Gamespy Says “It’s not us, it’s them” to Players

Remember the last time one of your friends broke up with their significant other? You were probably treated to a few choice stories from both parties and weren’t sure who to believe. Gamers playing some older PC multiplayer games now get to feel that exact same way. Earlier this week, gaming publishers like Rebellion, the team behind Sniper Elite, reported that their multiplayer servers were suddenly and without warning taken offline. Rebellion alleged that Gamespy Technology, the third party company providing servers for the game, not only took the game servers offline for multiple publishers but that they also attempted to change the server price points in an attempt to raise additional revenues. Rebellion had this to say via a post on the Sniper Elite official forums:

“A few weeks ago, the online multiplayer servers for Sniper Elite were suddenly switched off by Glu, the third-party service we had been paying to maintain them,” and then went on to say, “We have been talking to them since to try and get the servers turned back on. We have been informed that in order to do so would cost us tens of thousands of pounds a year – far in excess of how much we were paying previously. We also do not have the option to take the multiplayer to a different provider. Because the game relies on Glu and Gamespy’s middleware, the entire multiplayer aspect of the game would have to be redeveloped by us, again, at the cost of many tens of thousands of pounds.”

Sadly, this resulted in Sniper Elite being closed. The same fate could impact other classic PC titles where publishers utilize Gamespy Technology, now owned by Glu Mobile.

However, the story does not end there. In a post on their Facebook page, Glu Mobile shifted the blame BACK to the individual publishers by saying:

“There have been a number of reports regarding the recent discontinuation of service to several online multiplayer games previously supported by Gamespy Technologies. We recognize that fans of games where the publisher has elected to discontinue Gamespy Technology support are frustrated. However, reports that Gamespy Technology “shutdown servers without warning” are simply inaccurate.”

Glu Mobile added that they did not increase any prices since existing contracts would have made that impossible and further shifted the blame back to publishers by saying that multiple companies were behind on payments and were notified that servers would be shut down if payments were not made. In Glu Mobile’s view it was the publisher’s responsibility to notify players.

So, do you feel like you’re watching your parents fight yet? Who do you think is telling the truth?

  • Mike Karr

    I would probably have to go with game spy here, as much as i dislike them. Unfortunately they would be unable to raise the price if the contracts drafted them prevented them from doing so, which I imagine they would. Also, I do know that companies not paying their bills to gamespy has been a problem in the past. 

  • Kelly Jolliffe

    Going to have to agree with Mike. While I often loath GameSpy for it’s product quality and mismanagement, I’m inclined to take their side on this issue — every report coming out of Rebellion just sounds too fallacious to be true.

  • Kenny Marshall

    That’s crap. I don’t believe for one second that every dev in the business is suddenly lying about the price of Gamespy support. And I’m supposed to believe that the old owners just went on willy-nilly ignoring their accounts receivables? That’s just BS.

     “In Glu Mobile’s view it was the publisher’s responsibility to notify players.”

    Really? And what about the dozens of publishers that no longer exist? Who’s responsibility was it to inform their players?I love the way they are making it sound like they’re actually hosting servers. They’re not. They just want to make it sound like they are actually doing something for all this money they want. These games are hosted locally, all Gamespy does is allow them to connect. It’s highway robbery. They are demanding $20,000 to $40,000 dollars a year to essentially manage a database, and they are using the games existing dependence on their service to blackmail publishers into paying.This is crap. It’s a good old fashioned shakedown. But you know what? It doesn’t even matter WHO’S fault it is. In the end the only thing that matters is that when you see the Gamespy label you can be absolutely certain that your game won’t last, and if the publisher fails (which is pretty likely if they’re stupid enough to pay someone $20,000 a year to manage a database) or get’s bought out and shut down it may not last long at all. 

    In the end it means buying Gamespy games is just a kinda stupid thing to do.