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User blog:ZeroTigress/Game Over, Man

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So I recently found out that Raptr shut down last year. Thanks for emailing everyone, guys. <<

Raptr was a gametime logging/instant messaging service managed by people who broke off from xFire, another gametime logging/instant messaging service. Both logged hours and offered chat services, although Raptr had the advantage of manual gametime logging which allowed players to log their console game hours as well. As such, xFire was primarily catered to PC gamers while Raptr opted to branch out into the console gamerbase. Not only that, the Raptr client allowed players to chat with friends using other chat clients (AIM, Facebook, MSN Messenger, etc.), making it a much superior chat client compared to its predecessor xFire.

xFire
  • Active gametime tracking (for PC games only)
  • Screenshot uploading and sharing
  • Instant messaging (only with fellow xFire users)
  • Weblogging
  • Guild/clan support
  • Video uploading and sharing (only for supported games)
Raptr
  • Active gametime tracking (for PC games only)
  • Console game achievement import (supported Playstation Network and XBox Live)
  • Manual gametime tracking (up to 6 hours at a time)
  • Screenshot uploading and sharing
  • Instant messaging (with fellow Raptr users in addition to other IM services)
  • Game reviews

Both services thrived on the social aspects of their clients, with people sharing their achievements and showing off gametime for their favorite games. So it's rather odd that both services made the fatal decision to discontinue the very features that made them popular to begin with. xFire shuttered their social features on 2015 June 12 and Raptr did the same in July of 2017. Coincidentally, both services opted to do so to profit off the growing eSports trend that was brewing with League of Legends and peaked with Overwatch. xFire tried to focus more on rebranding themselves as a game tournament platform while Raptr tried to get in on the livestreaming business by partnering with AMD.

Inevitably, by alienating the very fanbase that allowed them to grow as they have, both xFire and Raptr bit the dust. xFire shut down entirely in 2016 after having been bought out by 2 companies and failing to succeed in becoming the eSports platform it was redirected to. Raptr followed suit on 2017 September 30, although their livestreaming Plays.tv feature managed to sever from the Raptr services beforehand and still functions to this day. However, it remains to be seen how they will be able to compete with existing livestream services like OBS and XSplit.

xFire: 2003 - 2016 (13 years of service)
Raptr: 2008 - 2017 (9 years of service)

In the wake of xFire and Raptr's decline as useful chat clients, Discord emerged from the shadows to offer its chat services in the form of a browser app or downloadable client. Although it lacks the ability to track gametime, users can still see what games their fellow users are playing via the app. A bit bittersweet compared to what we had before. Considering how xFire and Raptr were free services until their last days, I wonder how long Discord can last as a free service.

Raptr has long since deleted their Facebook page, but xFire fans can still visit their official Facebook page. The anger still burns for the uninformed who are surprised to see all of their gaming hard work is gone now. In terms of gametime logging, I guess Steam has the last laugh on that.


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