|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2007)|
|This Article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2007)|
|Original author(s)||GameSpy Industries|
|Initial release||Early 2000|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Game server browser|
GameSpy Arcade is a shareware multiplayer game server browsing utility. GameSpy Arcade allows players to view and connect to available multiplayer games, and chat with other users of the service. It was initially released by GameSpy Industries, a division of IGN Entertainment, in early 2000, to replace the aging GameSpy3D program. Version 2 is the latest offering of the software, boasting additional features such as increased speed and advanced server sorting abilities.
GameSpy Arcade includes various other features which enhance its overall functionality:
- Ability for users to have their own profiles .
- Scanning a user’s hard disk for Arcade compatible games.
- A basic web browser.
- Voice Chat
- Buddy Instant Messaging
- Game Staging rooms
- Dedicated Server browsing
- User Rooms
GameSpy Arcade is free. However the software maintains shareware status as there are three different subscription levels. These levels provide benefits, each according to their price.
"Basic users" can be created for free at the GameSpy website. They are able to display and connect to games, as well as chat to users inside the game lobby. Advertisements are shown inside the program for these users.
"GameSpy Arcade", the first pay subscription service, provides extended functionality such as no advertisements and in game voice chat. As well as priority service for technicians to assist in solving problems with the software.
"Founders Club", the second pay subscription service, is the highest possible level of membership to GameSpy arcade. This subscription has benefits which apply across the entire GameSpy network, including FilePlanet access, and ‘Insider’ newsletters. This is the most expensive of the subscriptions on offer. Currently there are some issues ongoing with the "Founders Club" subscription that cause this subscription to show up as a normal subscription on GameSpy Arcade.
GameSpy Arcade allows users to play games online such as Halo, Command & Conquer: Renegade, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament 2004, as well as various other First-Person-Shooters and Strategy games. Additionally, there were Parlor Games, but these were removed due to security flaws found in the actual Parlor Games. Some of the Parlor Games that existed were Y.A.R.N (story making) Reversi, Poker, Checkers, Chess,and Backgammon.
Gamespy has often been criticized for containing adware elements as well as for showing more concern regarding minor issues such as swearing inside the programs chat system, while the issue of spam is left unattended to. More recently[when?], the issue of spam has been given more focus, with a new warning message whenever a user joins a game lobby.
Some users[who?] feel that they were been pressured in using the GameSpy Arcade software, as there is no alternative with sufficient game support for the large user base. This was especially the case with the recent closing[when?] of MSN Gaming Zone, an alternative game server software. Many of the games previously supported by MSN Gaming Zone were moved to GameSpy Arcade, forcing users to install the new software to be able to continue playing these games online.