GameSpy was a provider of online multiplayer and matchmaking middleware for video games. The company originated from a Quake fan site founded by Mark Surfas in 1996; after the release of a multiplayer server browser for the game, QSpy, Surfas licensed the software under the GameSpy brand to other video game publishers through a newly established company, GameSpy Industries, which also incorporated his Planet Network of video game news and information websites, and GameSpy.com.
GameSpy merged with IGN in 2004; by 2014, its services had been used by over 800 video game publishers and developers since its launch. In August 2012, the GameSpy Industries division (which remained responsible for the GameSpy service) was acquired by mobile video game developer Glu Mobile. IGN (then owned by News Corporation) retained ownership of the GameSpy.com website. In February 2013, IGN's new owner, Ziff Davis, shut down IGN's "secondary" sites, including GameSpy's network. This was followed by the announcement in April 2014 that GameSpy's service platform would be shut down on May 31, 2014.
|Fate||GameSpy Industries acquired by Glu Mobile, site acquired by Ziff Davis and shut down|
|Defunct||February 21, 2013|
|Mark Surfas (CEO)|
The 1996 release of id Software's video game Quake, one of the first 3D multiplayer action games to allow play over the Internet, furthered the concept of players creating and releasing "mods" or modifications of games. Mark Surfas saw the need for hosting and distribution of these mods and created PlanetQuake, a Quake-related hosting and news site. The massive success of mods catapulted PlanetQuake to huge traffic and a central position in the burgeoning game website scene.
Quake also marked the beginning of the Internet multiplayer real-time action game scene. However, finding a Quake server on the Internet proved difficult, as players could only share IP addresses of known servers between themselves or post them on websites. To solve this problem, a team of three programmers (consisting of Joe "QSpy" Powell, Tim Cook, and Jack "morbid" Matthews) formed Spy Software and created QSpy (or QuakeSpy). This allowed the listing and searching of Quake servers available across the Internet. Surfas licensed QSpy and became the official distributor and marketer while retaining the original programming team. QSpy became QuakeSpy and went on to be bundled with its QuakeWorld update - an unprecedented move by a top tier developer and huge validation for QuakeSpy. With the release of the Quake Engine-based game Hexen II, QuakeSpy added this game to its capabilities and was renamed GameSpy3D. In 1997 Mark Surfas licensed GameSpy 3D from Spy Software, and created GameSpy Industries.
In 1999, GameSpy received angel investment funding from entrepreneur David Berkus. The company released MP3Spy.com (later renamed RadioSpy.com), a software browser allowing people to browse and connect to online radio feeds, such as those using Nullsoft's ShoutCast. GameSpy received $3 million in additional funding from the Yucaipa Companies, an investment group headed by Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz and Southern California supermarket billionaire Ronald Burkle.
The expanding of the company's websites included the games portal, GameSpy.com, created in 1999; the Planet Network (also known as the GameSpy Network), a collection of "Planet" websites devoted to popular video games (such as Planet Quake, Planet Half-Life and Planet Unreal) as well as the genre-related websites, 3DActionPlanet, RPGPlanet, SportPlanet and StrategyPlanet; ForumPlanet, the network's extensive message board system; and FilePlanet, which was one of the largest video game file download sites. It also included platform-specific sites (e.g., Planet PS2, Planet Xbox, Planet Nintendo and Planet Dreamcast), but these were consolidated into GameSpy.com; only Classic Gaming remains separate. ForumPlanet and FilePlanet were services offered by GameSpy, and were not part of the Planet Network.
In 2000, GameSpy received additional investment funding from the Ziff Davis publishing division ZDNet.com and from Guillemot Corporation. GameSpy shut down its RadioSpy division, backing away from the online music market which was dominated by peer-to-peer applications such as Napster and Gnutella. In 2001, GameSpy's corporate technology business grew to include software development kits and middleware for video game consoles, such as Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast and Microsoft's Xbox. In March 2004, IGN and GameSpy Industries merged, and was briefly known as IGN/GameSpy before formalizing their corporate name as IGN Entertainment.
Also in 2000, GameSpy turned GameSpy3D into GameSpy Arcade and purchased RogerWilco, MPlayer.com and various assets from HearMe; the MPlayer service was shut down and the RogerWilco technology is improved and incorporated into GameSpy Arcade. GameSpy Arcade was the company's flagship matchmaking software, allowing users to find servers for different online video games (whether they be free or purchased) and connect the user to game servers of that game. GameSpy also published the Roger Wilco voice chat software, primarily meant for communication and co-ordination in team-oriented games, where users join a server to chat with other users on the server using voice communication. This software rivaled the other major voice chat software Ventrilo and Teamspeak. The company's "Powered by GameSpy" technology enabled online functionality in over 300 PC and console games. In 2005, GameSpy added the PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo DS to its stable supported platforms. In March 2007, GameSpy added the Wii as another supported platform.
GameSpy Industries (the entity responsible for GameSpy multiplayer services) was bought from IGN Entertainment by Glu Mobile in August 2012, and proceeded in December to raise integration costs and shut down servers for many older games, including Star Wars: Battlefront, Sniper Elite, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Saints Row 2, and Neverwinter Nights, with no warning to developers or players, much to the outrage of communities of those games. GameSpy Technologies remained operational as a separate entity since. In February 2013, following the acquisition of IGN Entertainment by Ziff Davis, IGN's "secondary" sites were shut down, ending GameSpy's editorial operations.
In April 2014, Glu announced that it would shut down the GameSpy servers on May 31, 2014, so its developers could focus on work for Glu's own services. Games that still used GameSpy are no longer able to offer online functionality or multiplayer services through GameSpy. While some publishers announced plans to migrate GameSpy-equipped games to other platforms (such as Steam or in-house servers), some publishers, such as Nintendo (who used the GameSpy servers as the basis of its Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection platform for DS and Wii games) did not, particularly due to the age of the affected games. Electronic Arts, in particular, announced 24 PC games, including titles such as Battlefield 2, the Crysis series, Saints Row 2 and the Star Wars: Battlefront series, that would be affected by the end of GameSpy service.
For certain games, fan-created mods were developed in order to restore online functionality with alternative servers; one such mod for the PC version of Halo was officially incorporated into a patch for the game released by Bungie in May 2014. By contrast, in 2017, Electronic Arts demanded the takedown of modified versions of Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 on alternate servers, distributed by a group known as "Revive Network", as infringement of their copyrights.
|The GameSpy Debriefings|
|Hosted by||Anthony Gallegos, Ryan Scott |
(previous host: Patrick Joynt)
|Genre||Video games, comedy|
|Original release||May 11, 2007 – July 30, 2011|
The GameSpy Debriefings was a party-style discussion between editors of GameSpy and IGN Entertainment on (purportedly) that week's gaming news. The GameSpy Debriefings was the 25th most popular podcast under the category “Games and Hobbies” on iTunes (as of May 1, 2011). It was however infamous for the crew's frequent propensity to de-rail the conversation from video games into explicit content or in-depth discussions about nerd culture.
The main crew at the show's conclusion of The GameSpy Debriefings consisted of:
Frequent guests included:
On July 30, 2011, The GameSpy Debriefings ended with an episode consisting of only the main crew. Following its conclusion, they launched a fundraising drive on Kickstarter which resulted in the release of their own popular podcast, The Comedy Button. The Comedy Button is similar in content to the later GameSpy Debriefings, with a renewed focus on humorous discussions and listener e-mails rather than the in-depth discussion of recent video games like the early Debriefings.
As of January 1, 2016, The Comedy Button has produced 210 episodes.
2006 FIFA World Cup (known as FIFA World Cup: Germany 2006) is the official video game for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, published by EA Sports. 2006 FIFA World Cup was released simultaneously on the GameCube, PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360 on 24 April 2006. In Europe it was simultaneously released on 28 April 2006. It was also released on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS handheld systems at the same time as the console versions. This was the last game released for the Xbox in Asia. As with some other PlayStation Portable games it was released later on 22 May 2006. In Europe, this version was released on 19 May 2006. There are ten region-specific covers that feature a major player from each region.Microsoft bundled the game with the Xbox 360 in Japan and Europe. It was also bundled with the pre-release order version introduced in India during the days when World Cup fever gripped the nation. In this featured bundle, there was a limited edition faceplate included from Adidas packaged inside.4X
4X is a genre of strategy-based video and board games in which players control an empire and "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate". The term was coined by Alan Emrich in his September 1993 preview of Master of Orion for Computer Gaming World. Since then, others have adopted the term to describe games of similar scope and design.
4X computer games are noted for their deep, complex gameplay. Emphasis is placed upon economic and technological development, as well as a range of non-military routes to supremacy. Games can take a long time to complete since the amount of micromanagement needed to sustain an empire increases as the empire grows. 4X games are sometimes criticized for becoming tedious for these reasons, and several games have attempted to address these concerns by limiting micromanagement, with varying degrees of success.
The earliest 4X games borrowed ideas from board games and 1970s text-based computer games. The first 4X computer games were turn-based, but real-time 4X games are not uncommon. Many 4X computer games were published in the mid-1990s, but were later outsold by other types of strategy games. Sid Meier's Civilization is an important example from this formative era, and popularized the level of detail that later became a staple of the genre. In the new millennium, several 4X releases have become critically and commercially successful.
In the board (and card) game domain, 4X is less of a distinct genre, in part because of the practical constraints of components and playing time. The Civilization board game that gave rise to Sid Meier's Civilization computer game, for instance, has no exploration and no extermination. Unless extermination is targeted at non-player entities, it tends to be either nearly impossible (because of play balance mechanisms, since player elimination is usually considered an undesirable feature) or certainly unachievable (because victory conditions are triggered before extermination can be completed) in board games.Age of Empires
Age of Empires is a series of historical real-time strategy video games, originally developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios. The first title of the series was Age of Empires, released in 1997. Seven titles and three spin-offs have been released.
Age of Empires focused on events in Europe, Africa and Asia, spanning from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; the expansion game explored the formation and expansion of the Roman Empire. The sequel, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, was set in the Middle Ages, while its expansion focused partially on the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The subsequent three games of Age of Empires III explored the early modern period, when Europe was colonizing the Americas and several Asian nations were on the decline. The newest installment, Age of Empires Online, takes a different approach as a free-to-play online game utilizing Games for Windows Live. A spin-off game, Age of Mythology, was set in the same period as the original Age of Empires, but focused on mythological elements of Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology. A fourth main installment in the series, Age of Empires IV, is under development.
The Age of Empires series has been a commercial success, selling over 20 million copies. Critics have credited part of the success of the series to its historical theme and fair play; the artificial intelligence (AI) players have fewer advantages than in many of the series' competitors.Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III is a real-time strategy video game developed by Microsoft Corporation's Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The Mac version was ported over and developed and published by Destineer's MacSoft. The PC version was released on October 18, 2005 in North America and November 4, 2005 in Europe, while the Mac version was released on November 21, 2006 in North America and September 29, 2006 in Europe. An N-Gage version of the game developed by Glu Mobile was released on April 28, 2009. It is the third game of the Age of Empires series and the sequel to Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.
The game portrays the European colonization of the Americas, between approximately 1492 and 1876 AD. There are fourteen civilizations to play within the game. Age of Empires III has made several innovations in the series, in particular with the addition of the "Home City", which combines real-time strategy and role-playing features. Two expansion packs have been released: the first, Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, was released on October 17, 2006, and introduced three Native American civilizations; the second, Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, was released on October 23, 2007, and included three Asian civilizations.
Age of Empires III has sold over 2 million copies as of May 2008. As well as receiving favorable reviews, it has garnered awards, including GameSpy's "Best RTS game of 2005", and was one of the best-selling games of 2005. In 2007, Age of Empires III was the seventh best-selling computer game, with over 313,000 copies sold that year.FIFA Football 2003
FIFA Football 2003, known as FIFA Soccer 2003 in North America, is an association football video game produced by Electronic Arts and released by EA Sports. It was released in 2002.
FIFA 2003 is the tenth game in the FIFA series and the seventh to be produced in 3D.GameSpy Arcade
GameSpy Arcade was a shareware multiplayer game server browsing utility. GameSpy Arcade allowed players to view and connect to available multiplayer games, and chat with other users of the service. It was initially released by GameSpy Industries, in early 2000, to replace the aging GameSpy3D program. Version 2.0.5 was the latest offering of the software, boasting additional features such as increased speed and advanced server sorting abilities.Glu Mobile
Glu Mobile Inc. is an American developer and publisher of mobile games for smartphone and tablet devices. Founded in San Francisco, California, in 2001 as Sorrent, Glu offers products to multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows Phone and Google Chrome.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is an action-adventure video game that is based on the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and the film of the same name, for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance and macOS. It was released in June 25, 2007 in North America, June 28, 2007 in Australia and June 29, 2007 in Europe for PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation 2, Windows and July 3 for most other platforms.The theme of the game is to explore Hogwarts and follow the story from the book and movie. EA encouraged fan participation in the development of this game, and worked with a fan council. The game returns to the sandbox style of the first three games rather than the action-oriented Goblet of Fire. Similar to any sandbox, Hogwarts is fully explorable most of the time, and there are "discovery points" that provide rewards to the player, which can be activated by completing side missions. Furthermore, there are battles between groups of students, as shown in the game trailer.King Dedede
King Dedede (Japanese: デデデ大王, Hepburn: Dedede Daiō) is a fictional character and the main antagonist in Nintendo's Kirby video game series created by Masahiro Sakurai and developed by HAL Laboratory. Dedede first appeared in the 1992 video game Kirby's Dream Land as the main antagonist, and has returned for all other games of the series except Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (2004) and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (2015). He has also appeared in several Kirby comic books, the 2001 anime series and the Super Smash Bros. video game series, specifically Super Smash Bros. Brawl and all subsequent installments.
King Dedede is the self-proclaimed king of Dream Land and the archenemy/ally of Kirby, described as his "arch-frenemy". Although Dedede often battles against Kirby and fills the role of a villain, his moral character has been debated by video game critics; he is driven more by greed and selfishness than outright maliciousness, willingly works with Kirby to fight greater threats together (such as in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards), and can be seen easy-going and relaxed at times (such as in minigames where Dedede is featured as a playable character). Further, in some of his roles as the main antagonist, he is either controlled against his will (such as in Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3) or revealed to have unexpectedly heroic motives. Though it is not confirmed, it is believed his rivalry with Kirby started because of Kirby beating him in Gourmet Race.MPlayer.com
Mplayer, referred to as Mplayer.com by 1998, was a free online PC gaming service and community that operated from late 1996 until early 2001. The service at its peak was host to a community of more than 20 million visitors each month and offered more than 100 games. Some of the more popular titles available were action games like Quake, Command & Conquer, and Rogue Spear, as well as classic card and board for more casual gamers. Servers and matchmaking was provided through a proprietary client. Initially, the service was subscription-based, but by early 1997, they became the first major multiplayer community to offer games to be played online through their network for free. This was done by relying on advertisement-based revenues.
Mplayer was a unit of Mpath Interactive, a Silicon Valley-based startup. The demand for online gaming in the late 1990s resulted in huge growth for the service. They became known for supplying a range of features integrated through their software, including their very successful voice chat feature. This feature proved so popular that it was later split off as a VoIP service to cater to non-gamers, dubbed HearMe, which would eventually become the new name of the company. The company was listed on NASDAQ as MPTH and later HEAR.
Despite the growth of their gaming unit, Mplayer was never profitable. HearMe continued to refocus themselves on VoIP technologies and, in late 2000, had sold off Mplayer to competitor GameSpy. In addition, some technologies were sold to 4anything.com. HearMe survived the buyout and continued to operate independently. Mplayer was taken offline and integrated into GameSpy Arcade in 2001. HearMe shut-down in mid 2000.Madden NFL 07
Madden NFL 07 is an American football video game based on the NFL that was published by EA Sports and developed by EA Tiburon. It is the first in the video game series to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles as launch titles and the last one to be released on the Game Boy Advance. Former Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is on the cover. This is the last game to feature NFL Europe in the series.NASCAR Thunder 2003
NASCAR Thunder 2003 is the sixth edition of the EA Sports' NASCAR racing simulator series. Developed by EA Sports and Budcat Creations and published by Electronic Arts, it was released for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube on September 19, 2002, then for PlayStation 2 on September 29 and for PC on October 16. The product features Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on the cover. It was the first time the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award recipient was featured on the cover, although he did not win the award for the first time until the following year. Dale Earnhardt appeared in the game as a driver as a result of entering his name as a Create-A-Car driver's name; he did not appear in the previous game due to his death. He appeared as a legend in subsequent games.Quake 4
Quake 4 is a military science fiction first-person shooter video game, the fourth title in the Quake series. The game was developed by Raven Software and published by Activision. Raven Software collaborated with id Software, the creators and developers of preceding Quake games. id Software supervised the development of the game as well as providing the id Tech 4 engine upon which it was built. Quake 4 went gold in early October 2005 and was released on October 18, 2005 for Microsoft Windows and later for Linux and OS X, as well as being a launch title for the Xbox 360. A special DVD Collectors Edition was released, including promotional material and the game Quake II with its expansions, The Reckoning and Ground Zero. The Xbox 360 version of Quake 4 is based on the Special Collectors Edition, and includes Quake II. On August 4, 2011 the game was made available through Steam.
Plotwise, the game is a sequel to Quake II and takes place during the same war as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Compared to other titles in the Quake series, Quake 4 has an increased emphasis on the single-player portion of the game. A multiplayer mode is available, but it does not involve playable bots like Quake III Arena.Van Helsing (video game)
Van Helsing is a third-person shooter for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance and mobile phone, which is based on the 2004 action horror film of the same name by Stephen Sommers.