Just before the turn of the century, Sony released a game called Infantry Online for the PC. The official servers have been shut down since 2012, but a long-running fan community has been keeping the game going. Now, however, they are directly asking Daybreak for help in keeping this classic game alive.
"As the 22nd anniversary of Infantry Online passes us by, we look back fondly on the community that is still with us today," the Free Infantry community said in an open letter to Daybreak. "Although the population is nowhere near what it once was at the height of the game's popularity, it is steadily climbing back one die-hard fan at a time."
Free Infantry claims to operate as a nonprofit organization with the goal of maintaining the community surrounding this unsupported classic shooter. As technology advances, this game is increasingly in danger of being left behind.
Time is Running Out for Infantry Online
Fan-run communities of dead games are nothing new, but there's one problem that they all eventually face: the advance of technology.
In the case of Infantry Online, the original client makes use of DirectDraw. However, each subsequent Windows release makes functionality with older tech a little more cumbersome — just ask anyone who tried to boot up one of their older games that hasn't been optimized for the latest version of the OS.
"The game client that Free Infantry uses is still the original Infantry Online client," the open letter continued. "It uses DirectDraw which has more compatibility issues with each new Windows version since the client was released. Some of the tools used also require the zone developers to run them in compatibility mode which may not always work. We are unsure of how much longer the game client will remain usable, and would like to maintain and update it."
That wasn't the only request that the community had — they'd also like to see this old game make its way to Steam, too.
Most game developers don't do much with their older titles, but a handful of devs have taken the time to either open-source their code or allow for a retro port to be created by a company like GOG. If something does come of this request, we may see one of gaming's lost classics get a second chance at life.
Do you think game developers should do more to preserve online games that get shut down? What's your favorite canceled classic game that you wish was still around? Let us know in the comments below!