Following news at the weekend that new Gamespy technology owner Glu were closing down servers for some older titles, the company has issued a full statement explaining the server closures.
According to Glu’s Jason Enriquez, services that were closed down were not shuttered without warning to the developer/publisher. All affected parties were aware they had “not made the required payments”. Enriquez also clarifies that comments made regarding Gamespy raising rates “unexpectedly” are also false.
If publishers/developers were aware that bills were outstanding as stated by Glu, and they also failed to inform their customers, then the blame for loss of service has to be placed firmly on the publishers/developers.
The response from Glu is contrary to comments from Rebellion regarding the Sniper Elite server closures. Rebellion’s Steve Hart who stated last week that “this decision by Glu was not taken in consultation with us and was beyond our control”.
The full statement sent to us by Glu which was also posted on the Gamepy Facebook page reads as follows:
There have been a number of reports regarding the recent discontinuation of service to several online multiplayer games previously supported by GameSpy Technologies. We recognize that fans of games where the publisher has elected to discontinue GameSpy Technologies support are frustrated. However, reports that GameSpy Technologies “shutdown servers without warning” are simply inaccurate.
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.
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.
In each case reported in the press where there was a discontinuation of GameSpy Technologies’ services, the applicable publisher was well aware that they had not made the required payments under their agreements with GameSpy Technologies.
For the sake of clarity – 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.
Allegations that GameSpy Technologies raised rates unexpectedly are also false. Pricing is set in our Agreements with Publishers and cannot be materially increased by GameSpy unilaterally.
While we would hope and expect our publisher partners to message their user communities on changes in status of their games, often this is not done. The result is user confusion and frustration.
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.
Whoever is right or wrong over the Gamespy service issue, sadly it’s the communities that have lost out.