After several hundred years Chess finally received a sequel with Chess 2: The Sequel, an asymmetrical variant of the classic game with six armies and a host of new rules in place. Sure it sounds crazy, but that didn't stop our Chris Donlan from being rather smitten by it. The updated version of the classic game premiered in January on Ouya and is slated for an upcoming Steam and iPad release. Only there's now one problem: the game's servers have been shut down following a court order by Microsoft.
Developer Ludeme Games addressed the issue on Twitter where it stated, "Microsoft issued a federal court order and seized the domain used for Chess 2."
The Chess 2 developer then railed, "I'm pretty outraged at Microsoft and the federal government for taking down Chess 2. How is this their right?"
So here's what happened: the game's domain was run through DNS management service No-IP, which Microsoft recently sent a court order to because some of its subdomains have allegedly been causing a ruckus with malware. As a result, dozens of innocent domains were seized while this gets sorted.
No-IP offered the following statement on the matter.
"Microsoft served a federal court order and seized 22 of our most commonly used domains because they claimed that some of the subdomains have been abused by creators of malware. We were very surprised by this. We have a long history of proactively working with other companies when cases of alleged malicious activity have been reported to us. Unfortunately, Microsoft never contacted us or asked us to block any subdomains, even though we have an open line of communication with Microsoft corporate executives.
"We have been in contact with Microsoft today. They claim that their intent is to only filter out the known bad hostnames in each seized domain, while continuing to allow the good hostnames to resolve. However, this is not happening. Apparently, the Microsoft infrastructure is not able to handle the billions of queries from our customers. Millions of innocent users are experiencing outages to their services because of Microsoft's attempt to remediate hostnames associated with a few bad actors.
"Had Microsoft contacted us, we could and would have taken immediate action. Microsoft now claims that it just wants to get us to clean up our act, but its draconian actions have affected millions of innocent Internet users."
No-IP CEO Dan Durrer has recently responded to the takedown in a blog post today. "We have been throwing everything we have at getting you back online with the least possible delay. For legal reasons, we have been restricted from reaching out to you, but we simply cannot stay quiet any longer. We are very close to a resolution and we will update you with more information as soon as we can."
We've reached out to Microsoft for more information on what's going on here and when it's expected to be resolved. We'll update as the situation progresses.