Get ready for a blast from the past as Mplayer.com, the '90s-era online PC gaming and matchmaking service, is making a comeback after going dark nearly 15 years ago.
As Engadget writes, an entity by the name of MPlayer Entertainment is leading the revival. The company said it has rewritten the entire system in order to deliver custom game launching capabilities for private and public matches as well as tournaments. The service is also going to offer chat lobbies that are tailored for gamers, filmmakers and music producers.
Mplayer got its start way back in 1996 as a subscription-based matchmaking service before moving to an ad-supported model a year later. At its peak, it offered up more than 100 games including Quake and Command & Conquer which attracted over 20 million visitors a month.
Even with the boom in online gaming in the late ‘90s, the company behind Mplayer was never able to turn a profit. A change in strategy in late 2000 saw competing multiplayer service provider GameSpy acquire Mplayer and within a year, it was closed down and its tech rolled into GameSpy Arcade.
If you recall, Ziff-Davis shut down GameSpy as well as a few other well-known gaming properties in early 2013.
Mplayer reached the level that it did in the ‘90s largely because there was very little competition in the emerging market. Today’s multiplayer landscape is a vastly different beast and unless the new owners bring something unique to the table, I suspect they’ll have a hard time attracting customers.
A countdown on Mplayer's new website says we'll get our first look at the service on November 14 at 3 p.m. EST.