Powering Down: GameSpy Multiplayer Services Closing

I come here to bury Powered by GameSpy, not to praise it

GameSpy Technologies‘ multiplayer servers are shutting down on May 31, and I’m glad,” I could say as eulogy. “It was rubbish and buggy and terrible and ruined everything and I’m glad it’s dead.” But that would be an unfair summary of a complex and troubled life. When Steamworks was but a glimpse in Valve’s compound eye, licensing the GameSpy suite let many developers simply make their game rather than having to create their own multiplayer tech from scratch. It was buggy and unpleasant, and we certainly did groan whenever we saw a ‘Powered by GameSpy’ splash screen, but its life had meaning and purpose.

Powered by GameSpy is survived by dozens of classic games, from Battlefield 1942 to Titan Quest, deeply wounded by its passing. Even some modern games like Arma 3 are affected, and planning how best to proceed in this difficult time.

“Effective May 31, 2014, GameSpy will cease providing all hosted services for all games still using GameSpy,” says the official statement. “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!”

Spun off from the GameSpy standalone server browser long ago, GameSpy Technologies’ tools have been behind everything from server browsers and getting-around-routers-ing in oodles of games you’ve known and loved, to Civilization V‘s mod hub. It has often been wonky. Yes, we grizzled veterans would rather have used The All-Seeing Eye to find servers and resented when games no longer offered that option, but what about those who had no idea what a server browser even was?

That’s the past, though. What about the present? GameSpy tech is in more games than we may realise, and its closure will cause problems. Bohemia Interactive are planning to switch to Steam for Arma 3 and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, but warn that they may be less capable of finding ways through certain network setups. Volition has said it’s “pretty unlikely” that it’ll update Saints Row 2, though this isn’t settled. Epic and Capcom are both planning alternate solutions, Polygon reports. The multiplayer fates of many recent and still-popular games, including Borderlands and Grand Theft Auto IV, are a mystery for now.

We’ll hopefully hear more about plans to escape GameSpy in the days and weeks to come, as we have in advance of the impending shutdown of Games for Windows – Live. While fans are likely to figure out and organise ways around the change for some games, many more will undoubtedly be left to die.

In the spirit of childish arguing, let’s have a poll: which of the many multiplayer backends we need to deal with is the worst?

Which multiplayer service is worst?
Games for Windows – Live

Poll Maker


  1. Optimaximal says:

    I thought Borderlands migrated totally to Steamworks?

    • gravity_spoon says:

      BL2 is Steamworks. The original one uses Gamespy.

      • Wang Tang says:

        There are two Borderlands versions, the original Gamespy one, and a later released Steam version. Obviously players with the Gamespy version (such as me) cannot play with players who have the Steam-version.

      • mbp says:

        Even when Borderlands was new the Gamespy multi-player was very flaky. I and any others had to go to Game-Ranger to finally be able to play with other people.

        • jezcentral says:

          You had to have the same updated versions of the game. E.g. If I had Borderlands v1.21, and you had Borderlands v1.22, we couldn’t play together. GameSpy, unlike Steamworks did not mean you were always on the latest version.

          Gnashing of teeth ensued at various LAN parties I attended. Then a Steam sale happened, and everyone was happy.

  2. ajhayter says:

    Guess I need to scribble down some server IP’s if I want to do some old-school Halo PC/CE. End of an era.

    • Scott Kevill says:

      Just added support for Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo: Combat Evolved Demo, and Halo: Custom Edition in GameRanger today. :)

  3. nebnebben says:

    This is sad. It’s always sad, gaming is sad. Life is sad. Soon we will be more sad, or maybe less sad. But still sad. Gamespy was not good, but this is not not sad still. Sadness prevails, again.

  4. goettel says:

    Bai bai gamespai.

  5. Infinitron says:

    Dawn of War?

  6. ZIGS says:

    Origin beating Uplay? What is this madness?

    • wu wei says:

      That possibly just indicates more people use Origin than Uplay :)

    • derbefrier says:

      origin actually works pretty well despite all the hate it gets(which is mostly because its associated with EA) I am honestly surprised there are votes for choices other than GFWL though. They all have thier faults but when asking which is the worst I cant believe people think steam is worse than GFWL.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Seeing how I only used Steam as my multiplayer service, it’s the worst :)

      • Reefpirate says:

        I am happy to report that GFWL is now way far in the lead. I voted with bitterness but then was pleasantly surprised when I was vindicated by the RPS community.

        • Runty McTall says:

          For an appreciable period while using GFWL to play DoW2 it would pop up a service message on login saying “we are aware that there is a critical bug in GFWL that means that if you use your microphone it will cause a crash to desktop. Please try to refrain from using your microphone.”

          This was the most astonishing thing I’d ever seen in software – how could you release it like that? If you weren’t aware of the situation when you patched it in, how could you not immediately roll back the patch that introduced the bug? Moreover, how could you allow the situation to persist for literally weeks (possibly much longer – the message was there when I first logged in to DoW2 and it was still there when I lost interest in it a few weeks later)?

          Generally speaking GFWL was a steaming turd of a system, but that episode really took the biscuit.

        • malkav11 says:

          I don’t understand how people could hate GFWL more than Gamespy. Gamespy is a broken piece of garbage that has always, consistently been a nightmare in every game that I have ever tried to use it in and brings literally nothing to the table. GFWL is bad in a number of meaningful ways but it’s usually worked in my experience and it’s integrated into a pretty robust bit of matchmaking and stats tracking infrastructure in the form of Xbox Live. There are times when GFWL has been valuable to me, and if they’d ever actually addressed the things it does wrong, I could have seen it becoming a real asset. Instead they discontinued it. So, y’know, oh well. Gamespy should have been killed years and years ago.

      • Tams80 says:

        I voted for Steam.

        Yes, people tend to not like me for being obnoxious.

      • belgand says:

        I can only speak for myself, but I find Origin to be worse than uPlay primarily because Origin has more games that are only available through Origin. At least with uPlay they’ll often require it to be used, but the game is still sold through Steam or other third-party shops. Origin has much more of a stranglehold on distribution.

        Not to mention when I bought the Mass Effect trilogy and Origin was somehow configured such that it would not let me install the game from the discs, but instead insisted on downloading it from Origin. Even after consulting the Internet and trying some workaround I was left without any effective way to stop it. So my disc just sat in the drive as a means of installing Origin while the game itself remained trapped inside. Because that’s why I bought the physical copy, so I could not get a manual and still get the fun of downloading 10 GB of DRM-crippled software.

  7. MeestaNob says:

    We can stop guessing on Capcom right now: their plans are 110% to involve selling a full-priced patch instead of doing the right thing.

    And how much longer before Microsoft comes clean about the fate (that everyone already knows) of GFWL? They’ve never officially made a statement about it, except the rats on the ship seem to know something is up, many of whom having left months ago.

    • Baines says:

      How much longer before Microsoft comes clean about the fate of GFWL? What is there to say? They stopped developers from making new GFWL games, accidentally leaked the exact date of the shutdown a year in advance, went through with shutting down the storefront, and I believe admitted that their own GFWL games would not see updates to remove GFWL dependency.

      As for Capcom, I wouldn’t believe them until I’d already seen it. They pulled a similar stunt with GFWL. People kept asking whether titles would see GFWL requirements removed, only to be met with “We are looking into it” and then silence. In the mean time, Capcom put its various GFWL games on sale on Steam repeatedly. Then not too long ago, Capcom apparently admitted that it wasn’t going to do anything about it.

      As for Ultra Street Fighter IV, Capcom didn’t have much choice there. Its release date was set for a month before GFWL was to be shut down. Back when the game was first announced, Microsoft already seemed to be pushing developers away from GFWL releases. Capcom either had to patch it out, or choose not to release a PC version at all, and they probably debated doing the latter for a while before deciding to do the former. Capcom hyped switching to Steamworks as listening to the fans, but it is pretty obvious that they only made the switch because they had no choice.

  8. Scott Kevill says:

    I guess I should be pleased that GameRanger isn’t in a list of worst multiplayer backends, but nonetheless I’m a little surprised that articles desperately hoping for solutions, don’t actually look very hard for any.

    • Moraven says:

      For games that have simple server browsing, GameRanger is fine to act as a server browser and run LAN/DIrectIP mode.

      But what if you wanted matchmaking, ranks, scoreboards? Mod listing (Civ)?

      • Scott Kevill says:

        The point of the news is that these games won’t be able to be played at all.

        Aside from that, it’s been my experience that except for extremely popular games, automated matchmaking, ratings, and rankings actually destroy online communities rather than grow them.

        For what it’s worth, GameRanger does have some curated support for mods, but that tends to be a delicate balance to avoid fragmenting communities.

        • misterT0AST says:

          Scott, I have no idea why, you’re just the developer of a very decent service, but I’m sort of a “fan” of yours. Does it make sense? It probably doesn’t.
          Wherever Gameranger is mentioned or just relevant, you’re always there in person, writing a post to see what people think of GR. I feel like if I went on a random forum and wrote a long ranty post insulting your creation you would be the first to read it. But I never would. Gameranger is like a screwdriver. nothing amazing, but it does its job. “Guys I found this random old PC game behind my couch.” “Well let’s all install it and see if Gameranger works with it. And it usually does. It works on my Mac, it works on my Windows computer, it just works. When I bought Age of Empires 2 for Mac, when I was a boy, Gameranger was just an icon on the main menu. I thought it was a service owned by Microsoft, or Bold Destineer, and years later I find out you’re just a guy who does his PR by himself, and instead of having an official agreement with various companies you just make it compatible with all kinds of Abandonware, mods like Dota 1, all in an idiot-proof system.
          Keep it up!

    • Sinomatic says:

      GameRanger was something my group of friends *had* to use to be able to play Borderlands together when gamespy utterly failed on us. Total lifesaver!

  9. Meusli says:

    The poll is like trying to pick the worst disease out of a list of worst diseases.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Where’s the “all of the above” option?

    • Syphus says:

      Most of them are like catching a cold. GFWL though is more like the doctor saying you have HIV, you know it will kill you, there’s nothing you can do about it, but you will slowly waste away for months / years, trying to spend every moment desperately making it less bad.

    • P.Funk says:

      This will be a massive online Darwinian experiment. Those legacy communities which are healthiest will find in house bespoke solutions to their multiplayer situation. Those unable to adapt with wither and die.

      Which communities and games are worthiest for survival?

      • The Random One says:

        Oh man, someone call that Pepsi exec, I think I have a great idea for him…

  10. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Well, that poll looked more or less as I’d expect it to.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Ben Barrett says:

    This has solidified my belief that you all love Blizzard really.

    • apocraphyn says:

      They only have about four games, it’s not much for them to balance. From everything I’ve experienced with Battle.net, their services certainly haven’t been buggy or irritating, either. Besides that, I think a lot of people have a sort of fondness for Blizzard even if they don’t care for their current line-up – I grew up on the likes of The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne, as well as the Warcrafts, DiabIos and Starcraft. Hell, even WoW (which is now coming up to its ten year anniversary, terrifyingly). Been less sure of them ever since the merger with Activision (and haven’t bothered with DiabIo 3 or Starcraft 2), but deep down…

      Anyway, yes. Farewell to Gamespy and all of its various multiplayer functions. I had many a fun time playing the likes of Baldur’s Gate 2 and Fallout: Tactics via their online frameworks back in the day.

    • malkav11 says:

      I wish they’d sell their digital games through non-proprietary channels, but Battle.net, aside from having one of the worst playerbases known to mankind, is pretty robust.

  12. rei says:

    The geographical breakdown isn’t loading for me :| I wanted to see if there was a specific place those [delightful] anti-Steam contrarians come from.

  13. Shadowcat says:

    Games depended on GameSpy? Yikes. Even when I played the occasional multiplayer game, I never had cause to go near the thing. Amazing that it’s been around this long, but amazingly rubbish that any game developers ever allowed it to be a requirement.

    • darkChozo says:

      Well, for multiplayer games it’s a relatively sensible requirement, given that Gamespy is acting as a core service provider. I don’t remember many games that required a Gamespy login to actually play singleplayer.

      • Swanny says:

        Agreed. Can you imagine having to develop code for multiplayer in 1997? Many (most?) were on dial-up and broadband was changing everything. Hell, IIRC, ethernet was not even on most motherboards at the time, it was an add-in PCI card! I can imagine having Gamespy would be less expensive and buggy than developing an in-house solution for a multiplayer game.

        • oggnogg says:

          PCI card? I might be wrong but I think my AMD DX4-100 only came with VESA Local Bus slots…

      • Philomelle says:

        Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale has this thing where it opens up the GameSpy login right on start-up and fails to actually log in nine times out of then, leading many people to get stuck before even being capable to access the game. It took me some time to figure out how to bypass that screen and get into single-player.

    • bipaular says:

      Way back when I was unaware of community websites or googling for them, GameSpy was a great tool for browsing Neverwinter Nights multiplayer servers. My experience with GameSpy is limited to just one game, but thanks to the service I found a server I had great fun for the next three years in. It was simple and it worked, couldn’t ask for more.

  14. Cytrom says:

    Tbh non of those “multiplayer services” should exist. All multiplayer games should have a completely independent peer-to-peer networking system (meaning, they will work forever, regardless of any outside change), in addition to a dedicated server systerm, that is also independent from any “official” party… except from one master server that the game polls for the server browser to list all the independent servers connected to it.

    Of course both of theese are exploitable by pirates without additional layers of protection, but at the same time, they don’t cripple paying customers experience either.

    • basilisk says:

      And who is going to pay for all that, I wonder?

      • SuicideKing says:

        Pay for all what? Dedicated servers and p2p are completely player supported.

        For official dedicated servers, the publisher for some time (two years at least).

        I think a lot of games that supported this in the past live till today (AoE and Halo CE, for example). Halo 2’s reliance on GFWL, and MS’ “We don’t care” attitude made sure that game died a slow painful death.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          True. But EA and the like think of it as… “Who is going to pay for our losses when the plays can have their own service free of charge, instead of our paid for/advertising supported one!!!”

          Then they all go out to eat swans while riding rhinos or something.

          • SuicideKing says:

            Then they all go out to eat swans while riding rhinos or something.

            I managed to imagine that. :D

        • basilisk says:

          For developing the tech. Producing solid network code is very hard work, which is why it’s so often outsourced. And why those developing it are paid good money for it.

          It would be lovely if there was an open source solution free for all, but as far as I know, there isn’t.

          • SuicideKing says:

            Oh that, yes. But i would assume that:

            1. No one would understand the network behaviour of their game better than the devs?
            2. Implementing TCP is very well understood by now? After all, devs shouldn’t be concerned with anything below the transport layer?
            3. Yes, implementing matchmaking, etc. is probably better left to another third party service, but I really doubt it’s too much trouble implementing a dedicated server and direct IP?

            I understand not doing this when you’re a small studio, but with the gigantic budgets of AAA, I think a few network engineers can be hired to implement parts of the net code.

          • Shadowcat says:

            Actually, there’s at least one — link to sourceforge.net

            Despite my almost never playing online games, I remember being excited about the announcement, because the Torque / Garage Games guys were releasing this specifically in an attempt to avoid people re-inventing this (really difficult) wheel over and over, and I knew that could be a really tremendous win for the industry.

            I’ve no idea whether it would have worked for most games, or how much uptake it had; but it would be a crying shame if everyone ignored it, because it seems like there’s a good pedigree behind that code, and it would have been fantastic if multiple companies had gotten together to make it the best that it could be, and free for everyone.

  15. Zankmam says:

    Why is this article so pessimistic?

    Go use Xfire, Tunngle, GameRanger, Evolve, Hamachi, Raptr and any of the dozen of similar quality services.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      These certainly do exist, but they’re exactly the sort of esoteric rituals to find a game that ‘Powered by GameSpy’ jazz was meant to hide from players.

      Yes, you and I know may the incantations, but loads of people just load their game and press the multiplayer button. It’s great that they’re options, but let’s not pretend they don’t bring problems of their own.

      • Scott Kevill says:

        I would disagree with that. People often came to GameRanger precisely because the built-in services required more incantations, or simply didn’t work at all.

        • belgand says:

          And I appreciate the irony that QuakeSpy was originally born because there was no easy way of browsing servers. Before then it was largely a matter of entering IP addresses manually, assuming you were even playing a game that supported TCP/IP and didn’t require you to run through some sort of IPX hack like Kali or one of the pay services like TEN, Heat.net, MPlayer, or the original DWANGO.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Either I’m misunderstanding your complaint or you’re misunderstanding the article (or maybe i am), but from what i can tell the point is that a lot of games that relied on gamespy for multiplayer won’t work anymore (in that mode). Just like with what happened with GFWL exclusives that didn’t migrate to something else.

      The larger idea is that tying games to a service like this is asking for trouble in the long run, as devs won’t take the trouble to migrate a lot of these games.

      Subtly hinting at the nightmare that will take place if and when Steam shuts.

      • Zankmam says:

        I understand your point, thank you for adding that.

      • KevinLew says:

        I don’t understand why people keep saying “if and when Steam shuts down” that I hear all the time. You may as well use the argument, “People should stop buying and using Windows, because if Microsoft ever goes bankrupt then none of your games and software will work in the future.” Or: “People should stop using Twitter and Facebook, because if either company goes bankrupt then you’ll lose all of your posts and images that you uploaded.”

        • SuicideKing says:

          1. No, if MS goes bankrupt, your existing Windows install will work fine, so will your install source.

          2. People will continue to make applications and games for it, because it still will have a massive install base.

          3. Chrome OS most certainly not work too well if Google goes bankrupt.

          4. No one’s bought their Twitter/Facebook account, and few people use them for storing pictures/data etc.

          5. Google or MS going bankrupt would mean that your stuff on OneDrive or Google Drive will be lost, so you’ll need to download all of that and store it. Office 365 will become partly useless, too, and re-installation won’t be possible unless MS releases a patch before going bankrupt. This is one of the primary arguments against companies pushing consumers towards cloud storage and away from local solutions.

          6. Of course, if Office 365 were completely tied to Outlook.com as its email and communications provider (and be tied exclusively to the cloud), then you’d have an apt comparison to the Steam going offline, because then MS going bankrupt would mean a useless install of Office.

          Of course, Office 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 won’t face these problems.

        • belgand says:

          Because we’ve been around long enough to see major companies rise and fall. Why would we expect Origin or SSI to go out of business? Or SEGA or Nintendo to not be the dominant players in console gaming? A world where id or 3DRealms don’t make the most popular FPS, sure… that’s going to happen. The biggest companies in gaming today were not all that big not so long ago. EA and Activision have a history, but they weren’t the towering juggernauts that they currently are. Games have fallen into deep holes where the rights couldn’t be worked out and they were effectively lost, something that’s still happening at the present. And before GOG made it popular many older games were just… gone. Ignored in the rush towards the hot new thing and unavailable unless you found old stock still for sale somewhere.

          We’ve even seen it start to happen as companies retire older games and servers get turned off. If there isn’t any ability to save it offline and play it without authentication the chances of a game vanishing grow that much larger.

  16. darkChozo says:

    Followup poll time! Which of the following foods would you least like to eat: a hamburger, a salad, a wet paper bag full of rusty nails, or liver and onions?

  17. djbriandamage says:

    GameSpy also powered multiplayer for Microsoft Flight Simulator X. It was an odd game to include multiplayer (being a commercial, non-combat, slow-paced flight slim) and it enabled some very unique co-operative experiences. For example, you could pilot an aircraft and have a friend ride in the passenger seat, essentially relegated to a scenic chat room. You could have a player dedicated to air traffic control, speaking in codes and granting permission for taxiing and flight patterns. And of course you could canoodle around in the shared skies with fellow pilots.

    RIP GameSpy. It wasn’t perfect but it was always good enough, if not better. It was very widespread and essential in the early days of Windows internet-based multiplayer gaming.

  18. TechnicalBen says:

    Gamespy or GFWL!? It’s impossible to decide!

    Gamespy was really bad in the past. I mean, it made the Steam launch look good. It probably had less big problems, but had so many little ones, and so often, I hated games that had it.

    GFWL never worked though… or if it did, I avoided it so much I could never tell (played about 1 online game with it).

  19. Henchimus says:

    “All your games for Windows, dead” was a total abomination. Fuck that service.

  20. hlm2 says:

    Rome Total War uses Gamespy…and I can’t lose that from my life…

  21. NathanMates says:

    How about some random acts of journalism? Stuff like:
    – What did GLU Mobile aim to get from buying Gamespy?
    – Has it been a benefit for the company?
    – Do you think the various cancellations of service (this, and earlier ones) will benefit end users?
    – Would they consider open sourcing pieces so that tech savvy communities could keep things going?
    – Why should I ever consider buying a game from GLU Mobile after all this?

    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’m not disinterested in the answers.

    • Surlywombat says:

      While I hope we get some proper answers (and I have no doubt RPS are trying to get them) here are my theories (responses include old timer prospector voice for no apparent reason):

      – What did GLU Mobile aim to get from buying Gamespy? “Lots and lots of shiny multiplayer patents.”

      – Has it been a benefit for the company? “You bet, we gonna to be suing everyone n their auntie real soon!”

      – Do you think the various cancellations of service (this, and earlier ones) will benefit end users?“Sorry, I don’t understand the question, end wut? We just benefit ourselves as much as possible”

      – Would they consider open sourcing pieces so that tech savvy communities could keep things going?“Shucks, well we sure would love to! But you know, shiny patents!”

      – Why should I ever consider buying a game from GLU Mobile after all this?“Well, I don’t rightly know, but I guess we could just give you em for free and then hit you up with micro-transactions instead”

      (PS Thanks for the BZ2 patching! Love that game so much.)

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I cannot pass without saluting your BZ2 work.


    • Retro says:

      Disclaimer: I’m still patching and supporting Battlezone II in my spare time, on my own dime.

      You Sir are a scholar and a gentleman.

    • MeestaNob says:

      Nathan, who owns the Battlezone IP? I’d love to see both of those on Steam some day. HD updates would be nice too!

      • NathanMates says:

        Last summer, Rebellion bought the Battlezone name. However, whether those rights include the 1998/1999 Battlezone 1/2 releases is unknown. The code/data for those 1998/1999 releases is copyright Activision, with the name Battlezone rented from Atari for two games — and two games only. That’s why Battlezone II had the subtitle “Combat Commander” — if it had sold well (spoiler: no), any followup title(s) would have carried the name “Combat Commander” only. Atari released Battlezone titles for PSP & Xbox Live Arcade that were DM tank shooters only, similar to the original 1980s Battlezone arcade title. That’s how Atari thought of that name; the 1998/1999 FPS/RTS hybrids were the odd ducks out in their lineup, and I suspect the legal rights of renting that name have made things more complicated. :(

        I encourage everyone to go to gog.com and upvote Battlezone 1/2 on their wishlist. Other Activision titles from that era (e.g. Dark Reign 1/2) are already carried there, so there is a working relationship between Activision & gog.

        As to “HD remakes,” the latest unofficial patches for Battlezone 1/2 allow DirectX 9 graphics at your screen resolution, with upscaled fonts. There’s no other additional art — I wish the art had been mastered at higher texture sizes than 256×256, but due to the 3DFx Voodoo 1, we were limited to that. It’s just some programmers from the original projects making these patches; you don’t want me trying to make art. It won’t look good. Some fan MODs look pretty nice, but there’s no uprezzed assets like the fan-made uprez packs for System Shock/Deus Ex. You’re welcome to try, though.

  22. Syphus says:

    I was much sadder when IGN shut down the Gamespy website. This then became the only site I read after that.

    • Fiatil says:

      To be fair, Gamespy the website basically died when Fargo left to work for Blizzard. The quality took a pretty rapid and very sad hit.

  23. Jakkar says:

    Nostalgia… Connecting with the Fallout: Tactics multiplayer community via the Gamespy Arcade friends system back in about 2001…

    Hm. Troubling. Don’t some of the Men of War games use this? And the recent 3d Command and Conquer games?

  24. frightlever says:

    I like the poll idea. We need more polls.

    It worked for finding a plumber, it can work for this.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      “I had an uncle who had a pole dancing joint. It was called “Hey, pole this!”.”

  25. Sacarathe says:

    Rather than shutting down they should stop selling the service to developers.

    If they don’t release the server components so that some communities can pool together to keep their games running I can see their defunct company getting sued.

    • Baines says:

      I would guess that Gamespy used a EULA that allowed them to shut down the server whenever they wanted.

  26. Lambchops says:

    I remember Gamespy fondly for their forums and the affiliated [insert genre]Planet and Planet[insert game[ sites. Never really played much multiplayer so didn’t really have to deal with all the server stuff that people don’t like them for.

    Also no surprise to see (Sven Goran Erikson in the crowd) GFWL top the poll

  27. dani says:

    This blog is amazing, and the author of this blog its an incredible person. These servers are terrible, but these servers have legendary games like a “Titan Quest” and “Battlefield”. GameSpy are the creators of Arma 2 and Arma 3.
    These servers only make games for Windows. Epica and Capcom are searching an alternative solutions.

    • colorlessness says:

      I can’t tell if you’re trolling or just confused.

  28. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Am I right in thinking that GameSpy grew out of Quakespy, which was essentially a third party server browser for Quake, which didn’t have one of it’s own?
    After that I think they started supporting other games (Halflife?) and then in the first dotcom boom they became a website and it was pretty much downhill from there. But basically they were the proto-Steam.

    • Barberetti says:

      Yeah, the Quakespy server browser expanded to include other games, and became Gamespy 3D, which was awesome.

  29. Kurses says:

    GameSpy stooped working for never winter nights 2 awhile back. The very resourceful Skywing created a workaround called the client extension which embeds a third party server list into the area where GameSpy used to list them.


  30. sinister agent says:

    I don’t use any of these, except occasionally steam, through lack of choice. But I was not expecting those results at all. I mean, wow. Even accounting for idiots voting out of sheer spite and ignorance, that’s a pretty conclusive outcome.

  31. borlon says:

    Wait, GTA4 also had GameSpy? Truly amazing. Is there any annoying online service that they failed to include?

    • Fenix says:

      The PC version of GTA4 literally had infinite layers of DRM, it was a sight to behold.

      • Sheogorath says:

        Which was kind of funny since, IIRC, it was out on torrent sites before its official release.

        • sinister agent says:

          Slathering your game in drm is just asking for it really. It’s issuing a direct challenge to people who thrive on such things.

  32. Sheogorath says:

    I remember back in the day when Gamespy was the EA of its time.

    May it be quickly forgotten.

  33. MonkeyPunch says:

    Well Uplay is abysmal. Actually worse than GFWL in many ways. But they are going to (and have some parts) shut down GFWL too, no? GFWL was/is terrible. Have had so many issues with it.
    Gamespy was pretty terrible too, but it’s been a while since I had to deal with it thankfully. I can remember a time when most games with MP used Gamespy.
    Origin is still pretty bare and pointless, but it’s starting to pick up a little.
    Battlenet I also haven’t had to deal with that much, but when I have the service seemed OK.
    As for Steam… I can’t remember the last time I played a game that actually used the Steam multiplayer… years ago at any rate when I did it was always functional. It’s more a content delivery system nowadays.