|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
|Headquarters||Costa Mesa, California
|Key people||Mark Surfas (CEO)|
|Current status||Defunct (February 2013)|
GameSpy Industries, Inc., known simply as GameSpy, was a former division of IGN Entertainment, which operates a network of video game websites and provided online video game-related services and software. GameSpy dates back to the 1996 release of an internet Quake server search program QSpy. The company was headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. GameSpy offered coverage for the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, N-Gage, Wireless, PC, and retrogaming. GameSpy published the biweekly podcast called the 'GameSpy Debriefings', the last of which was on July 30, 2011. On February 21, 2013, GameSpy formally announced that it would be shutting down its website.
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 gamers creating and releasing "mods" or modifications of games for use by gamers. 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 gaming 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 gamers could only share IP addresses of known servers between themselves or post them on gaming websites. To solve this problem, a team of three programmers (consisting of Jack "morbid" Mathews, Tim Cook, and Joe Powell) 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 id's 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, corporate strategist 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 company's websites included the gaming 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. GameSpy was acquired by IGN Entertainment in March 2004.
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 has enabled online functionality in over 300 PC and PlayStation 2 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.
In March 2004, IGN Entertainment and GameSpy Industries merged, and was briefly known as IGN/GameSpy before formalizing their corporate name as IGN Entertainment. GameSpy shut down operations in February 2013.
GameSpy Technologies (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 and Neverwinter Nights, with no warning to developers or consumers, much to the outrage of communities of those games. GameSpy Technologies remains operational and has not made any announcements of a pending shutdown; the two GameSpy companies were separate entities and only related by name.
The GameSpy Debriefings
|Hosting||Anthony Gallegos, Ryan Scott
(previous host: Patrick Joynt)
|Genre||Video games, comedy|
|Debut||May 11, 2007|
The GameSpy Debriefings was a roundtable-style discussion between editors of GameSpy and IGN Entertainment on the week's gaming news. GameSpy Debriefings was the 25th most popular podcast under the category “Games and Hobbies” on iTunes (as of May 1, 2011). It was infamous for their hosts’ ability to de-rail the conversation from video games into explicit content or in-depth discussions about nerd culture.
On July 30, 2011, The GameSpy Debriefings ended with an episode consisting of all of (and only) the main crew, who have since started up their own podcast The Comedy Button, without GameSpy. The new podcast will be similar in content to the GameSpy Debriefings, but they try to stay off the topic of recent video games as much as they can.
The main crew at the show's dénouement of The GameSpy Debriefings consisted of:
- Anthony Gallegos of IGN Entertainment, previously of 1UP.com, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and GameSpy
- Ryan Scott of GameSpy, previously the executive editor for the 1UP.com Network's reviews department, and the reviews editor for both Computer Gaming World and Games for Windows: The Official Magazine
- Scott Bromley, formerly of IGN Entertainment
- Brian Altano, Humor Editor and graphic designer for IGN.com/GameSpy
Frequent guests included:
- Arthur Gies, formerly of IGN Entertainment
- Brian Miggels, Humor Editor for IGN Entertainment and GameSpy
- Will Tuttle, Former Editor-In-Chief of GameSpy
- Jack DeVries, Former Editor of GameSpy
- "Goodbye, And Thank You From The GameSpy Team".
- "Glu Acquires GameSpy Technology to Expand Connected, Cross-platform Mobile Leadership". Glu Mobile. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Glu Shutting Down Multiplayer for GameSpy-based PC Titles". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "A Tale of Two GameSpys". GameSpy. Retrieved 25 February 2013.