While I know that a lot of you use Steam for your PC social-gaming requirements, not so long ago, Xfire was the place to be. Launched in 2002, the service offered a game server browser as well as an instant messenger, and kept track of what games you and your friends were playing.
On Monday August 2nd, just after 3pm Pacific Time, Xfire members received the following message:
Xfire was bought by new owners today. Most of the team that has built Xfire over the last six years is leaving. We enjoyed working for you for the last 127 releases and wish we could stay to create the next 127. Good bye, good luck, and game on. – The Xfire Team
While it’s not been revealed at this stage whether the developers jumped or were pushed, Titan released their own statement to clarify a few things:
Titan will be taking on the Xfire name, with a focus towards ongoing innovation in the gaming space. The Xfire services will continue uninterrupted for its users. Xfire redefined how gamers communicate, Titan intends to build upon this tradition and utilize the Xfire platform to help gaming companies better engage their users. We look forward to continuing and expanding upon the Xfire service.
Xfire had been purchased by MTV Networks for more than $100 million back in 2006 – it’s not known how much Titan paid for the service this week – but it’s interesting to note that the new owners actually released two statements on the topic. The version for the press was all-but identical to the consumer-directed version, with the addition of one key word: “monetize”. Apparently it’s okay to use that word when talking to media outlets about your future plans, but you’d better keep it quiet in case you scare the customers.