|Original author(s)||Garrett Blythe, Chris Kirmse and Mike Judge|
|Stable release||1.155 (March 20, 2013[±])|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Instant messaging; File sharing; Screenshooting; Screencasting|
Xfire (pronounced "X-Fire") is a proprietary freeware instant messaging service for gamers, that also serves as a game server browser with various other features. It is currently available for Microsoft Windows. Xfire was originally developed by Ultimate Arena based in Menlo Park, California. Xfire currently has over 23 million registered users, with frequently over 250,000 users online.
Xfire's Livestream (formerly known as Mogulus) allows users to broadcast live video streams of their current game to an audience. The website's Top 10 games has viewed World of Warcraft at the first place for many years but was surpassed by League of Legends on June 20, 2011. On May 16, 2012 Diablo III took the first place. A few days later League of Legends was back at the first place.
Xfire hosts events every month ranging from chat sessions with the program's developers or game developers, debates, game tournaments and machinima contests.
- 1 History
- 2 Features
- 3 Support
- 4 Third-party modifications and Software Forking
- 5 References
- 6 External links
|This section requires expansion. (September 2009)|
Xfire, Inc. was founded in 2002 by Dennis "Thresh" Fong (former Chief Gaming Officer; former U.S. Champion of Quake), Mike Cassidy (former CEO), Max Woon (former CTO) and David Lawee (former COO). The company was formerly known as Ultimate Arena but changed its name to Xfire when its desktop client Xfire became more popular and successful than its gaming website.
Xfire, the desktop client code-named Scoville, was first developed in 2003 by Garrett Blythe, Chris Kirmse (current General Manager), Mike Judge, and others. The full credits can be found in About under the Help menu in the desktop client.
In September 2006, Sony was misinterpreted to have announced that Xfire would be used for the PlayStation 3. What they actually meant was that only one PS3 game, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, was to use some of the features with more game support planned for the future.
On May 7, 2007, Xfire announced they have over 7 million registered users.
On June 13, 2007, Mike Cassidy (former CEO, co-founder) departed the company to work for venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. Adam Boyden (VP of Business Development & Marketing) was assigned to take his place and manage the company for a temporary period.
On August 2, 2010, Xfire was acquired by Titan Gaming. At 22:16 GMT, the following message was broadcast to Xfire users "Xfire was bought by new owners today. Most of the team that has built Xfire over the last six years is leaving. We enjoyed working for you for the last 127 releases and wish we could stay to create the next 127. Good bye, good luck, and game on. --- The Xfire Team". A few minutes later the Xfire website displayed a message stating it was temporarily taken offline. When it came back a few minutes later, the news column on the left had the following content: "August 2, 2010—Xfire has been purchased by another company. Most of the team that has brought you Xfire for the last 6 years is leaving, including me. We've enjoyed our time and I personally am sad that I was only able to do 127 releases. Good bye and game on! - Chris". It was soon replaced with this message: "August 2, 2010--Titan Gaming Acquires Xfire Titan will be taking on the Xfire name, with a focus towards ongoing innovation in the gaming space. The Xfire services will continue uninterrupted for its users. Xfire redefined how gamers communicate, Titan intends to build upon this tradition and utilize the Xfire platform to help gaming companies better engage their users. We look forward to continuing and expanding upon the Xfire service. --- Raincrow"
Yahoo! filed a lawsuit against Xfire, Inc. on January 28, 2005, claiming Xfire has infringed Yahoo!'s U.S. patent No. 6,699,125, for a "Game server for use in connection with a messenger server". Xfire, Inc. filed a countersuit against Yahoo! on March 10, 2005. The countersuit was eventually disqualified by the judge. There has been a settlement between the companies as of January 31, 2006. More details were posted to Xfire's forums, though terms were not disclosed.
Xfire has many features, the majority of which can only be used in game. Its features include:
Xfire features the ability to detect the video game a particular contact is running. By analyzing running processes, Xfire can detect active games and send that information to Xfire clients with the current player as a friend. For many games, it can also detect which server people are playing on, the level which is running and ping times. Some games may be joined instantly. Xfire logs what games users are playing, how many hours they have played them, and saves other information (such as scores) from game servers. This information can be converted into a PNG image by the server via PHP for every user to use as a signature.
Instant messages and voice chat
Xfire is most notable for its ability to send and receive instant messages from inside a game in fullscreen mode, eliminating the need to minimize the game window. Users can also send in-game messages to other players without joining the game and are also able to see what games their friends are playing. When a user is not playing a game and wish to join a friend who is, Xfire can launch the game and join the friend's server automatically.
With version 1.43, released August 2005, Xfire, Inc. added a beta voice chat feature using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Until early 2009, if Voice Chat was being used in a chat room, users had to host the voice chat, making quality a problem. Some users have better system capabilities than others; therefore, voice quality and lag would be a problem. Xfire now hosts the voice chat sessions in high-quality—they call this addition "Xfire Pro-Voice."
As of release 1.108 on May 4, 2009, there is a built-in alpha AOL Instant Messenger and Windows Live Messenger plugin. Currently, it only supports chatting, and none of AIM's other features. As of December 1, 2009, users could now access their Twitter accounts through Xfire. They could view updates posted by other users, as well as post their own. Recently Google Talk was added. In December 2011, Xfire added support for Facebook Chat, enabling users to chat with their Facebook friends from within the game.
Screenshots and video recordings
Xfire has the ability to take screenshots in game and save them to a specified folder, though this only works with Xfire In-Game-supported games, unlike Fraps. A user can take as many in-game screen shots as they want. Once the user exits their game, Xfire will load all of their screenshots in a window. The user can then select all of the screen shots that they want to upload to their Xfire profile page. Users can also give each screenshot a caption.
Xfire has the ability to record video in-game. However, it can have a significant impact on game performance and recording quality; if one has a low-performance system and starts recording, the frame rate will slow dramatically. However, this is typically true of all video recording during gaming, and not unique to Xfire.
On December 16, 2011, Xfire announced on Games Radar and on its site that it had added a feature to allow its users to capture in-game video and upload it to YouTube. This feature is similar to other popular ingame video recording software products such as Fraps, but allows users to record videos up to 10 minutes in length for free.
The Xfire Game software development kit (SDK) was released with version 1.56 (May 2006). It offers game developers an interface to expose some of the game data to the Xfire application. This is not compatible with some games, just like the Screenshot feature.
Clan and guild system
In version 1.63, Xfire released a beta clan system. This allowed users to create clans or guilds on the Xfire website and invite members (recruits can also ask to join). Many other features were also associated with this such as setting up ranks, favorite games and the number of hours everyone has been playing. With version 1.85, the Clans & Guilds system was officially released.
Live video: broadcasting
Xfire added a video streaming feature in version 1.97. A broadcast was required to be viewed using a web browser plugin, supporting only Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. In version 1.113, released on August 17, 2009, the broadcast system changed partner and allowed a plugin-less Flash-based view compatible with any Flash-enabled browser, including Apple Safari on Mac OS X. It lets anyone watch a live feed of a user's screen while they are playing a game. When a user begins a stream, it opens up a chatroom which anyone who is watching a live feed can join.
In-game Web browsing
In-game internet browsing capabilities were added to Xfire in version 1.103. Its homepage is set as a statistics page of the game being played: Clans and Guilds based around the game, current users playing, peak position (when it was the most popular game on the Xfire board) etc.
Battleground allows Xfire users to connect to a free server to play games against others on a separate platform. Users are required to own a Xfire client and a copy of the game should they wish to play on that particular battleground.
Battleground tracks your stats and awards you Battle Tokens that can are used for sweepstakes held by Xfire. Battle Tokens are essentially a virtual currency that can be earned through killing other players in game, performing difficult tasks, winning matches, etc. Battle tokens can also be lost however due to poor performance. Battleground enforces game logging so as to prevent users from cheating and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Third-party modifications and Software Forking
There are many third party modifications for Xfire's client and services, including skins, infoview templates, plugins, and protocol implementations. Some of these may or may not violate Xfire's Terms of Service, according to paragraph 6.
- Xfire Plus (home page), a set of extension programs and files to enhance the Xfire client.
- Xfire2Phone, a plugin that needs VirtualAudioCable and Gmail to set up a link to any phone in the US for free. Lets users connect to voice chat simply via landline or mobile phone.
Open source protocol libraries
These libraries offer developers a way to write software to access the Xfire network, without having to write supporting code to handle the protocol, from scratch.
- OpenFire, an open source (LGPL licensed) Java API and suite of tools to access the Xfire instant messaging network.
- Xfirelib, an open source library written in C++ which implements the Xfire protocol. Based on it is an Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) gateway to Xfire (XFireGateway) which also implements Gamers Own Instant Messenger (GOIM) extensions to the XMPP protocol.
Multi-protocol messenger plugins
The following plugins let users chat on Xfire with other instant messaging clients.
- Gfire (home page), a Pidgin plugin which lets users chat and see what games friends are playing. It supports Linux and Windows. It has most of the major Xfire features: group chat, clan chat, file transfer, avatars, server, and game detection.
- Kopete plugin (plugin page), lets users chat and see the status of friends.
- Miranda IM plugin (plugin page), chat with others on Xfire, game detection and much more.
- Trillian plugin (plugin page), lets users chat and see the status of friends; also detects games when users run them. As of 2010, the plugin does not work, due to protocol changes.
- Xblaze (home page), an open source plugin for Adium that allows communication over the Xfire protocol, using the MacFire implementation (see below). It is the first Xfire client for Mac OS X. Now supports clans, communities.
Several Xfire clients are available for different platforms.
iPhone, iPod Touch
- Xblaze (home page), an iPhone client for the iPhone and iPod Touch based on the MacFire implementation. Allows communicating over Xfire. Supports clans, communities.
Mac OS X
- MacFire (home page), an open source implementation of the Xfire network protocol for Mac OS X. It was made possible, in part, by prior work done for Xblaze, XfireLib, and OpenFire.
- BlackFire (home page), a client for Snow Leopard, but works on Leopard.
- "Xfire FAQ". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Xfire Front Page". Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- "Ultimate Arena Secures $5 Million Funding and Changes Name to Xfire". Xfire.com. 2004-04-19. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Mike Cassidy". Michaelcassidy.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Corcoran, Elizabeth (2004-09-06). "Finding Friends & Foes". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "History of Scoville". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Xfire joins MTV Networks in $102 million cash deal". Gamesindustry.biz. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Viacom to acquire Xfire, Inc. for $102 million". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Sinclair, Brendan (2006-09-12). "Viacom says Xfire is PS3-bound - PlayStation 3 News at GameSpot". Gamespot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Sinclair, Brendan (2006-10-11). "Untold Legends gets Xfired - PlayStation 3 News at GameSpot". Gamespot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Press release: Xfire Online Game Community Continues Rapid Growth Surpassing Seven Million Registered User Mark". GamesIndustry.biz Directory. Eurogamer Network Ltd. May 7, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
- "Interview: Mike Cassidy on Leaving Xfire, Joining Benchmark Capital". GameDaily BIZ. June 13, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2007.
- "Exclusive: Titan Gaming Takes Xfire Off Viacom’s Hands". TechCrunch. August 2, 2010.
- "Xfire sold, development team leaving". New Game Network. August 2, 2010.
- "Xfire Sold Off, Development Team Leaving". Kotaku. August 2, 2010.
- "Xfire Forums". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "About Xfire Pro Voice". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Release notes for 1.108". Xfire. May 4, 2009.
- "Xfire Video Capture FAQ". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Xfire Adds New YouTube Feature". Xfire.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- "Battleground". Battleground. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Battleground FAQ". Battleground FAQ. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Xfire Supported Games". Xfire. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- "Download". Xfire. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Terms and Conditions". Xfire. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2011-12-19.