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IGN Decides To "discontinue Free Hosting Services"
I know there are a decent amount of mappers who are hosted on a Planet site, and I was just wondering if we (mappers, modders, engine coders and others) were all affected in the same way by IGN's decision to change their approach towards free hosting services (presumably because of "compatibility" issues with the "new data center," which sounds very vague and not very convincing).
I received an email this afternoon basically telling me that a large number of hosted sites (including mine) will simply disappear after August 31st and was wondering if there were other people here in the same situation. I don't really have a problem with moving my site to my domain name, but I'm assuming that not everyone can/wants to do that. I'm also a little worried about sites that have been up for a while and whose webmasters have disappeared from the face of the earth. IGN made it clear in the email that no content would be saved. It might be worth it to back some of these sites up.
Do you think this decision will have a negative effect on the communities? (all games (all planet sites) are being targeted, here)
And planet* sites slip even further into the "totally forgettable" category of online gaming sites.

Its a shame, I remember when I visited planetquake and planethalflife daily to see what new mods and maps were available!

A lot of content is sure to be lost here! Backing up as much as possible could be a really good idea, sadly on my 512k connection I don't think im the man to do it :/ 
It will definitely have a negative impact although most people in the community should have jobs at this point in their lives and could pay for hosting if they really want to continue running their sites (many are basically moth balled anyway).

It sucks though and it's another step towards squashing the communities that form around games. *sigh* 
I mean, all of my sites - including shub-hub and Quaketastic - cost less than $15 a month. It's manageable. :) 
What Does This Mean? 
Can someone in one sentence or less say exactly what this mean? Is a huge loss of content imminent? Or is this just a "no new sites" thing? 
"a Large Number Of Hosted Sites Will Simply Disappear 
"a large number of hosted sites (including mine) will simply disappear after August 31st"

Ok. :(

Sigh ...

Huge loss of ancient PlanetQuake sites. 
I Love The Ancient Sites ... 
This is really sad to see.

I know most people don't ever even visit the most ancient PlanetQuake sites, but I find the older ones the most "personal" and least "bland" because the people at the time were excited about Quake.

So I guess sites with modding/engine/modeling tutorials and prefabs go. Probably several QuakeC sites. Countless mapper sites.

Countless skin sites. Worldcraft 1.6 occasionally non-functioning site.

What happens to FilePlanet downloads, nothing I assume?

Probably 90% of the oldest sites that still exist are PlanetQuake, most other sites went 404 or URL not found a long time ago. 
Copy-pasting Unfun 
Baker : the Fileplanet files stay.

Yeah, I have the feeling that most of the non-profit-making sites will probably go. I don't think it's really a matter of being old or not updating. I mean, granted my site is updated only a couple of times a year, but I feel like I have offered new content (in the form of mods) not SO long ago... I don't have a ton of visitors, though, so that's probably the reason.
I can't really imagine that everything will go. Obviously they have to keep *some* sites. So the best bet is that they'll keep the big, profit-making ones, the ones for which ads actually work.
Here below is the entire email, copy-pasted:


Dear CocoT,

We at IGN are providing you with notice of very important changes that are taking place with the IGN Hosting Services, including the sad news that we are shutting down the IGN Hosting Services.

*1. Changes to the IGN Hosting Terms of Service*

Firstly, certain sections of the IGN Hosting Terms of Service have been updated which are effective immediately. Please take time to read through the complete updated Terms of Service at the website below (a link to the previous version is at the top of the site):

We will post any additional updates at the above link. Should you have any questions about these changes to the Terms of Service, please do not hesitate to contact us via Please note: subject to (B) below, the IGN Hosting Terms of Service will cease to be in effect after August 31, 2009.

*(B) Shutting Down of IGN Hosting*

As referred to above, we also have some sad, but extremely important news for you regarding your hosted site, and ask that you read through the following carefully.

After years of quality free hosting for gaming sites, we have decided to discontinue our free hosting services. We know that this will come as a shock and a disappointment to you; in this e-mail we will explain why this decision was made, when the shutdown will occur, and what the next steps are for the many hosted site owners who will be affected.

The primary reason for the discontinuation of the free hosting is one of compatibility. At IGN, we are in the process of moving to a new data centre, and a number of our operations are incompatible with it, including the free hosting service. At this time we regretfully are not in a position to carry out the additional work needed to make the hosting service compatible.

We are all extremely grateful for you having chosen us as your site's host, and as such want to do all that we can to make your transition to a new hosting provider as easy and seamless as possible. We will maintain the hosting service, with full technical support, up until 11.59 PM, 31st August 2009 (�Cut-Off Date�), giving you several months in order to organize a migration. Please note however that the Cut-Off Date is hard and fast - there will be no extension of the service after this date and backups of your databases and content etc. will not be maintained. Anything that you want to keep MUST be downloaded to your computer before the Cut-Off Date. Please note: if you don�t migrate your files and database by the Cut-Off Date, you will no longer have access or right to access or use any aspect of your site that IGN was hosting and IGN will have the right to delete and remove from our servers all aspects of your site. 
(part 2) 
In order to assist you, we have prepared a detailed information website (see link below), which provides information such as a sample list of possible replacement web hosts you could transition to, instructions on migrating your files and database(s), in addition to FAQs about the discontinuation of our services. We strongly recommend that you read the entire document if you intend to continue operating your site at another host:

*3. Continuing Services*

It is not all bad news however. Some of the services we made available to hosted sites will still be available to you after August 31st, specifically:

*(i) Free File Hosting at*

You will still be able to use FilePlanet's free uploading tools to post your files and share them with your community. This tool can be accessed at No registration needed to download your files. If you have a really large file, contact us directly at

*(ii) Direct2Drive Affiliate Program*

As a former Hosted Site owner, you will be eligible for a special deal on the Direct2Drive affiliate program. Earn 8% commission (the regular commission rate is 7%) by driving sales to the leading digital download retail store, Direct2Drive. To learn more click here (

*To summarize:*

-> The Hosting Services will end on 11.59 PM, August 31st, 2009.

-> No backups or snapshots will be maintained after that date (download everything you wish to keep). You will no longer have access to your site or any aspects of it (content, assets, files etc.) after that date and we will remove/delete all such files from our servers.

-> There is a number of alternative free webhosts you could investigate here:

-> FAQs and guidance for migrating sites is available here:

-> We are keen to help your migration go as smoothly as possible; contact us if you require any further information in connection with you site migration at:

-> File hosting at FilePlanet and Direct2Drive referral programs may continue (with the latter including a commission bonus).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for contributing to the world's greatest network of independently owned gaming sites, and wish you all the best of luck should your site(s) continue at another host. Please, contact us ( if you have any questions in connection with the migration of your site.

Many thanks,
The IGN Hosting Team 
I should point out that, at this point, the FAQ makes absolutely not mention of "alternative free webhosts," unlike what the email implies... 
Personally ... 
I think this is a stupid business decision by them, but whatever.

The reason I believe it is a poor business decision is that I bet most of these sites combined only are a few terabytes.

And you can buy a terabyte hard drive for what these days? $150? 
... the "profit-making" part of it is of course only my own conjecture. They seem to be saying that, somehow, the way in which the "new data center" is going to be built will just make it hard to have both paying and non-paying accounts exist side by side... which, well, really just sound really odd. 
ah crap 
Yeah, this...

The primary reason for the discontinuation of the free hosting is one of compatibility. At IGN, we are in the process of moving to a new data centre, and a number of our operations are incompatible with it, including the free hosting service. At this time we regretfully are not in a position to carry out the additional work needed to make the hosting service compatible. bullshit. They just don't want to pay for the bandwidth anymore but are too pussy to actually say so. Fuck IGN. 
Bas News... 
... indeed... 
This Is Really Weird... 
From the FAQ:
"Can I pay to keep my IGN hosting?
Sorry, no hosting services, free or otherwise, will be offered."

"free or otherwise"?? Does that mean that basically ALL contents from the Planet sites (and the planet sites themselves) are going down the drain, then? Or are they become mere news sites?

This is starting to sound like a bad dream... The email was somehow re-sent this morning, and it does come from the gamespy network. I'm also surprised none of the planet sites have been reflecting this in their news so far. Weird. 
And you can buy a terabyte hard drive for what these days? $150?

Well, um, if you're actually running a service it doesn't really work like that :) But yeah, seems lame. 
@Willem Re:bandwidth 
If those sites aren't getting enough traffic for them to view them as a profit center for banner ads and then how can they be consuming a lot of bandwidth?

Especially compared to, say, FilePlanet? 
*shrug* Beats me. That's the only possible explanation I can come up with for them not continuing to host those sites. Other than them just being dicks, I suppose. 
I blame console DLC...

(the above comment is not a stupid as it appears, I assure you. I may expand on it once I've had breakfast).

Also this; too pussy to actually say so. Fuck IGN. 
youve had too much DLC for breakfast 
Huge loss of ancient PlanetQuake sites.


Someone with enough hard drive space (10 gig? dunno exactly) can simply mirror the *whole* site on their local harddisk. Brute force, German method.

wget is the tool to do that. It should take a couple hours. Let it run overnight.

wget -h

or something like that.

We have until August to do this, so it's not an imminent threat. 
Ah, it was wget -m. 
Has To Suck To Be You. 
Sad, but IGN has ben doing this type of "Let shot our own foot!" self-defeating strategy for years.

And the death of Fileplanet will be EPIC! 
I would not trust fileplanet, either. Although it looks like this time, it's spared.

It's only a question of time until Fileplanet is fucked, too. Probably a good idea to back that stuff up on local harddisks, too. 
I don't find it that hard to believe that they're migrating to a new platform and only want to bother porting the software/services that are core to their business. It could be something as simple as the architecture being written in ASP, and they're moving to a unix-based server architecture. Sure, these things can be ported, adapted, software can be installed, etc, but they're basically saying that it's more work than just keeping some old machines plugged in to their network, and they are not willing to do that work. Running a service is more than just the cost of a hard drive or bandwidth, you have physical stuff to maintain, and customer service requirements which means spending people's time.

Anyway, I think the most important thing is to spider and archive all of the old sites that are not maintained by anyone actively, so people have access to that stuff. And this requires the even more difficult task of actually creating a list of needed sites -- half of the stuff we're going to lose is probably stuff we completetly forgot about.

Active people also need to move their hosting, but at least they are active and paying attention, and can probably do that. 
looks like Spirit has already got a handle on this, based on his posts on I3D. 
Make sure to hax0r the page list for Ramshackle, the index page broke years ago, but last I checked the reviews were still there... 
Looks Like The FAQ Section Keeps Changing... 

You mentioned a list of other alternative hosting options?

While we had hoped to make it easier by offering a list we compiled from Google, we realized that it might not be complete and since we don't know anything about those companies, we could end up setting people down the wrong path. So we would recommend doing an online search via Google for "Free Hosting" and other keywords, to make sure you find a hosting option that suits your needs.


Well, that's super helpful...
Anyway, am I the only one to find it very strange that no planet site or forum has yet mentioned anything about this? 
I Thought It Was Strange 
i even checked planet quake for a mention but there was none..on the front page..where i would expect the news to be 
I Guess... 
... this looks pretty legit :

If it was some kind of hacking exploit, it would have been removed a while ago, right? 
generally bad news doesn't go on the company's friendly community page, I mean you wouldn't see "McDonalds lays of 10,000 people" on their commumity marketing websites either. 
^^Yeah, That^^ 
They're not going to put a bunch of effort into trumpeting how unhappy they're making a lot of people, regardless of motive/necessity/whatever.

It kind of sucks, but I just can't bring myself to be too pissed at them. Hell I've basically had a good run of nine years of free hosting; I can't exactly shake my fist and say "You bastards." for taking away what was basically a free gift in the first place...

I'm just working on a new site (that will eventually be at the horrible placeholder shit that's there now, if you bother looking), and trying to look on the bright side.

But yeah, I hope those people who are out of the loop manage to save their stuff, or someone does... 
CocoT (re:#28) - No 
Anyway, am I the only one to find it very strange that no planet site or forum has yet mentioned anything about this?

I thought it was strange earlier. But the person who's in charge of PlanetDiablo has just posted on PhrozenKeep (major Diablo 2 modding forum hosted on PlanetDiablo) that this is happening. 
Was in "blog comment" mode there. Should've done {q} instead of {i}. 
Major Bummer 
I'm not buying the idea they're re-vamping the whole system & it's not compatible.
*they just revamped the forums.
*hosting has been updated over the past few years to better & better setups.
*from what I've been told, the planet sites & hosted are all pretty much setup the same
*BUT planet sites not going away

Unless they plan to ditch everything & just keep the "big" sites (,,, etc).

I still find it funny that the FAQ even mentioned how a bunch of Quake players started the whole thing. That's like Walmart still promoting that they're a "buy american" company. :/

Over the past few years have been some big changes (ign buy gamespy, fox buy ign, GS headquarters move & they get rid of the Quake "Q"). Looking back this move looks pretty obvious: they stopped accepting new hosted sites a few months ago because they didn't want to bother any more, makes sense they'd just ditch it all.

Why not on planet font page news? I wouldn't say it would help & many planet admins are just as shocked as we are.

At least they gave us ~3 months to get what we want. FileFront gave us a weekend.

Live long & Quake. :) 
Agreed On The 3 Months Notice 
That is at least some nice consideration. 
Pappy-R (Planetquake dude) left a comment over at Quaddicted, he was not even informed about it beforehand.

I will backup sites I myself "need". See the Inside3D list. 
I Didn't Get The Email... 
but that's probably because they cancelled my email account a couple of weeks ago. The mail server was being "retired". That did upset me a little - don't get me wrong, I appreciated 10 years of free email access, I am not entitled to anything for free, and I always expected it to end someday. However, since I had been using it for so long, I had dozens of places where I've had to change my email address, and doubtless there will be unforeseen complications in the future (people who can't contact me, websites or accounts I can't access anymore, etc). Perhaps more importantly it signals the end of an era, which while inevitable is nevertheless somewhat saddening to witness.

The news reported in this thread however is neither surprising nor terribly disappointing for me, personally. Of course, it is a terrible loss in terms of Quake history if the sites are not archived somehow. For my part though, the only reason I left my website on PQ all this time was so I could hang on to the email account, which was much more valuable to me than the substandard webhosting arrangement and associated fileplanet dickery that that they provide these days (sorry: provided, past tense).

It is vaguely tempting to starting ranting about evil corporate overlords pissing in our pond, but it is hard to feel any real animosity towards the guys calling the shots now. We had a good run. 10 years of free hosting and email which may not have been first class, but was certainly better than the average free hosting arrangements out there. We know that the current owners are not the same people who started it all, they don't have the same goals and ideals, and they were never going to continue hosting us forever. Such is life.

To be completely honest though, naturally there is some disappointment and irritation that we're treated with so little regard at the end of the day. Knowing that PlanetQuake is where it all started... knowing that we were right there from the start helping build it into the empire it would become... and then having some random assclown come along a decade later and tell you to piss off... knowing that he probably has very little idea of the history of it all and definitely doesn't care... sigh. 
Is There Any Way To Get A Full List 
of Quake 1 related PlanetQuake sites?

I know some people only care about certain sites, but I'm more interested in lost history than usefulness myself. 
Spirit has what looks to be a list of all PlanetQuake sites. It's a case of filtering through that to find out, really.

Question for everyone: Of all of the stuff that's under threat, how much do you think is on PlanetQuake? I mean in comparison to all of the other sites in the Planet Network that also have hosted sites here.

My best estimates put it at anywhere between 1% and 50%. In otherwords, I don't have a clue... 
Who Could Know? 
I'm sure the other Planet sites have a lot of valuable content that is going to be lost.

I only know much about and care much about Quake 1, but this doesn't mean I don't feel it is very sad for the loss of historical sites for other games I am not familiar with. 
Chip (and others) is doing a good job saving the sites and archiving them. Check for more. I would encourage you to list mappers sites which you would want to see saved there as well! :) 
There's a sub directory I created on Quaketastic called "site_archives" if anyone grabs a site but doesn't have hosting sorted out yet. Use it as a temp storage area for the zipped site or whatever... 
I Love This Community. 
I really do.

Guys like Chip and Willem and the Quakesoldiers dude coming to the rescue when stuff like this goes down is awesome.

I've already bought hosting and am in the process of reworking my site, so I'm fine, but it's nice to know that there are options out there for folks, and that all that stuff isn't going to just be lost. 
There are nice guys in this community... 
Generally What Frib Said. 
Not at all surprising really.

Although, free hosting, well kinda.

You guys make maps -> gamers download and play those maps -> people see what's available in the community -> people buy games and visit more hosting sites -> in theory those people click on banner ads -> bring in revenue for the hosting sites.

That surely what the idea, that your content was bringing traffic and thus in theory $$$ to Gamespy/IGN/Planetwoteverhomie. Of course this is obviously not very lucrative compared to the other revenue options, hence ceasing hosting. 

I attempted to crystallize the broader implications of this issue in a post I wrote on our blog at and this thread seemed like a good place to direct some reader attention to.

Hopefully the situation will work itself out, and if not, perhaps with some help from the community! 
No Offence... 
But I stopped reading on the 2nd line, when the first game mentioned was Halfe-Life. 
Definately an important game on the FPS timeline. 
Well, I kind of see where Fribbles is coming from in that the article implies that modding got into full swing with Half-Life. I disagree. Quake had a TON of mods and many of them were large scale efforts. Why does Half-Life get the nod on this?

And don't get me wrong, I LOVE Half-Life and all of it's incarnations - but I would never credit it with the start of the mod scene. 
I think Fribbles stopped reading at let us take a step back into the year... which is where I stopped reading. 
Me too. 
Hey bler, I grabbed your site. Would you be alright if I changed the download links to point to working mirrors (Quaddicted for dimension domination!)? 
When HL was the first game mentioned, it made me think even the fans have lost sight of what started it all.

He also lost me there simply because Quake is the only game I care about, in terms of preserving the history, hosted sites, mods and maps.

Again, no offence intended, I just recognised very early on that I was not the intended audience for that article. 
For sure, whatever you fancy to keep it as an archive.

I have it all backed up on my PC and on disk too. 
Hang On A Minute Here 
Isnt Half Life just a glorified Quake mod? Quake engine + coloured lighting +16bit pallet for textures + skeletal animation ? 
You forgotto add the playr interaction with its environment... then yes, it is ! 
Oh noes, someone prefers HL to Quake but posted something that affects BOTH HL and Quake fans. How dare he post this at the negative-mofo Quake board.
PS: Quake is just a Doom mod with 3D and stuff!

Sometimes you guys are downright stupid. 
I thought HL was reusing Quake engine... wasn't it the case ?

And the most stupid people is not the one you are thinking about.. :P 
Ignoring Ricky, it is a fair point. If someone displays such complete ignorance / ignoring of modding/mapping origins, then it doesn't really bode well for the rest of his article, does it?? 
Well, it served simply as introduction. Who cares about the introduction. How many active mappers are hosted at Planetquake nowadays? I can't think of any. CocoT used that as introduction and no-one shouted "that is bullshit, get off my lawn" at him.
In both cases the actual content of the post does not vanish if the introduction was bad. And that problem is what the focus should lie on. :(

JPL: HL uses a heavily modified Quake engine. By that logic Mass Effect, BioShock, Mirror's Edge, Gears of War are just Unreal mods. Using an engine that has the same roots does not make a game a mod. 
Thanks Spirit 
I expected at least one person to overreact, so thank you for fulfilling my expectations.

When I say "started it all" I am referring to Planet*/GSI and their hosting services. 
O_^ What 
Since when is participating in a discussion an overreaction? 
I concur with Mr Fribbles: you overreacted, and should be banned for that :) 
Sorry Spirit 
I was just being a smartass. I can't help myself... 
Oh, it was a good practice opportunity not to overreact, so thanks for that. 
Sorry Spirit.

Sometimes I think you take all this stuff far to seriously.

No but seriously, Half Life is just a modified Quake engine with a completely new set of everything like maps models textures scripts etc. But the root of it is still the Quake engine right? Or am I wrong here? 
Isn't Quake the root of all 3D games made after? 
Orl The Man With The Smrt's 
Well This Got Derailed Gud! 
"No but seriously, Half Life is just a modified Quake engine with a completely new set of everything like maps models textures scripts etc. "

That might be basically, sort of, at 50,000 feet correct but ... it really discredits what Half-Life was. Valve added a TON of new functionality to the engine, to the point where it was basically unrecognizable as the Quake engine (other than being able to enable the console with the right command line switch). 
there are a lot of weird things which point to the quake legacy... for example still using wad files to store textures, even with a bunch of hacks to get special effects. 
Sure, there's lots of Quake left in there.

I dunno, I guess I just take issue with intimating that Half-Life was some sort of advanced Quake mod. I think it was much more than that. 
Well I Agree With You There... 
but also, it doesn't really matter as long as the game is good; not every game needs to have its engine written from scratch (and few actually do.)

I was actually pleased to see what Medal of Honor did to the quake3 engine, it's a bunch of hacks, sure, but it's also clear that they are the set of hacks necessary to make the game. 
also, it seems like this is a hallmark of a game dev team that is game-oriented, rather than tech-oriented. If id software makes a new game, you can be sure the tech will be elegant and impressive, but when Valve or the MoH team make a game, the focus is visibly different; their engine's perfection is subordinate to perfecting the game itself. They are not purists, they will gladly use hacks to make the design 1% better. 
That's how we approach the UnrealEngine. We use hacks to get each game shipped but then those hacks are re-worked post shipping to be actual features that will be nice to use on the next game. It's how engines evolve, IMO.

id approaches it differently in that they are pretty much always using new tech for each title. 
A recent example of this is the checkpoint system in Gears of War. It was a pretty horrible hack that gave the level designers nightmares on the first Gears. However, for Gears2 it was streamlined into a completely automatic feature that was a dream to work with. 
Yeah, Carmack seems to be more interested in advancing the technology than the actual gameplay - kind of like science. In the end, it's the old but effective principle in the industy: creating an engine from scratch takes time and money but is eventually compensated by licensing (thus the need to produce a clean codebase), whereas licensing is faster and cheaper but less impressive.

However, arguing that HL is a Quake mod is absurd, a silly fanboy attitude. 
I Didnt Say It Was A "Quake Mod" In The Second Post 
I said it was a glorified Quake engine. And in the first post I asked the question.

But to accuse me of being a fanboi of Quake or Half-Life or whatever, well I say Guil-tey as Charged Sir!!!

Its not really that absurd though is it? Silly yes, absurd no. I resent that! :P 
Silence is a valid option, you know. 
"...silence Is Golden, Golden...." 
Showers, Showers 
Should probably read 'Last 25' instead of 'New 1'. 
Oblivion Q2 Mission Pack Website 
I moved the Oblivion Q2 website to since it was on planetquake (and becuase it's Quake 2, it was not part of the quake archiving efforts.)

Here's the new location, I also fixed the download link to point to a local file instead of pointing to fileplanet:

And i replaced all the ASP and SSI with regular html + javascript. 
and becuase it's Quake 2, it was not part of the quake archiving efforts

... that's fairly ridiculous 
i looked at the list on quakewiki, and it wasn't there. Anyway since I'm technically the maintainer of the Oblivion site, I might as well continue to host it. 
There I Go... 
How many active mappers are hosted at Planetquake nowadays? I can't think of any

So glad to get this elephant hosted but mentioning it was almost the same as "planetquake fucks".

People who still want to mirror something, please see 
The sites are coming back for the weekend, some are available already. sites are sadly excluded from this. Many thanks to Chris and Jube! sites are sadly excluded from this

My old site still seems to be functioning. (

I guess I'm not quite sure what your post means? 
I meant that sites like will not be available. Your site was not available until some hours ago and will be gone again after the weekend. ;) 
Metl Metl Metl 
Damn that truncating function is bad... Cuts of "ty" in favour of "...". 
Ah, okay. Thanks for the clarification. 
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