Other publishers can be pure shit. And sometimes, it’s not the one publishing the game that ruins it. Currently, the shitty guy is Glu, a company you may know for shit-tastic cell-phone games from before iOS and Android who recently bought Gamespy… and promptly made them absolute garbage.
This morning, PCGamer commented on the situation where classic games like Neverwinter Nights (1 and 2), MS Flight Sim X, Sniper Elite, and Star Wars: Battlefront have gone offline. There was no official word this was going to happen, Gamespy just flipped a switch leaving millions of fans who still played (hence why they are classics) in the dark without the multiplayer component that made most of these games last so damn long.
You may be thinking that it was coincidence since these games are all published by different companies, but doing some digging, the magazine group found an official announcement that was released after the games went off in the official forums for Sniper Elite:
“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.
For the past seven years we have run these servers at a cost to ourselves so that fans of Sniper Elite could continue to play online for free.
This decision by Glu was not taken in consultation with us and was beyond our control.
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.
While we are not happy about the situation, as an independent developer we simply do not have the resources to pay the massive costs of new servers along with redeveloping a seven-year-old game.
We share the disappointment of fans who have played the game since it was published in 2005. This is not something we intended or wanted to happen, but unfortunately it has been beyond our control. We have always looked to support our fan community and we hope the past seven years of free multiplayer service have been evidence of that - we're sorry that the servers have been shut down in this way.
We would like to thank all the fans who have continued to support Rebellion and Sniper Elite.”
Basically, Gamespy’s new owners pulled the rug right out from under Rebellion Studio, never telling them their game was going offline or that they were ramping up the price to keep them running… a real shit-stain move for Gamespy and their new owner to do to anyone.
And btw, if you console people are reading this, yes, there was a Sniper Elite game before the one you saw last year… released in 2005 on PS2, Xbox, Wii, and PC. Officially, the publisher had pulled the plug on the online a ways back, but Rebellion came through for their fans and out of their own pockets kept the game running online for the fans to enjoy right up until last week…. so while this shows Gamespy to have become absolute shit to the very customers they are supposed to serve (developers/publishers), at least we can say Rebellion is a studio that cares about their fans.
The Awesome and the Shit…. and sadly the shit has made a lot of gamer’s and developer’s day a little browner, platform regardless.