GameSpy Tech recently shut down multiplayer servers for a number of older yet still popular PC games including Neverwinter Nights, Sniper Elite, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Gamers received no notifications in most cases that they would no longer be able to play their beloved games online causing both frustration and outrage.
The question up until now though has been why? Was it due to Glu Mobile recently purchasing GameSpy Tech and simply shutting down servers to cut down on cost? Or did developers lack the funds in order to pay for the servers?
According to an official post on Facebook by GameSpy Tech, all publishers of the aforementioned games had allowed their “services to lapse by not continuing to pay for these services” and chose to “not to renew their service agreements and in some cases remain delinquent in delivering payment for past services.” In addition, according to GameSpy Tech the publishers chose not to inform users of the impeding closure of the servers. This puts the blame directly onto the developers, as in GameSpy Tech’s own words “we cannot be expected to provide a service free of charge.”
However, the developer of Sniper Elite, Rebellion Developments, refutes this claim on their official forums. They state that they were never consulted or given advance warning of their servers being shut down. Additionally, when they did approached GameSpy to ask for their servers to be turned back on, they were requested to pay over $32,000 in bills. This was “far in excess of how much we were paying previously” over the past seven years and so their only possibility was to let the servers go. If other developers were quoted similar costs then it would not be surprising that the majority of publishers would be forced to let their multiplayer servers be shut down.
The two statements seem to contradict each other, and so it is still unclear exactly what happened and what process was taken in order to shut down these multiplayer servers. This post will be updated as more information comes to light.