It's not GameSpy's fault that a bunch of PC games whose online multiplayer was "Powered by GameSpy" are now, well, not.
Blame the publishers. That was the overriding message of a stern statement GameSpy Technologies (not www.GameSpy.com) sent to Eurogamer at the weekend; it is those publishers who no longer apparently want to support the online communities of their games.
"There have been a number of reports regarding the recent discontinuation of service to several online multiplayer games previously supported by GameSpy Technologies. We recognise that fans of games where the publisher has elected to discontinue GameSpy Technologies support are frustrated. However, reports that GameSpy Technologies 'shut down servers without warning' are simply inaccurate," GameSpy began.
"A number of our publisher partners elected to allow their contracts for GameSpy Technologies' services to lapse by not continuing to pay for these services. In some cases this lapsing ranges back as much as four years. GameSpy Technologies has continued to provide months, and in some cases years, of service support for free. However, we cannot be expected to provide a service free of charge to publishers who choose not to renew their service agreements and in some cases remain delinquent in delivering payment for past services.
"In each case reported in the press where there was a discontinuation of GameSpy Technologies' services, the applicable publisher was well aware that they had not made the required payments under their agreements with GameSpy Technologies."
GameSpy Technologies said the situation was identical to a website not paying its hosting bill and therefore ceasing to be hosted.
The GameSpy purge seems to be the work of new owner Glu Mobile getting its house in order, then. Games left without the glue holding their multiplayer component together now include Sniper Elite, Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Hidden and Dangerous 2, SWAT 4, Wings of War and Star Wars: Battlefront.
Sniper Elite maker Rebellion wrote a forum post explaining to its community that it couldn't afford the new rates GameSpy Technologies was charging. But GameSpy had an answer for that as well.
"Allegations that GameSpy Technologies raised rates unexpectedly are also false," the company said. "Pricing is set in our agreements with publishers and cannot be materially increased by GameSpy unilaterally."
The duty to inform fans of situation was not, GameSpy declared, its.
"While we would hope and expect our publisher partners to message their user communities on changes in status of their games, often this is not done. The result is user confusion and frustration," GameSpy noted.
"It is regrettable that these publishers chose not to inform their users of the impending discontinuation of support. We understand the frustration of fans that until now weren't clear on why their game has lost some of its functionality, but hope that this clarifies the situation."