IGN/GameSpy sent an email today informing their many cyber-tenants that they’ll be sunsetting their free hosting services on August 31, 2009. The reason cited is issues with ‘compatibility,’ which is basically business lingo for ‘you aren’t making us money and server costs are high, so we have to shut you down.’
Most of the GameSpy and ClassicGaming sites were created a decade ago and served as beacons for gamer communities to flourish around. In those days, web hosting and domain registration cost a fortune and broadband was restricted to university campuses. We also didn’t have the luxury of PHP, Flash, or AJAX. So sites were completely written in HTML with frames.
Do we say goodbye to sites like The Castlevania Dungeon, Kirby’s Rainbow Resort, SHMUPS!, and Hardcore Gaming 101? Or perhaps, to be continued. Nowadays, web hosting is inexpensive. So I assume most of these sites will continue to operate under a new domain.
Some might feel a little raw toward IGN/GameSpy. But if you look at the big picture, they are not the bad guy. For starters, they were nice enough to provide free hosting for a lot of great sites for over a decade. Also, a three month advance notice is very generous and allows site owners to backup their content, find a new hosting solution, alert their fans, and allow Google to crawl and index.
To all the site owners affected, I look forward to seeing where your content will end up. Good luck!