Following the acquisition of GameSpy Technology by publisher Glu Mobile
earlier this year, the company has come under fire from developers and gamers for a number of changes to its services.
The GameSpy Open initiative, launched in 2010
as a means for developers to mine for data in their own titles, went free of charge last year
. However, Glu today closed down the scheme, as it was struggling to properly monetize it.
To add to this ire, it also emerged that numerous multiplayer services powered by GameSpy for a variety of older video games have been closed down, including Neverwinter Nights, Sniper Elite, and Star Wars: Battlefront
This led Sniper Elite
's Rebellion senior management to respond
, "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."
The statement continued, "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."
As gamers expressed their outrage on the company's Facebook page, GameSpy Technology was forced to offer a reply.
"We recognize that fans of games where the publisher has elected to discontinue GameSpy Technologies support are frustrated," says the statement
. "However, reports that GameSpy Technologies 'shutdown servers without warning' are simply inaccurate."
The company says that it is game publishers that are choosing not to pay to maintain multiplayer servers for their games, and as such, GameSpy is closing down services for those publisher who are not continuing their payments.
"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," it reads.
"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."
The company added, "It is regrettable that these publishers chose not to inform their users of the impending discontinuation of support. We understand the frustration of fans that until now weren't clear on why their game has lost some of its functionality, but hope that this clarifies the situation."