|This article is written from a real world point of view.|
GameSpy referred to both a gaming website (GameSpy.com) and GameSpy Technology, a division oriented at creating multiplayer middleware for other companies' games.
The company started as a fansite for Quake, called PlanetQuake, and developed the QSpy tool for multiplayer matchmaking. In 1999, the site expanded and was named GameSpy.com, and formed the Planet Network, a cumulative name for fansites of different games, one being Planet Command & Conquer.
The company merged with IGN in 2004, and was briefly known as IGN/GameSpy before having the finalized corporate name, IGN Entertainment. In 2013, GameSpy.com was shut down, while GameSpy Technology was bought out by Glu Mobile in 2012 and closed on 31 May 2014.
The GameSpy Technology division was established in 1997, and specialized in creating software development kits (SDKs) for multiplayer infrastructure. These had the functions of matchmaking, NAT negotiation, ranking and statistics, serial key authentication, chat rooms, voice communication, data transfer, clan/guild systems and more.
Among the games that used this infrastructure and were hosted on GameSpy servers were:
- Command & Conquer: Renegade (master server only)
- Command & Conquer: Generals
- Command & Conquer: Generals Zero Hour
- Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
- Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Red Alert 3 had its co-operative campaign mode a GameSpy exclusive and was unavailable in LAN play. A fan team called TeknoGods created a modification that remedied this.
All aforementioned games, except Renegade which also has dedicated server support and hosting on XWIS, had their official servers shut down with the closure of GameSpy Technology by their final owners, Glu Mobile. While the scheduled server shutdown was to take place on 31 May 2014 to coincide with the closure of the company itself, Electronic Arts prolonged this deadline a month for their titles further, to 30 June 2014. However, servers were accessible until 17 July 2014, after which the login system malfunctioned, but left currently logged players to remain on the server. While Electronic Arts officially stated they were looking for alternative hosting, none of their affected games were in any way modified to redirect their multiplayer systems to a different host. Some multiplayer-only games, such as the Battlefield titles prior to Battlefield 3, were completely removed from all digital distribution stores they were sold on.
On 30 June 2014, the C&C:Online service, developed by fan communities Revora and GameReplays.org, was launched to host the affected games' multiplayer modes as a modified clone of GameSpy coding, including the co-operative campaign mode in Red Alert 3. The ranking and ladder system were launched on 6 December 2014.
The master server for Renegade is hosted on CnCNet.
GameSpy servers were used by Electronic Arts Los Angeles for their Battle for Middle-earth titles as well, but these were shut down on 31 December 2010 due to the abandonment of the Lord of the Rings license by Electronic Arts, negating them the right to support related games.
- Planet Command & Conquer
- List of GameSpy-powered games from 2001 to 2010 (archived)
- GameSpy on Wikipedia
- GameSpy Technology on Wikipedia