It’s a simple enough sentence, “Effective May 31, 2014, GameSpy will cease providing all hosted services for all games still using GameSpy”. But it spells significant problems for the scores of games that still use some form of GameSpy Technology for their multiplayer modes.
The company has been around since 1997 and started life offering Quake IP servers. In 2012, GameSpy Technology was sold by IGN to Glu-Mobile and it’s Glu that has taken the decision to cease all hosting duties in May of this year.
A large number of games from multiple publishers, including Activision, Capcom, Bethesda, 2K, Namco Bandai, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Sega and Ubisoft were still making use of GameSpy Technology in some fashion. Even contemporary PC titles like Arma 3 were still using the service for key identification and matchmaking.
Fortunately, this hasn’t come entirely out of the blue. GameSpy Technology stopped licensing out services to publishers as early as 1 January 2013, so you’d hope that contingency plans have been in the works. You’d hope that, but since it’s in the hands of individual companies there will probably be a range of responses that vary in their competence (rather like the situation with Games for Windows Live.)
Activision has already come out to say it “won’t be affected.” Bohemia has posted their plans for the Arma series at their own forums. According to Capcom, they are “evaluating migration solutions.”
However, that only covers a fraction of the games which will be affected in May. If your favourite game of the moment still uses GameSpy Technology in some way, you’ll have to hope it’s being maintained by someone who has a plan B.