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|Original author(s)||GameSpy Industries|
|Initial release||Early 2000|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Game server browser|
GameSpy Arcade was a shareware multiplayer game server browsing utility. GameSpy Arcade allowed players to view and connect to available multiplayer games, and chat with other users of the service. It was initially released by GameSpy Industries, in early 2000, to replace the aging GameSpy3D program. Version 2.0.5 was the latest offering of the software, boasting additional features such as increased speed and advanced server sorting abilities.
GameSpy Arcade included 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 was free. However the software maintained shareware status as there were three different subscription levels. These levels provided benefits, each according to their price.
"Basic users" could be created for free at the GameSpy website. They were able to display and connect to games, as well as chat to users inside the game lobby. Advertisements were shown inside the program for these users.
"GameSpy Arcade", the first pay subscription service, provided 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, was the highest possible level of membership to GameSpy arcade. This subscription had benefits which applied across the entire GameSpy network, including FilePlanet access, and ‘Insider’ newsletters. This was the most expensive of the subscriptions on offer. There were some issues with the "Founders Club" subscription that caused this subscription to show up as a normal subscription on GameSpy Arcade.
GameSpy Arcade allowed 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, Checkers, Chess, and Backgammon.
Gamespy was often 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 was left unattended to. More recently[when?], the issue of spam was given more focus, with a new warning message whenever a user joins a game lobby.
Some users[who?] felt that they had been pressured into using the GameSpy Arcade software, as there was no alternative with sufficient game support for the large user base. This was especially the case with the 2006 closing 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.