How do I determine if older multiplayer games are still up and running?
December 12, 2007 10:07 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to find out whether or not an older online multiplayer game still has an active user base? Short of purchasing the game and looking for myself, of course.

For example, if I wanted to buy something like Unreal Tournament 2004 or Quake 3, how would I first go about determining whether or not there would even be anyone online for me to play against? Is there any sort of centralized database or web site for these type of stats? In this case, I'm looking for older multiplayer games that will run smoothly on a laptop, but more generally I'm wondering how to determine if any given multiplayer game is still actively played online.
posted by iamisaid to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I think "Gamer server" searching software like All Seeing Eye tells you how many servers/players are online at any given time.
posted by sharkfu at 10:09 PM on December 12, 2007

oops. gamer = game.
posted by sharkfu at 10:18 PM on December 12, 2007

Both those games have fully playable free demos. I'd start by downloading those and seeing if there's any online activity in the demo. The last time I tried the UT2K4 demo was early 2006 and there were definitely folks playing it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:45 PM on December 12, 2007
posted by blenderfish at 1:43 AM on December 13, 2007

I would also suggest that actively populated games may tend to still have active and popular forums, so maybe you could search for those and see what kind of activity they have.
posted by that girl at 5:13 AM on December 13, 2007

Thanks to all and particularly to blenderfish - that's exactly what I was looking for. I'm not sure how fresh those stats are (don't see a date anywhere), but I find it interesting that Quake 3 has far more active players than Quake 4.
posted by iamisaid at 8:20 AM on December 13, 2007

looking for older multiplayer games that will run smoothly on a laptop

FWIW, Half-Life 2 Deathmatch runs very smoothly on my year-old MacBook Pro.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:00 AM on December 13, 2007

Those stats are pretty fresh. It includes Crysis, which wikipedia tells me was just released last month.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:39 PM on December 13, 2007

There is still an active UT community here. A lot of them are trying out the new UT3, but I know there is still a community there that plays 2k4 and 99.
posted by mileena at 5:24 PM on December 13, 2007

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