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.
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.
We’ll be totally frank: this award only means something to us because game developers themselves control the nominations and the voting for winners. We have spent the entirety of our decade-plus history working to meet the needs of developers big and small, AAA and independent. Literally thousands of developers have worked with us in some capacity or another to help amplify the fun in their games by connecting their players online in a variety of ways — whether through multiplayer matchmaking, sharing stats, or trading user generated content.
It was especially gratifying to have the Game Developer Magazine article announcing the award penned by Zach Lehman, the Executive Producer on Warm Gun, an iOS shooter from independent Canadian studio Emotional Robots. Zach and his team started working with our tech as part of our “GameSpy Open” initiative, which aims to make all of our services more accessible (in every way conceivable) to independent developers; we were blown away when we saw Emotional Robots’s work on Warm Gun and proud to be part of the title. To know that independent developers like Zach were responsible for the award validated our efforts over the past two years to support the rapidly growing independent development scene.
OK, enough about all of that. Thank you again to all of our friends and partners for the acknowledgement. We’ve taken it as a cue to re-double our efforts on your behalf (and maybe to go get a little sloshed this evening).
Happy 2012 — and a hearty congrats to all of the other Front Line winners and nominees!
GameSpy Technology is pleased to announce that our tools and services for Unity are now Android compatible!
Developers creating games for Android devices can now wield the limitless power that our services offer:
• Player Metrics & Rankings allows you to construct leaderboards, track player stats, and minimize cheating through report authentication
• Data Storage lets you store structured and unstructured data online, allowing players to access content like save games, screenshots, videos, and playable content anywhere that has an internet connection
• Multiplayer Matchmaking connects players wherever they want to play, and can even facilitate cross-platform play to let them connect on whatever platform they prefer
You’ll also find these services easy to integrate courtesy of our GameSpy-Unity C# connector and the lightweight test applications we provide for our various tools.
Accessing our Unity Android SDKs is as easy as signing up for a free account today at poweredbygamespy.com and downloading them from your Developer Dashboard.
Once you’ve downloaded the Unity SDK package, be sure to visit our YouTube channel to watch tutorial videos on integrating our various services – especially our quick, three-and-a-half-minute screencast on working with our Unity C# Connector:
We have more support for the Unity engine planned for the near future. Keep your eyes peeled for more news from us soon!
Capcom’s Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition brings together the fan-favorite Street Fighter III franchise with GameSpy Technology’s cloud storage service to provide players with an online experience that starts inside the game and extends well beyond. Specifically, developer Iron Galaxy Studios worked closely with GameSpy Technology to leverage GameSpy’s cloud storage services to store transcoded gameplay videos from online multiplayer matches and then share those videos via the in-game Match Server or player YouTube channels.
Improving Upon Perfection
Beloved by fighting game aficionados, SFIII is widely regarded as the most technically-challenging game in the series thanks to its simple yet difficult-to-master parrying system. Finally reintroduced to consoles by developer Iron Galaxy Studios in October of 2011 — the game’s first console release in over six years — Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition augments classic gameplay with GameSpy Technology services to add new depth to the player experience.
In porting Street Fighter III: Third Strike to the PlayStation 3, Iron Galaxy Studios made what many fans consider a perfect translation of the game’s arcade version, keeping the core gameplay identical to the game’s original release version while improving graphics and features:
Trials Mode: Players new to Street Fighter III will no doubt find the game’s core gameplay elements — parrying and cancelling moves integral to competitive matches — somewhat daunting. Trials Mode provides a series of challenges for both novice and veteran players to test their skills.
Training Mode: Players can also develop their skills in a standard match environment in Training Mode, fighting in a penalty-free environment with unlimited time and health.
Improved Graphics: high-resolution graphics have become prevalent since SFIII’s original release over a decade ago, and Iron Galaxy Studios brought the game up to par by updating character sprites and backgrounds.
Uploading Videos is a Breeze
Iron Galaxy Studios uses GameSpy Technology’s cloud storage services — powered by our Sake client — to provide SFIII’s most amazing new feature: match replays that can be saved, transcoded, and uploaded directly to YouTube. In the past, video capture has required expensive and often difficult-to-set-up capture cards, severely limiting the accessibility for players to record their matches. SFIII works with our cloud storage services to make those limitations a thing of the past, streamlining the capture and upload process by providing a post-match interface through which players can directly place their matches online for the world to watch.
This all results in a process for sharing videos that requires just a few simple steps from players:
First, players begin a match — online or locally — and complete it.
Each player then has the option of viewing that match’s replay, with the additional option of saving that replay to the console’s hard drive.
A player then has the option of uploading his replay either to the SFIII match server or uploading it to YouTube.
If a player chooses to upload to YouTube, the system prompts him to enter his YouTube user name and password (with the option to save those credentials, if desired).
Once those credentials are entered, the video uploads to that YouTube user’s channel as a private video, giving the user options for how videos get shared and with whom.
As simple as this is for users, our Sake product (the core of our cloud storage service) makes this type of feature easy for developers to integrate as well.
GameSpy cloud storage has two components: the Sake SDK that you integrate into your game’s code and the Sake Web Admin Panel, which is an easily-accessed tools website where developers set up a schema consisting of tables and fields that determine what Sake stores and how users access it. Sake also has a Web-based API, allowing you to integrate cloud-storage-based features like screenshot galleries, user stats, or video galleries to your game’s official website — or anywhere else you want to use your data. Plus, the data that you store in Sake can be virtually anything that players might access or save for a game: saves, player items, RPG blacksmith inventories, and screenshots, or, in the case of SFIII, video replays of player matches. The service allows for user rating of content, and also provides developers with tools for both pro-active and reactive moderation, allowing the community and the game developer both to take a hand in curating shared content.
The GameSpy Technology cloud makes Street Fighter III videos available to watch both at Youtube.com and via SFIII’s in-game video browsing interface. The in-game interface also uses Sake’s rating functionality, and provides an interface allowing players to pause, speed up, and reverse videos. SFIII’s user-generated-videos feature lets players record any match, so if you, too, pull off an unbelievable ten-parry win, you’ll be able to show it off to everybody (and you can even practice for it in Trials Mode).
Meet Your Match
SFIII also makes use of multiplayer matchmaking services to bring players of all skill-levels together to duke it out online in a variety of styles. Traditional matchmaking lobbies and fights are available, but players can also try out Ranked Matches to compete on leaderboards and Tournament Matches to battle against other players to be the best of the best. A series of player-controlled options also lets you determine the criteria for your matches, giving you the choice to allow or forbid certain characters, or to disable specific gameplay mechanics like air-parries.
This kind of multiplayer matchmaking is one of GameSpy Technology’s core services, refined by years of incorporation in hundreds of games. Your players can partake of user-friendly multiplayer features like:
Online and local matchmaking that brings players together automatically or filtered by specific, user-defined criteria.
Matchmaking for both dedicated servers and peer-to-peer games.
Lobbies for chatting and setting up match rules.
In-game buddy functionality and messaging.
Street Fighter III: Third Strike remains the cream-of-the-crop of precise, challenging arcade-style fighters, even though competitors have spent a decade aiming to dethrone it. GameSpy Technology is proud to have worked with Iron Galaxy to make SFIII another standout title in the franchise, and we wish it another decade of dominance.
To begin using GameSpy Technology services in your games today, sign up for a free account today at poweredbygamespy.com.
The GameSpy Technology CD Key Web Admin Panel Demonstration screencast is now available to watch on our Wiki and official Youtube channel. The GameSpy CD Key Web Admin Panel allows developers to combat piracy with a simple—yet effective—CD key validation service. Our CD Key service checks encoded versions of players’ CD keys against a validation server and, if the CD key is invalid or already in use, refuses the connection for game clients using those bad keys. Developers manage their CD keys via an easy-to-use Web Admin Panel, which we demonstrate in this screencast.