Hundreds of video games — including those made by EA, Ubisoft, Gearbox, Nintendo, Konami, Capcom, 5th Cell, Koei, Firaxis, and more — may be taken offline as Glu’s GameSpy multiplayer servers shut down on May 31.
GameSpy was a third-party technology used by publishers and developers to host online services. It was acquired by Glu from IGN in 2012. At the time, Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi said, “We expect that the acquisition of GameSpy will be earnings neutral in the near term. However, GameSpy team and technology is expected to help us drive higher monetization and lifetime value in Glu’s titles from 2013 on.”
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Different publishers are handling the shutdown in different ways. Recently, Nintendo explained that it would abandon hundreds of Nintendo Wi-Fi games, as the titles relied on the same servers. Some publishers will follow suit, as it may not be financially viable to support long-forgotten or unplayed games. Others have already migrated their online services to new servers, including Steamworks.
Sources confirmed to IGN that Rockstar Games’ titles will remain unaffected, as Glu has been working with developers for approximately two years to transition their games from GameSpy to other online servers.
We’ve contacted multiple developers and publishers asking about contingency plans to keep their games from going offline permanently.
An Activision representative explained, “Activision won’t be affected.” Bohemia Interactive told IGN, “Yes, we are aware of GameSpy issue and we are very near to [finding] some suitable solution, but I cant tell you more details at the moment.”
In a forum post, Bohemia explained further: “This is going to affect multiplayer in our games that use Gamespy for matchmaking, cd keys authentification and NAT traversal from Arma: Resistance to Arma 3. We are planning to introduce an alternative solution using Steam to Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead and Arma 3 users. Other games (Take On Helicopters, Arma 2, Arma 2: Free, Arma, Arma: Cold War Assault) will have more limited multiplayer experience with loss of server browser, cd key authentification and NAT traversal systems. That said, direct IP connection to servers should work even after Gamespy services are no longer available.”
SEGA, Volition, Rockstar Games, and Namco Bandai began investigating the issue on each of their ends.
EA, Ubisoft, and Capcom did not respond to our requests for comments. Gearbox pointed us to 2K Games, which declined to say anything. We will update this article with any additional information we receive.
You can view the complete list of affected games on GameSpy’s tech website.