In what is certainly the final nail in the coffin for Gamespy, the company announced that as of May 31, 2014, it will “cease providing all hosted services for all games still using GameSpy.” Having been bought by Glu Mobile, a developer of free-to-play Android and iOS games, the closure of the multiplayer service provider, which has been around since 1997, will leave thousands of games using its services without multiplayer support.
Among the long list of games that will be left in the dust following the shutdown are high-profile titles such as Bohemia Interactive’s military simulator, Arma 3.
In a post on the company’s official forums, BI CEO Marek Spanel explained that the shutdown will “affect multiplayer in our games that use Gamespy for matchmaking, cd keys authentification and NAT traversal from Arma: Resistance to Arma 3,” but adds that “We are planning to introduce an alternative solution using Steam to Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead and Arma 3 users.” He also warns that other BI games, such as Take On Helicopters and all other Arma games, will also have more limited multiplayer functionality, although directly connecting to servers using an IP connection would still work.
Other publishers whose games will be affected included Ubisoft, Activision, Sega, EA, 2K, and Bethesda Softworks, although some of them, such as Epic Games, have already been phasing out Gamespy’s services from their games in anticipation of the shutdown. Others, such as Nintendo, are not doing so, given the age of some of the games using Gamespy.
The steady decline of Gamespy began when Gamespy Technologies, the half responsible for multiplayer services, was bought from IGN by Glu Mobile in August 2012. In December that same year, Glu Mobile began shutting down multiplayer servers for many games like Star Wars: Battlefront, Neverwinter Nights, SWAT 4, and Sniper Elite, much to the outrage of gamers still playing them. When IGN was bought by internet company Ziff Davis in Feburary 2013, Gamespy’s other half, its gaming news site, was shut down to devote more resources to IGN itself.
The shutdown of the Gamespy servers will precede that of another, decidedly more notorious multiplayer service, Games for Windows Live, which is slated to discontinue operations on July 1 this year. In an online poll conducted by Rock Paper Shotgun as to what was the worst multiplayer service, GFWL won overwhelmingly, trailed distantly by Uplay and Gamespy.