, something”, if they’d just included LAN support in the beginning there would be ZERO problems here with most of these games here. They refuse to do that because they think it impacts their profits. Could they not use a fraction of the extra profits they OBVIOUSLY made from making their game less pirate-able to go back and at least put LAN support in there?

        @sabasNL
        Actually Command and Conquer 4 was the last CnC game from 2010 and uses EA’s own servers for Multiplayer, as they have done with most of their recent games, so is unaffected.

        • sabasNL says:

          Well, theoretically you’re right, but NOBODY wants to admit C&C ever existed. Even the studio that had the task to revive C&C after it went like “C&C 4 was a complete failure, let’s forget about it with a much-deserved revival.”

          A revival that EA pushed to be Free 2 Play, after which the studio was struggling to make it a proper Free 2 Play game, after which EA cancelled the game as a whole. I’ve played the beta at GamesCom and, although I was impressed (it had potential), cancelling the Free 2 Play abomination might’ve been a good decision. Would’ve liked it if EA just pulled the plug out of the F2P-concept and just went back to what the game originally was going to be: Generals 2.

          But no, they fired the studio and erased the servers. Derp.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            How exactly am I “theoretically” right?.

            You wrote
            “Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 is 5 years old, but it’s the last game in the C&C franchise due to EA cancelling other projects.”

            This is simply false. Command and Conquer 4 was released after Red Alert 3. It’s a better game too in my opinion, Red Alert 3 was slooooooooow.

            My point though, was that 3 years ago EA decided to make the switch away from Gamespy. Were they aware that it was circling the drain back then? Seems like they had plenty of time to move away from Gamespy if that’s the case.

  5. Winged Nazgul says:

    If I had known this, I would’ve boycotted Titanfall in protest. As it is, I guess I’ll just boycott Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (which I had planned on picking up) instead.

  6. Alfius says:

    The real shame here is Battlefield 2142.

    BF2 at least has had multiple thematically similar replacements. Not so 2142 which was to my mind the real gem of the franchise.

    • Ansob says:

      Yeah, 2142 is by far the best Battlefield game they’ve made. This is ridiculous.

      Didn’t they recently announce that they were going to not let the BF games die?

      • Crossbit says:

        I thought so too, but looking back they only stated that there was a *possibility* they’d keep the earlier BF games running.

        Hence, I suppose, the ‘we considered it… but nope’ opening to their statement.

        • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

          More likely that EA realised that it would cost them money for very little if any return. That’s market forces folks, established player bases be damned.

          • Moraven says:

            They are not a charity. It would gain them some goodwill but really, would it be that significant?

            The only troubling thing is that everyone is blaming EA for these closures. Their PR department is terrible in making it clear that this is related to the GameSpy shutdown. Honestly they should have named these games a month ago when GameSpy was noted to shutdown. Its obvious they knew before that. Nintendo annouced their shutdown of Wii/DS services before it was official GameSpy was shutting down. The downside was people saw it as a way to force people to play Mario Kart Wii online by buying a Wii U for Mario Kart 8. Which was never the case.

    • Syphus says:

      2142 is probably my second favorite right after the original. And it really is a shame for both of them as everything is now BATTLEFIELD MODERN COMBAT and unfortuantely I don’t see us getting a new version of either of these any time soon.

      • sabasNL says:

        DICE has hinted that it would love to return to BF2142, and there have been sounds from higher up *cough* EA investors *cough* that they were open to it.

        On the other hand, DICE also fell victim to EA with BF3 and BF4. BF4 is the best example, DICE wasn’t able to reach the deadline EA set to compete with CoD… The game wasn’t ready at all when it launched.

        Hope? No. Chance? Yes.

        • green frog says:

          Well, DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront reboot is due out next year, so that’s probably going to fill the “sci-fi Battlefield” slot for a while. Still, not out of the question that they could make another 2142 type game again someday.

  7. starclaws says:

    EA continues to disrupt and destroy gaming as we know it, while still copy-pasting the same games and buying out companies and destroying franchises.

    Wonder if EA will be a true contender for the golden poo next year? Not sure how time-warner cable beat EA since Comcast is merging with Time-Warner currently. Ofcourse their systems gonna suck while they do a merge.

    http://consumerist.com/2014/04/08/congratulations-to-comcast-your-2014-worst-company-in-america/ Comcast’s win makes it only the second company to claim multiple Poos. Last year, video game biggie EA was both the first two-time winner and its first repeat champ.

    • HadToLogin says:

      I guess people finally decided treating video game consumers poorly isn’t worse than practically enslaving people (and sometimes even causing deaths), like some of the other companies do (in white gloves, so legally nothing happens)…

      Or some reddit or other youtuber forget to tell those kids they need to vote.

    • Ansob says:

      In what world is shutting down multiplayer servers and making franchise video games worse than fraudulently foreclosing on people and attempting to steal their house?

      You need to get your head checked if you think EA ever deserved any of those “worst company of the year” awards given the competition they were up again.

      • Joshua says:

        It’s not even EA shutting down the servers :/.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        I don’t think many people will disagree with you but its testament to how thoroughly pissed off the gaming community is with EA that they are on that list, even if it is slightly undeserved compared to some of the truly evil fuckers that were on that list with them.

    • Moraven says:

      Blame GameSpy, not EA. Blame Glu Mobile for shutting down their servers. Blame them for not releasing the GameSpy code and allow publishers to host the servers used for matchmaking.

      The games live on using external programs like GameRanger that allow external P2P matchmaking or server browsing, just like Battlelog. But you lose any matchmaking, ranking, ladders, server stat tracking, etc. Command & Conquer random games were not as fun if you are mismatched. At least the ladder ranks worked when enough people played it.

      All the DS/Wii games used GameSpy and they have no way to support those.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        This is the thing. 3rd party companies are being affected, . There should be a way to legally obtain that source code but ofc contrived and nonsense legal systems will get in the way meaning that Glu will spend a year in court, seek compensation for use of what’s “theirs” and will cost hundreds of thousands in court costs and legal fees making the whole exercise pointless and futile.

        Seriously the industry needs to take heed from this. A money grabbing, soul-less mobile games company buys up Gamespy and proceeds to just take it apart over less than a year and a half, affecting a large amount of PC games as well as Wii and DS games. How this was allowed to happen in the first place is beyond me. They are a mobile games company, they are pretty much all built around screwing money out of everything possible and have zero integrity, I don’t know how supposedly intelligent business people didn’t see this coming back in 2012.

      • drewski says:

        Am I allowed to blame EA for choosing the worst possible option and going with Gamespy in the first place?

        Let’s not pretend the companies who hived off all their multiplayer infrastructure to a third party are blameless here.

  8. spamenigma says:

    We could rarely get crisis 2 to work mp and gave up so no change there. But a real shame about the Battlefield and C&C series.

  9. HiFiHair says:

    I’m fairly sure Battlefield 2 was in Steam’s top 20 Top Sellers when I had a look last week. Which is slightly disappointing for anybody who picked it up.

    • sabasNL says:

      It was. Unbelievable, right? So was SW Battlefront II.

      They put those games on sale, without telling the servers would go offline.

  10. Pixieking says:

    So much changes in a month

    http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/11/5604232/ea-working-to-keep-three-older-battlefield-titles-up-after-gamespy

    “We’re working on transitioning those games after the shut down so you’ll still be able to play them.”

    Perhaps they shouldn’t have sounded so positive?

    Perhaps, also, they should update store pages in various places to reflect this announcement?

  11. DThor says:

    I expected some sort of outcry or another, especially from the BF camp. I’ve put many hours into BF2 and to a slightly lesser extent 2142, but is this seriously another mantle of shame to hang on EA? Really? It’s sad, for sure, but we’re talking 2005 here. I understand that some people still insist on running XP because it’s a “perfectly good OS” (despite being a security nightmare), but can’t there be a respectful moment of silence (or third party development) and move on, instead of the Evil Empire being blamed for murdering kittens? Ok, I’m going to go fire up King’s Quest III now…

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I agree. It’s a shame to see these games go, but they’re quite old in gaming years. And it wasn’t like EA flipped the switch, GameSpy forced them into it.

      I feel like EA could shut down the multiplayer service for an MS-DOS game from the mid nineties and people would cry evil.

    • Syphus says:

      I can’t really even understand the XP people. I remember when Windows 95 came out and basically anything new you wanted would absolutely not work on DOS or 3.1. Or when GPUs or Pentium chips started to become standard. You didn’t cling to your 10 year old machine and go, “But this one is perfectly fine!”

      • MartinWisse says:

        That was twenty years ago, largely before internet and when pc hardware evolved quickly enough to justify getting a new gaming rig every two years or so.

        Not so much these days.

    • darkChozo says:

      The difference here is that XP still works, it just isn’t receiving updates any more. Something like Battlefield doesn’t work, for most intents and purposes, without multiplayer support. It’d be like XP’s EOL meaning that the OS couldn’t do anything besides Notepad after April 8th.

      That doesn’t mean that EA is obliged to make multiplayer work forever, but it’s a bit of a dick move to leave a game in an unplayable state when there are alternative approaches that would keep working with any publisher overhead. It’s certainly a dick move to try to drive sales of that game right before announcing that you’re killing it off.

  12. JellBro says:

    The Battlefront2 actually makes sense from a “we want your money” point of view.

    EA will have more sales on the new Battlefront, even with the borked BF4 engine.

    The new beta testing environment for BF4 makes everybody believe it’s going to be allright
    with the next game. And then -BOOM- , still the same bugs/crashes and what not.

    Or am i being too negative…..

    Edit: Shame about Crysis2 , was enjoying that lately. Switched to this as soon as news from Gamespy came, and enjoyed Crysis 2 MP quite a bit.

  13. malkav11 says:

    This is a company that deliberately shuts off its own multiplayer servers without patching in any alternative for games as recent as three years old. Is it really that surprising that they’re not going to provide alternatives for 3+ year old games whose multiplayer wasn’t handled by them in the first place?

  14. jarowdowsky says:

    Ah fuck, after Titanfall I was getting tempted to try 2142 again :(

  15. OctoStepdad says:

    *Signed up to make this post”

    I was half temped to pickup Battlefront 2 and Battlefield 2 on Steam (They were on sale about two weeks ago). Glad I didn’t…
    And I don’t think the sale price was a coincidence, probably EA trying to squeeze out the last drop.

    • razgon says:

      Battlefront 2 is actually still extremely playable as a single player game. The cutscene / voiceovers are pretty cool. I guess youtube would be of equal value, but I had a lot of fun playing this with bots.

      • HiFiHair says:

        Shamefully I genuinely did not realise there was a single player mode for BF2. I have failed at games.

    • Moraven says:

      And you can still play them via GameRanger to connect you to servers and P2P.

      Also EA said they are hoping to transition their more popular games a month ago. But that is no easy switch.

      • OctoStepdad says:

        @razgon : I completely forgot about the single player. Remember playing that along time ago.

        @Moraven : Interesting, hopefully it will be on sale again somewhere in the near future and then maybe they’ll have the servers figured out or the community will.

  16. NathanMates says:

    RPS- would it be too much to ask that you call out GLU Mobile as the responsible party for Gamespy’s shutdown? Gamespy was working until GLU Mobile bought Gamespy, and then GLU Mobile chose to shut down all of the Gamespy servers. It’s not Gamespy that’s at fault, it’s Gamespy’s owners. Point that out a few times to help shame them.

    Disclaimer: I’m still patching and supporting Battlezone II in my spare time, on my own dime. We were one of the earliest 3rd party users of the Gamespy SDK, and had a small (~200 active players per week) when GLU Mobile yanked support for BZ2 on 2012/10/08. I had to do an emergency rewrite and patch release to change over to RakNet for matchmaking, NAT Negotiation, etc. Thus, I’ve got a legitimate annoyance with them too.

    • tormos says:

      ugh oh my god stop you already got an answer in an earlier column stop pasting this

  17. Phendron says:

    No, not the unofficial sequel to Master of Orion 2! Travesty!

  18. mortarman says:

    bf1942 will have new master server see this link

    http://forum.bf1942.sk/gamespy

    we will not go quietly into the night we will not vanish without a fight
    We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! from ea!
    we are one community all bf1942 fans! we have to set aside our differences and work as one to save bf1942!

    please share this info all over the internet we wont let bf1942 die
    if your a bf1942 server admin
    name your server go to forum.bf1942.sk/gamespy

    i hope that will raise some eyebrows

    i hope ax simple schindler’s list moongamers and many more servers that are well known will name the server this way for the next 2 weeks

    this new master server will fix the freeze of death! on update list

    if you care for the old battlefields and they do close bf2 bf2142 don’t buy into that pay to win cod clone bf3 bf4 crap and

    join the new master server on bf1942 show you do care for the real battlefields and let ea keep it shit

  19. Warduke says:

    Bah.. I thought EA had originally said they were gonna save the BF games.. This sucks, been wanting to go back and play some 2142 and 1942 again… oh and BF2….

  20. CHOPPERGIRL says:

    ReSPY (for Battlefield): http://respy.air-war.org