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Rockstar Games Losing Online Functionality

Red Dead RedemptionThe news that online gaming service GameSpy is shutting down operations on May 31 has already attracted some attention (recall that it's the reason that all Nintendo Wii and DS games with online functions are going dark), but now Rockstar Games has confirmed that some of its releases from the past few years will also lose some online functionality.  Some games will lose more than others.  Polygon has the news about what will be lost.

This includes both Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 4's Social Club stat tracking, leaderboards and in-game Social Club services. In-game multiplayer leaderboards will also cease to be on the game's PlayStation 3 version.  Max Payne 3's online gameplay, on the other hand, will be removed fully on Mac platforms, while Social Club stat tracking and leaderboards will be unaffected.

Rockstar's older releases won't be as lucky, with these games seeing their online components shut down once GameSpy ceases operation. This includes Midnight Club Los Angeles on PlayStation 3, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on Nintendo DS and PSP, Beaterator and Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition.

Rockstar is working to transition the core online gameplay for Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Max Payne 3 to another service, restoring multiplayer action for those titles.  It's inevitable that older games will start to lose modes and features as online components required to enjoy them shut down, but it still stings.  We're about to see a large chunk of gaming history from the past decade fall down the memory hole.  These games aren't seeing the online activity they did when they were new, but there's still value in keeping them alive.  So what I'm really saying here is that if you haven't yet collected the golden lion statues in Chinatown Wars, you'd better get moving or skip it for all time.