The Steve Hart, one of the developers of Sniper Elite, spoke about the game’s server closures last week on the official forums. Hart claimed that the new Glu-owned Gamespy charged far more to keep the servers running than they did before Glu took control of the company.
Finger Pointing Party
The Facebook post from Gamespy themselves claims that developers and publishers were notified of server closure — which no one denies. How would Steve Hart have been able to speak on price increase if he had not been given notification? The fact that there were so many server closures over the span of several publishers only serves to further point to a significant increase in service charges.
While it is unfortunate that the closures were a surprise to so many players, notifying them is the responsibility of the publisher and not of the server host. Gamespy addresses this in the Facebook post, stating:
“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.“
That certainly is the case for the twelve-plus games that had their servers shut down over the past month. Even so, it does make you wonder why so many publishers and developers chose to discontinue working with Gamespy at approximately the same time.
Will this have an effect on how publishers and developers see Gamespy in the future? The promise of affordable and easy server hosting is what drew companies to their services, but what if they’re not so affordable anymore?
Another thought is whether this is really is an oversight on the part of all of publishers affected as Gamespy claims. It’s a sticky situation, and no one really knows what happened but the people involved.