GameSpy

GameSpy
GameSpy Industries, Inc.
Type Private
Headquarters Costa Mesa, California
United States
Key people Mark Surfas (CEO)
Industry Gaming
Owner News Corporation
Parent IGN
Website http://www.gamespy.com/
Registration Optional
Current status Active

GameSpy Industries, Inc., known simply as GameSpy, is a division of IGN Entertainment, which operates a network of game websites and provides online video game-related services and software. GameSpy dates back to the 1996 release of an internet Quake server search program named QSpy. The current company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. It is currently controlled by News Corporation, the 92.3% shareholder of its parent company, IGN - which was bought for $650 million on September 8, 2005. GameSpy includes coverage for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, N-Gage, Wireless, PC, and Retrogaming. GameSpy also publishes the biweekly podcast called the GameSpy Debriefings.

Contents

Origins

The 1996 release of id Software's Quake 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.com - a Quake-related hosting and news site. The massive success of mods such as ThreeWave Capture the Flag 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. 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, son of three children) 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.

Present operations

The Planet Network (also known as the GameSpy Network) is a network of video game-related websites operated by GameSpy. It includes the genre-specific sites, 3DActionPlanet, RPGPlanet, SportPlanet and StrategyPlanet, as well as sites dealing with specific video game titles (e.g., Planet Quake, Planet Half-Life, Planet Fallout and Planet Unreal). In the past it 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 are services offered by GameSpy, and are not part of the Planet Network.

Currently, the company's websites include the gaming portal, GameSpy.com, created in 1999; the Planet 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, arguably one of the largest video game file download site on the Web[citation needed]. GameSpy also offers online matchmaking and community software, such as GameSpy Arcade and GameSpy3D, as well as software development kits (SDKs), middleware and back-end online services for game developers and publishers.

GameSpy Arcade is 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 publishes 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 rivals 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 and will help get some of its games online.

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 was an affiliate of N.e.W. gaming until a break up in 2004.

As of August 2010, GameSpy has still ceased to publish for the general public on the internet, statistics on the number of servers, players and games actually engaged at any one time. They have ceased to do so since about 2008 or possibly longer.

Corporate history

In 1996, Quake is released, as one of the first 3D multiplayer action games to allow play over the internet. In 1996, Jack Mathews, Tim Cook, and Joe Powell form Spy Software and create QSpy to allow easy searching of internet-based multiplayer Quake game servers. The software was soon updated to include games other than Quake, and renamed from QSpy to GameSpy. In 1997, Corporate strategist Mark Surfas licensed GameSpy 3D from Spy Software, and creates GameSpy Industries. In 1999, GameSpy receives angel investment funding from entrepreneur David Berkus. The company also releases 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 receives $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. GameSpy quickly reached profitability. In 2000, GameSpy receives additional investment funding from the Ziff-Davis publishing division ZDNet.com and from Guillemot Corp. GameSpy shuts down its RadioSpy division, backing away from an online music market dominated by peer-to-peer applications such as Napster and Gnutella. GameSpy releases GameSpy Arcade. In December 2000, GameSpy purchases Roger Wilco, MPlayer.com and various assets from HearMe, Inc. While the MPlayer service is shut down, the RogerWilco technology is improved and incorporated into GameSpy Arcade. In 2001, GameSpy's corporate technology business grows to include SDKs 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.

The GameSpy Debriefings

GameSpy
Hosting Anthony Gallegos, Ryan Scott
(previous host: Patrick Joynt)
Language English
Updates Fridays
Length Approximately 50-60 min.
Audio format MP3
Debut May 11th, 2007
Genre Video Games, Comedy
Provider GameSpy
Website RSS Feed

The GameSpy Debriefings was a roundtable-style discussion between editors of GameSpy and IGN Entertainment on the week's gaming news. GameSpy Debriefings is the 25th most popular podcast under the category “Games and Hobbies” on iTunes (1 May 2011). 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 30th, 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.

The main crew at the show's denounment 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:

  • Arthur Gies, formerly of IGN Entertainment
  • Brian Miggels, Humor Editor for IGN Entertainment and GameSpy
  • Will Tuttle, Former Editor-In-Chief of GameSpy

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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