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A lot of people have been jumping on the “free to use” bandwagon. I suppose two of the biggest companies to embrace the “free” paradigm is Epic with the free Unreal Development Kit and now GameSpy with the free API software suite for integrating easy-to-use cross-platform online support into a project. Nifty, eh?

Todd Northcutt, Vice President, GameSpy Technology commented in the press release, saying…
“Smart developers are looking at their games as a whole across multiple platforms,” … “We want to empower everyone creating games to make great online experiences and to build bigger, better communities regardless of platform, team size or budget. In an industry first, we are making cross-platform services free, with the hope that we can help more folks make better games.”

The concept of this is almost staggering…just thinking about all those awesome independent and mid-budget games out there that will have access to a suite of development tools offered from GameSpy to not only integrate online functionality for a game, but stat tracking, multiplayer and a ton of other cool features. I’m sure there are a lot of indie studios out here salivating over the news.

The GameSpy software APIs for online functionality will be made available on Friday, February 25th (tomorrow). From there game developers from both small and large studios will have access to GameSpy’s illustrious tools at no initial cost. You can check out some of the bulleted info on the tech below or head on over to the Official Website to learn more about GameSpy’s generous new program.

• GameSpy Technology’s APIs will be available via an easy online self-service process

• Allows all developers to access the APIs and begin adding online functionality to their games right away.

• The cross-platform SDKs include open APIs for rich player data tracking to gauge game performance and audience engagement

• User-generated cloud storage content tools to enable actively-engaged communities to collaborate and extend the gameplay experience

• Social network integration

• In-game or web-based commerce and competitive matchmaking services.