GameSpy Says Publishers Didn't Pay the Multiplayer Bills

GameSpy Says Publishers Didn't Pay the Multiplayer Bills

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The servers shut down this week because publishers stopped paying for GameSpy's services.

On Monday, gamers discovered many of their favorite titles' multiplayer functions were no longer working. A flood of complaints were posted on GameSpy's Facebook page about the lack of warning and accused GameSpy's new owners (Glu Mobile) with possible extortion by holding the support for many older games like Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Sniper Elite hostage. GameSpy responded to the allegations by posting a statement which claimed that game publishers had lapsed in paying the service fees charged to continue multiplayer support. GameSpy kept the servers going for as long as they could, but the company could no longer provide services without publishers paying the bills.

"GameSpy Technologies - a separate entity from GameSpy.com - is a service provider to game publishers. Each publisher contracting with GameSpy Technologies elects at its sole discretion whether or not to maintain support for its titles," the statement read.

"A number of our publisher partners elected to allow their contracts for GameSpy Technologies' services to lapse by not continuing to pay for these services. In some cases this lapsing ranges back as much as four years. GameSpy Technologies has continued to provide months, and in some cases years, of service support for free. However we cannot be expected to provide a service free of charge to publishers who choose not to renew their service agreements and in some cases remain delinquent in delivering payment for past services."

It is kind of crazy that these games still continued to have support when the publishers refused to pay - Four years! Egads. - and there's nothing wrong with GameSpy shutting down the service if publishers can't be bothered to keep the lights on.

"The situation is identical to fans attributing fault to the hosting company of a popular website for ceasing hosting services, when the website owner refuses to pay its hosting bill," the statement reads.

When you put it like that, it's kind of hard to blame GameSpy. It seems like they kept the faith by allowing publishers a long leash and the company just won't let those delinquents get away without paying anymore.

Source: GameSpy's Facebook page

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Fawk, FOUR years? Ouch. Yeah I feel bad for the people who's online experiences have been yanked out from underneath them but this is a screaming fit for the publisher/developers ears. Not GameSpy.

Christ most servers yank the rug out from underneath people if they don't pay the day BEFORE it's due.

To be fair though, considering how long it's been, it would have been nice if they'd at least give users a heads up about them pulling the plug.

that doesn't add up, if its over unpaid bills then why did they wait (some as long as 4 years) to disconnect an unpaid service?

What? awwww. >_>
Looks like no more Republic commando online then.

Matt K:
To be fair though, considering how long it's been, it would have been nice if they'd at least give users a heads up about them pulling the plug.

No, that has nothing to do with being "fair".

If what they say is true, then Gamespy was worlds above and beyond "fair" just for continuing to provide the service. Gamespy has no agreement with the users, but with the publishers. So "fair" would have been if the publishers had provided notice to their users that they were no longer paying the server bills, so support could disappear any day. Fair would also have been the publishers paying Gamespy.

Hell.. what really would have been fair is if gamespy cut service after 30 days non-payment, and even that's stretching it to the benefit of the publishers.

A little hard to tell who's to blame now. First the devs say that they were just caught off guard and told to keep the servers running would costs thousands of dollars, and now the publisher is saying that the devs werent even paying. Just seems like two sides of an argument tossing in polarizing views to get the majority to disapprove of one or the other. Well I guess I set up camp right in the middle and say "Battlefront is amazing".

LoneWanderer:
What? awwww. >_>
Looks like no more Republic commando online then.

People played Republic Commando Online?

jollybarracuda:
A little hard to tell who's to blame now. First the devs say that they were just caught off guard and told to keep the servers running would costs thousands of dollars, and now the publisher is saying that the devs werent even paying. Just seems like two sides of an argument tossing in polarizing views to get the majority to disapprove of one or the other. Well I guess I set up camp right in the middle and say "Battlefront is amazing".

It isn't too hard to believe both sides of the story are true. It depends on the type server hosting they offered to the developers.

At first, I was all "Well, why not just keep the servers up and threaten the publishers that you will shut them down on a specific date?". Then I read the four years part. "Well...good guys, you be."

Flames66:

LoneWanderer:
What? awwww. >_>
Looks like no more Republic commando online then.

People played Republic Commando Online?

Oh course. But it was like a unreal tournament clone, but still an entertaining one at that.

I get the feeling GameSpy didn't address the "tens of thousands of dollars" claim because that part is true.

Them leaving the servers on for longer doesn't negate the outrageous prices, they were most likely waiting to see if publishers were willing to pay before switching them off.

Gamespy has to have the worst service ever anyway. I wouldn't pay for them if I was a publisher. I'd let the players make their own dedicated servers and have it be so many times better than Gamespy.

RicoADF:
that doesn't add up, if its over unpaid bills then why did they wait (some as long as 4 years) to disconnect an unpaid service?

It adds up fine when you take into account they were recently acquired by a different company. These servers were probably cost next to nothing to run. So under the old regime, it wasn't a big deal.

When a new company takes over they're going to want to cut off the excess like this. No reason to keep them running, even if the cost is low if all it's doing is draining money from you.

Hell, I wouldn't have kept it up for four MONTHS if I was owed money by publishers. Good Guy GameSpy.

Why did they keep this quiet for four years though!? Surely they could have done some PR earlier to get pressure on the companies to pay up.

gamespy, I wouldn't pay for a non existent service likes yours either.

http://www.vg247.com/2012/12/10/gamespy-server-shut-downs-rebellion-head-responds/

Sounds to me like the new owners jacked up the price to run a server and shut off older titles without a fair warning to the devs. Because according to Rebellion they were paying "a modest annual amount".

So remember all: Who needs obsolete things like LAN support in their games. You can just play your new games online whenever we bother to maintain it you want.

Frostbite3789:

RicoADF:
that doesn't add up, if its over unpaid bills then why did they wait (some as long as 4 years) to disconnect an unpaid service?

It adds up fine when you take into account they were recently acquired by a different company. These servers were probably cost next to nothing to run. So under the old regime, it wasn't a big deal.

When a new company takes over they're going to want to cut off the excess like this. No reason to keep them running, even if the cost is low if all it's doing is draining money from you.

True, although the low drain would be worth the price vs such bad PR for gamers losing their mp, the player doesn't care about the back story.

I have a feeling that there are some parts of each of the sides of the story that are right. Gamespy has a different side with each dev/publisher. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the servers were unpaid and probably linked to other servers for different games that were being paid for(Hence the 4 years part). It also wouldn't surprise me if part of the price hike was to account for revenue lost(on the books) for time not paid for servers.

Let slip the hounds of litigation.

from what I've read gamespy sounds completely justified, and asking their customers to pay for the services they used is not "holding the servers hostage", its asking them to honor their agreements. As to why the did it now, its probably because they have NEW OWNERS.

Sadly, I feel most people will ignore the four years part and still whine about how they are entitled to play multiplayer forever regardless.

RicoADF:

True, although the low drain would be worth the price vs such bad PR for gamers losing their mp, the player doesn't care about the back story.

The players don't pay the server costs, publishers/devs do.

Frostbite3789:

RicoADF:

True, although the low drain would be worth the price vs such bad PR for gamers losing their mp, the player doesn't care about the back story.

The players don't pay the server costs, publishers/devs do.

Obviously, but the player buys the games that pays the publishes to pay gamespy, and as much as gamespy may be in the right you seem to miss my point. That most players don't care, they just wanna play their game and thus will make a fuss.

jollybarracuda:
A little hard to tell who's to blame now.

Personally, I think the blame lays squarely at the feet of the developers/publishers for using GameSpy in the first place. All of my experiences with it have been just awful and if you don't give users the ability to use their own servers, then, no matter what system you're using, the multiplayer is eventualy going to die. No company is willing to pay the cost of maintaining the servers indefinitely.

RicoADF:
that doesn't add up, if its over unpaid bills then why did they wait (some as long as 4 years) to disconnect an unpaid service?

What doesn't add up? After a month, are they supposed to just shrug their shoulders and decide to do it indefinitely? It's odd that they let it slide this long, or even for a couple months, but there's nothing that doesn't add up about somebody finally just going "fuck it" and cutting everything off, doesn't really make any difference that it was 4 years instead of 2,3, or 5.

Somethingfake:
gamespy, I wouldn't pay for a non existent service likes yours either.

Their contracts and agreements were with the publishers. It is likely that Gamespy's lawyers would at a minimum council that no, Gamespy could not do an end run around the publishers and talk directly to the public about the situation, at least not until the publishers publicly opened up on them. Until Gamespy finally pulls the plug and cuts off the server it remains a private business matter between the service provider and the games publisher.

Jadak:

RicoADF:
that doesn't add up, if its over unpaid bills then why did they wait (some as long as 4 years) to disconnect an unpaid service?

What doesn't add up? After a month, are they supposed to just shrug their shoulders and decide to do it indefinitely? It's odd that they let it slide this long, or even for a couple months, but there's nothing that doesn't add up about somebody finally just going "fuck it" and cutting everything off, doesn't really make any difference that it was 4 years instead of 2,3, or 5.

it doesnt add up that they left it 4 years if to cut the servers. If you dont pay your phone bill the company doesnt wait 4 years to disconnect your service.

However others have given plausible reasons.

Time gap of 4 years: The servers cost a miniscule amount to run and they were recently acquired by a new company which wants to cut off baggage.

GameSpy is a shitty service: Then the publishers shouldn't have used it in the first place. That doesn't justify not paying.

Massive cost: I'd assume after 4 years not paying, even a weekly lawn mowing service would get expensive.

Seems like a giant game of he said, she said. I'm not sure who I believe. Though I am dubious of Gamespy waiting four years to shut down unpaid servers.

LAN Support: It Works, Bitches

Well then all the disgruntled devs can just sign up for gamespys "free" hosting plan:

http://www.poweredbygamespy.com/pricing/

LoneWanderer:

Flames66:

LoneWanderer:
What? awwww. >_>
Looks like no more Republic commando online then.

People played Republic Commando Online?

Oh course. But it was like a unreal tournament clone, but still an entertaining one at that.

That was why I didn't play it. I have never been particularly in to competitive multi-player. I was hoping it would be like the single-player, but with other players taking the roles of my squad. I was very disappoint and never played it again.

 

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