Microsoft has announced that on April 14th, they are taking down Xbox Live support for original Xbox games. This is tough news for me, to know that I won’t ever again be able to go online and play the first games I worked on professionally. I guess that’s the price of modern console development. Even though GR is primarily a PTP based game, it still relies on the Xbox Live service to connect players.
But for right now, the service is still up. The most important thing, if you have these games, and like me, have moved on to an Xbox 360, you should go and download the DLC before the service goes down. DLC for GR: Island Thunder, GR2, and GR2: Summit Strike is still up and is still FREE. But you should get it now.
When we designed the game infrastructure for Ghost Recon DLC on the Xbox (starting with Island Thunder), we didn’t really plan for the day when Live would not be available. We always assumed that anyone with a connection could get the DLC. Thus, if AFTER the Live shutdown, any box WITH the DLC will not be able to connect to a box WITHOUT the DLC. So, the only solution for you if one box has it and the other doesn’t, is for the box with it to delete the content. This was not a problem back in the day when the person WITH the content would just go home, hook back up to Live, and redownload the content. But now, if you deleted the content, it would be gone forever.
So, if you ever plan to System-Link play the game with your buddies, take the 15 minutes to get the DLC. I did this on my 360 the other night. Remember, the DLC for these games is not shown on Xbox Live Marketplace. You need to boot the individual game, go to the option for downloading content, and download it. GR: Island Thunder has a dozen or so individual map packages; Ghost Recon 2 has three variety packs, and GR2: Summit Strike has one bonus pack of weapons, game types, and maps. Even if you don’t ever plan to play these games online, there is a lot of the content that can be used in local play. And it’s FREE. :)
It’s a bit weird as a developer to know that content I and my team worked hard on might never be accessed again. I mean hell, people still play Doom online. I hear there are some third party solutions out there that people can use, so I guess I can take heart in that.
Regardless of all that, I’d like to have a little Xbox Ghost Recon sendoff. Bungie is planning their sendoff for Halo 2 on April 14th, so I propose we enjoy some Ghost Recon the weekend before that J. I will be logged onto Ghost Recon: Island Thunder on the evening of Saturday, April 10th, and Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike on the evening of Sunday, April 11th. I invite GR fans, the gang from GR.net, and my former compatriots from Red Storm and Ubisoft to join me to send off Ghost Recon on the Xbox in style. And yes, I’ll have the DLC installed.