At one point, GameSpy was a large provider of online gaming middle-tier software for matchmaking and other services popular among PC games. With a decline in PC gaming during the height of the last generation of consoles and an increase in home-grown services, the market for this type of service dropped significantly. With that, GameSpy has had trouble remaining alive, and will be shutting down their services entirely at the end of May.
Not since Microsoft finally shut down support for original Xbox games have we seen a blackout of high profile games this large. Reddit has been keeping a list of affected games, and the highlights of the list are intense:
- Battlefield 2142
- Battlefield 1942
- Civilization IV
GameRanger has been around since 1999, but has not had nearly the overall need until now. The service matches the capabilities of GameSpy, though some features, such as voice chat, only exist with a premium account. But, for those who continue to play these games, the capability to continue playing, even if it costs you a little per month, is probably worth it, though you could continue playing without the premium account and get creative to fill-in the missing pieces.
Currently, the GameRanger creator seems confident in his service's capabilities - almost. There are a number of games he has concerns about, including Arma 2 and Crysis, but reminds people that the service supports over 500 titles.
GameRanger isn't the only solution to this newfound problem, as Bohemia is working on an Arma 2 support system to replace GameSpy, and they are not the only developer working to patch games to remove the issue. Do you play any of the games affected by the GameSpy shutdown? Let us know in the comments.