All STALKER Games Saved From GameSpy Server Meltdown

By Nathan Grayson on June 2nd, 2014 at 8:00 am.

GameSpy has officially exploded, and games are still fleeing from ground zero while green smoke and shrapnel billows every which way. It’s been a messy process, to say the least, with some games finding happy new homes while others collapsed on the street side, never to rise again. STALKER, thankfully, has made it out at the last second, with whatever remains of GSC releasing a patch for STALKER, STALKER: Clear Sky, and STALKER: Call of Pripyat to migrate online functionality onto their own servers.

You can download the patch here. GSC explained it thusly:

“Because of the declared closure of GameSpy multiplayer game services, we made our own server intended to replace GameSpy. This update is required for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game clients (and servers) to enable establishing connection to a new server. All CD-Keys issued before are still valid on a new server. New players’ profiles should be created in Call of Pripyat. Game statistics not maintained.”

The new patch also improves V-Sync in high-end graphics cards, so hurrah for that.

Does anyone still play STALKER multiplayer, though? Did anyone ever really play it much? Personally, I never touched it, and now Survarium seems like it intends to take STALKER’s barebones approach and turn it into less of a sideshow. Don’t get me wrong: I’m super glad GSC stepped up and kept its game from withering to dust in GameSpy’s uranium-green wastes, but what kind of community does STALKER multiplayer have?

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21 Comments »

  1. Orayn says:

    Call me ignorant but I didn’t even realize that there was still a GSC around to make these patches. Didn’t the studio dissolve, with some of the employees founding Vostok Games?

    • DanMan says:

      You’re such an ignorant!

    • RaveTurned says:

      The studio was dissolved by the CEO Sergei Grigorovich back in 2011, but then still seemed to be alive enough to claim the rights to the STALKER series (along with Grigorovich) at the end of 2012. I don’t know the status of the GSC that exists now, but I’d assume it’s Grigorovich and a team of mostly new faces.

    • buzzmong says:

      That’s what I find most interesting. I can understand a lawyer doing business on behalf of what’s left of GSC being contracted for the IP ownership statements, but to actually patch a game requires a developer or two.

      Yeah, sure, they could be on contract or an ex-dev doing a favour for a small fee, but it seems an odd gesture for a game series which quite frankly, didn’t need to include mulitplayer and certainly doesn’t need it to be working considering how long it has been since the CoP came out.

  2. BrandeX says:

    “GameSpy has officially exploded”

    You guys need to get on the ball with your reporting. Gamespy has been extended another month until the end of June. This has been known for a few weeks.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=gamespy+june+30

  3. kyrieee says:

    I didn’t realise S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had multiplayer.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Came here to say the same thing. I know the MP controls are in the keybindings but I’ve honestly never looked closer than that. Why would you want MP all up in your s.t.a.l.k.i.n.g?
        “Get out of here STALKER”
        “Oh. Ok I’ll log off then :( “

    • SIDD says:

      me neither

    • Bobtree says:

      IIRC, the original beta for STALKER was multiplayer only. The “capture the artifact” mode is what I remember playing. It was an interesting taste of what SoC had in store, but quite different from the core game.

      • Phoibos Delphi says:

        In fact it was, and it was also my first beta ever… I remember feeling pretty special being picked to play that promising ukranian hype thing before other players… Today you need an extra Spamfilter just for beta invitations.

  4. Dominic White says:

    It really puts EA to shame when the shambling remains of a small Ukranian studio can still retrofit their primarily-singleplayer games, while high-profile multiplayer titles like Red Alert 3 and Battlefield 2142 are being shuttered.

  5. Kefren says:

    Switching multiplayer to their own server seems like a precarious option that could disappear at any point in the future. I’d have thought the only future-proof option would be LAN (which can be spoofed to play online with anyone)? It’s always my preference for multiplayer games, and often a tipping-point for purchase.

  6. Jason Moyer says:

    A v-sync patch? Does that mean it actually works now?

  7. BlackAlpha says:

    I don’t think people played multiplayer in any of the STALKER games. Maybe some did, but most didn’t. It’s all fine that they are now trying a multiplayer PvP arena approach with their new Survarium game, but STALKER wasn’t really about that at all.

    Now I wonder, how many mods did this patch potentially break? And was the patch really necessary?

  8. NathanMates says:

    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.

    Many articles have omitted that, but I don’t think it’s fair to act like there’s a distance. When Bullfrog|Origin|Pandemic Studios(*) closed down, or Psygnosis closed down, did news reports just say “Bullfrog|Origin|Pandemic|Psygnosis” closed down? Or did they say “EA|Sony|Other Publisher closed studio X today.” That’s the cause of events and should be reported so that the parent’s responsibility is called out.

    There’s official word from GLU Mobile over on Gamasutra as to why they shut things down — “not a viable business model”

    * And yes, I was an employee of Pandemic Studios from August 1998 thru November 13, 2009 when I left voluntarily. EA bought Pandemic in 2008, and shut down Pandemic in November 2009.

  9. Shadowcat says:

    Nice one, GSC!

    My recollection might be faulty, but all the stories I’ve seen about replacements for GFWL and Gamespy have seemed to be about everyone switching to f&%$ing Steam (which is fine as an option, but crap if it’s the only option). Not that Gamespy and GFWL weren’t also crap, of course.

    Anyhow, it’s great to see a developer keeping their games decoupled from DRM platforms. Thank you.

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