On July 2nd of 2019 M. Hammer, Microsoft Agent/Moderator, made a post letting the community know that several Microsoft Internet Games [via PC Gaming Wiki] would no longer be supported. Internet Backgammon (XP/ME, 7), Internet Checkers (XP/ME, 7), Internet Spades (XP/ME, 7), Internet Hearts (XP/ME), Internet Reversi (XP/ME), and MSN Go (7) are all being put on the chopping block.
Hammer thanked the Microsoft users and expressed his appreciation for the community that was built around these games. He then went on to explain the reason behind the decision. Stating…
“…the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences”.
Microsoft Internet Games services on Windows XP and ME will end on July 31, 2019 while Windows 7 will end on January 22, 2020. So if you want to take any of these games for Windows 7 for a spin or two you still have a fair amount of time. The Windows XP/ME games however will be shutting down very soon, so you better hop on now if you want to play one last game.
While none of the games listed are groundbreaking or even technical marvels, they do hold a unique place in gaming history. You see, playing one of these games would be the first time many gamers ever played an online game. I myself remember playing Internet Spades for hours with my friends. Often times using AOL Instant Messenger to talk amongst ourselves and “cheat” at the game. Fuck I’m old.
Hopefully there are some crafty fans of these games that can find a way to keep them up and running after Microsoft pulls the plug. It would be a shame to let another piece of gaming history fall by the wayside, forgotten to the sands of time. These games might not be in my top 100 list but I am still saddened to see them go away.
(Thanks for the news tip ThyBonesConsumed)